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

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Where are the Laws to Protect the Rights of Domestic Workers in India?

The rampant abuse faced by domestic workers urgently necessitates a national policy to provide social and economic protection

Pa Ranjith’s ‘Kaala’ and the Dalit-Left Revolution to Come

Kaala embodies the confusion and contradictions of the contemporary subaltern politics. It is conscious of the need for solidarity between the Dalit–Bahujan and the left, yet it cannot imagine what form it will take.

Reviewing the Labour Code on Industrial Relations Bill, 2015

The National Democratic Alliance government released an early draft of a bill attempting to codify the statutes dealing with industrial relations, that is, the Trade Unions Act, 1926, Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, and Industrial Employment (Standing Orders)Act, 1946. The Labour Code on Industrial Relations Bill, 2015, is one of the three labour codes the government is working on to consolidate all the important labour legislation. It is important to analyse the text of the 2015 bill when the ruling party’s own affiliate, Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, protests against the proposed bill.

Vocational Training in Indian Prisons

The vocational training programmes offered in Indian prisons with the intention of rehabilitating offenders are not only supposed to train prisoners in vocational knowledge and skills, but also strengthen their will to work, sense of self-help, and spirit of cooperation by having them work with others in a regulated environment. However, with the criminal justice system laying undue emphasis on the incarceration of criminals alone, the goals of reformation and rehabilitation of lawbreakers get undermined.

British Elections: There Is An Alernative

As the euphoria of a victorious defeat subsides, there is a sense of determination within Labour ranks as well as a degree of real hope among those in the broader electorate who wish to see Tory rule and austerity come to an end sooner rather than later. The way ahead will not be easy, not least because of the still very deep divisions of Brexit both within the Labour party and beyond.

Nursing Education in India

This article explores the history of nursing education in India, and the state, community and market factors contributing to its recent growth. The quality of training offered in these mushrooming institutions, however, tends to be poor. Regularisation and standardisation remain the greatest challenges for Indian nursing. Graduating nurses face job shortages and poor working conditions, especially in the private sector. Understanding the nursing education sector is important in the aftermath of the central government’s mandate to increase the wages of nurses in private hospitals.

'Is This Even Work?'

Based on an ethnographic study amongst professional caregivers (nurses, nursing aides and attendants) in three medical establishments in Kolkata, this article explores how reproductive/use-value labour when brought into the public realm as productive/ exchange-value labour survives its association with servile, sexual, menial, feminine labour and continues to remain stigmatised. It examines the nursing labour market to interrogate how the precise nature of the labour performed, structures the perception of the worker of herself as an inferior, performing disreputable, stigmatised labour. Within the grids of gender, class and caste, work and workers mutually constitute each other to define what respectable work is. Such perceived value of work plays a pivotal role in justifying low wages, social recognition and identity as a worker.

Majoritarian Rationale and Common Goals

Looking at existing policy instruments and goals, and the economic and social outcomes they promise to deliver, it is argued that majoritarian politics and social and cultural outcomes are not part of fringe thinking. The politics of hate actually works to build a consensus for ruling class economics. It is not surprising, therefore, that the only "nationalist outlook" of our times is to stand firmly behind the policy programme for the global investor.

Realising Universal Maternity Entitlements

In India, most of the work women do is invisible and unrecognised because it is done outside the boundaries of the formal economy. As a result, the laws pertaining to maternity entitlements reach a very limited number of women. The National Food Security Act, 2013 was the first national-level legislation to recognise the right of all women to maternity entitlements and wage compensation. Since the passage of the act, India has been using an existing conditional cash transfer scheme, the Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana, to implement this entitlement. An examination of the implementation of defined maternity entitlements under the act via a conditional cash transfer, highlights the failure of such a programme to uphold the spirit of the act. Amendments to the act are necessary to ensure that the most vulnerable women are able to realise their right to maternity entitlements, wage compensation, health and nutrition.

Recycling the Urban

The paper explores the interfaces of urbanisation, settlement practices, and issues of labour migration and displacement in contemporary Kolkata. It starts with interrogating a historical narrative of urbanisation and zoning practices in the city in the 1960s and picks out few threads which still seem relevant in studies of contemporary modes of urbanisation. It studies in some detail the practice of "thika tenancy" in the Kolkata slums--the most prominent site of habitation of the migrant workers in the city. It challenges the hypothesis of the "bypass model" of urbanisation in Kolkata and introduces the concept of "urban recycling," which facilitates a continuous juxtaposition of displacement and accumulation of human and other resources as part of the urbanisation process.

Importance of Landowning Non-cultivating Households

There is an increasing importance of landowning households that do not cultivate and a significant presence of urban households owning rural land, which constrains the growth of the agrarian economy, as such households have low incentives to invest in agriculture, and tend to use land for residential purposes, reducing the cropped area. Agricultural labour households tend to lease in land and become cultivators.

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