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

Articles By Employment

Employment Status of Digital Platform Workers

Examining the principles laid down by the Supreme Court of India in determining the traditional employer–employee relationship and their application in determining the employment status of gig and platform workers, the paper looks at the legislation and judicial decisions in determining the employment status of platform-based gig workers in other parts of the globe. Arguing that the law on digital labour platforms could not keep pace with the advancement of digital technology, the paper suggests that we have to move beyond the traditional employer–employee relations and draw lessons from the development taking place overseas to examine how far the same may be adopted in the Indian conditions.

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act: Lessons from Odisha

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 (hereafter MGNREGA) has been crucial for rural India's unskilled and landless workers since its inception in 2005. The historic legislation gave birth to a normative era in which the state, inspired by socialist ideas, guarantees employment and creates durable assets to improve the living conditions of rural communities.

The Role of Gender and Caste in Accessing Livelihood Opportunities in India

Against the backdrop of low and declining female labour force participation in India, we use a large, publicly available tehsil-level data set for several Indian states to comment on women’s barriers to accessing livelihood opportunities. Data from the socio-economic caste census seems to indicate that as the proportion of lower-caste households in a tehsil increases, the participation of female heads of households in economic activities, which improve labour force participation at the bottom of the pyramid, also increases. This is significant given the largely informal labour force and inadequate job creation in the formal economy. Lower-caste women may readily pursue informal livelihoods suggesting barriers for upper-caste women, crucial amid limited formal job opportunities in an economy dominated by informality.

Aspirations, Agency, and Frustrated Freedom among Muslim ‘Middle-class’ Youth in Jamia Nagar

The neo-liberal discourse has raised the aspirations of Indian youth for professional employment, making them believe that they are agents who can usher positive changes in their lives. The functioning of opportunity structures, however, remains weak for many, making the process of attaining aspirations arduous. Scholars have termed this as frustrated freedom. This paper engages with the concept of frustrated freedom through the narratives around employment-based aspirations and choices of Muslim youth living in the Jamia Nagar neighbourhood of Delhi. The paper discusses the critical role of social networks and embeddedness in shaping the experiences of frustrated freedom among the Muslim youth, arguing that these networks mitigate frustrated freedom at the level of aspirations, whereas at the stage of employment, these networks remain somewhat ambiguous.

Youth Employment in India

India is set to add about one-fifth of incremental global youth population in the next two decades. This relative “greening” of India’s population and workforce is expected to bring down dependency ratio, increase savings rate and investment ratios, boost macroeconomic growth and yield a demographic dividend for the country, but this depends on whether the additional youth workforce finds remunerative and productive jobs. Examining the employment situation of the youth in India, we discover that labour force participation rate and work participation rate are declining, caused mainly by increased participation in education, but the increasing unemployment rate is worrisome.

Change in the Employment– Unemployment Situation

By taking into consideration five different panels with each one of them surveyed during four consecutive quarters covering the period most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of employment scenario, this article examines the change in the employment–unemployment situation of the same persons during the four consecutive quarters. The study is confined to urban India and uses the unit-level data collected through the Periodic Labour Force Survey.