ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By Kamala Sankaran

The Fundamental Freedom to Migrate within India

The debate over migrant workers in recent times and their invisibility in government data and in policy discourse has led to a series of responses from state and central governments. While the number of returning migrants is lower in the second wave of Covid-19, nothing much has changed for the migrants on the ground. This past year has seen state governments, such as Haryana and Karnataka, move to give preference to “local” persons over migrants, even as a draft national migrant policy is under consideration. Is there a constitutional right to migrate within India? What, if any, are the duties cast upon governments and employers? These questions must be considered if the current migrant crisis is not to result in deprivation of the fundamental right to internal migration.


Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work: India and the ILO

The manner in which rights at work have been identified and articulated within both the International Labour Organisation and India since the founding of the agency in 1919, bears a close similarity. Despite what its mandate would suggest, the ilo (like India) has chosen to treat only certain selected rights as "fundamental" at the expense of issues such as those relating to conditions of work, wages and social security, which are equally constitutive of what it terms "decent work". This paper argues that recent developments within the ilo and India indicate the need for adopting a broader and more inclusive approach to ensuring decent work.

NREGA Wages: Ensuring Decent Work

While for several decades now there has been an unresolved debate about the feasibility of having a national minimum wage, the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act with its provision for a country-wide wage rate has placed the possibility to do so squarely on the agenda. The NREGA wage rate must logically be a need-based national minimum wage under the Minimum Wages Act. Declaring a need-based minimum wage rate under NREGA which is linked to the schedule of rates allows for sufficient flexibility to account for regional/geographical variation.