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

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The Mathadi Model and Its Relevance for Empowering Unprotected Workers

The idea of providing comprehensive social security benefits to unprotected workers has still remained an unsolved task for the government due to a number of reasons, from administrative and financial limitations, and scattered and biased nature of social security legislations in the country, to inadequate information available on the unorganised sector and lack of data. The relevance of the mathadi model of social security to casual and other workers in the present context is highlighted and inputs on adopting its good practices in the proposed code on social security are provided.

Is Periodic Labour Force Survey, 2017–18 Comparable with Employment–Unemployment Survey, 2011–12?

Towards improving the existing system of collecting data on socio-economic parameters, the National Sample Survey Office introduced the Periodic Labour Force Survey in 2017–18 by replacing its previous quinquennial rounds on the employment–unemployment situation. There has been a significant restructuring of the previously existing questionnaire, survey methodology, and inquiry schedule. The advantages of the new PLFS data are listed, and inputs for further improvements are provided.

Geographies of Drinking Water (In)securities in Peri-urban Hyderabad

​A political ecology framework has been employed to analyse patterns of drinking water (in)securities peculiar to peri-urban geographies. Primary field data have been used in the analysis. The many institutional arrangements that have emerged in peri-urban Hyderabad and how such arrangements have shaped the water ecology in the region and outcomes with respect to access to drinking water are described here. It argues that the water environment, both in terms of scarcity and pollution, and the social relations around water, co-produce each other, in sometimes unexpected ways. A primary finding is that the varying degrees and forms of private sector engagement in the drinking water sector produce different kinds of sub-geographies of distress in peri-urban spaces.

Uncertain Climate, Vulnerable Livelihoods

With limited water resource endowments and a predominantly agrarian base, livelihoods in the semi-arid tropics are particularly vulnerable to climatic uncertainties and frequent droughts. The low levels of development of diversified livelihood options in the non-farm sector and a lack of skill base compel households to seek multiple low-income livelihoods to sustain the household in lean resource years. Among these, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme has provided the most significant coping mechanism for most households, particularly the poorest and most backward sections. The scheme may thus be seen as a prominent drought risk reduction policy. However, challenges of implementation arise when the policy manifests on field realities which tend to reduce the effectiveness and weaken its impact.

Women in MGNREGS in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh

Based on secondary data from the National Sample Survey Office and a household-level survey of four villages in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the study found that the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme has a number of direct and indirect benefits. Overall, it was found that, in both rural Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, women’s participation in the MGNREGS has been encouraging and beneficial.

Drivers of Non-Farm Employment in Rural India

This paper attempts to understand the processes of growth in rural non-farm employment based on the 2009-10 employment and unemployment round of the National Sample Survey Office. The rural non-farm sector has undergone major restructuring which has led to an increase in the share of casual labour in the non-farm sector accompanied by a continuous decline in the share of self and regular employment. On the basis of multivariate analyses at two levels, this study concludes that though non-farm employment in rural areas is primarily distress-driven, there are some significant entry barriers for rural workers in the nonfarm sector in terms of education, age and gender. Considering the overall deceleration of rural employment until 2009-10, the paper emphasises the importance of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in rural employment generation and the consequent process of feminisation of casual workforce in the non-farm sector that has emerged in the last five years. The results indicate the crisis of joblessness would have been more acute without the scheme. The overall quality of rural employment, driven by distress factors, has deteriorated in 2009-10 over 2004-05 in a significant way.
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