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

Ratna M SudarshanSubscribe to Ratna M Sudarshan

The Irrelevance of Caste Census

Sonalde Desai in “Caste and Census: A Forward Looking Strategy” (EPW, 17 July) suggests that we need a caste census because there is adequate evidence of “caste based inequalities refl ecting social processes that deserve policy attention” and the bulk of her article suggests a way of dealing with...

Making Research Matter in South Asia

A report on four round tables held in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka on the state of policy research in the social sciences in south Asia.

Through the Magnifying Glass: Women's Work and Labour Force Participation in Urban Delhi

A study conducted in urban Delhi through a household survey between September and November 2006 estimates a greater female workforce participation rate than recorded in the National Sample Survey. It indicates undercounting and reflects the informality that surrounds women's work. This paper seeks to explore the nature of women's workforce participation and attempts to identify key factors influencing women's decision to work, the type of work they do, the constraints they face, and the perceived benefits and costs of engaging in paid work outside the home. In doing so, issues surrounding the methodology and underestimation of women's work within the urban context are also tackled. The study also suggests the need to understand the familial and household context within which labour market decisions are made. The role of family and kinship structures to determine women's work-life choices emerge as an important area for further study.

Child Labour in Industrial Outworker Households in India

Child labour is widespread in home-based manufacturing activities in the informal sector in most developing countries. However, very little is known of child labour in industrial outwork. The aim of this paper is twofold: on the one hand, to understand whether children in home-based work households are more likely to work than other children and, if so, how this impacts their capabilities; and, on the other, to outline policy implications for India. This paper draws on ad hoc surveys and a country study carried out in India. It examines the incidence of child work in such households, the child's schooling, and reasons why children are working, their work conditions, and gender issues. Econometric analysis is applied to analyse the determinants of child activity status. Policy implications are spelled out at the end.

Social Science Research

Harsh Sethi’s article (‘Social Science Research: Dark Days Ahead’, September 30) raises important questions on the role of our research institutions. Although his article is primarily concerned with ICSSR institutes, the same issues confront non-ICSSR institutes. As he points out, it is clear...
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