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

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Migrant Children and ‘Free’ Education in India

Schooling of migrant children in India is compromised for various reasons, such as their mobility, disadvantaged backgrounds, and exclusionary experiences of schooling. Such contexts and experiences of migrant families and children are in stark contrast to how their aspirations and motivation are dominantly imagined by education functionaries of the state and the non-governmental organisations. Using narratives from the city of Bengaluru, this article throws light on the aforesaid discord, thereby highlighting the complex placement of migrant children with respect to inclusionary frameworks of schooling and education in India.

Labour Force and Employment Growth in India

This study analyses the changing structure of the labour force and employment in India using the Employment and Unemployment Survey (2011–12) and the Periodic Labour Force Surveys I and II (2017–18 and 2018–19). The estimates indicate that there was a mere improvement in employment from 2017–18 to 2018–19; however, as this was accompanied by a decline in the size of the workforce between 2011–12 and 2017–18, this does not indicate recovery. The unemployment rate, especially that of youth, remains at a historic high. A remarkable decline in the share of agriculture in the workforce without a corresponding increase in the non-agricultural sector indicates a somewhat distorted structural transformation. A sizeable portion of the female population has been withdrawn from the labour and workforces.

Understanding the Skills and Livelihood Aspirations of the Working Homeless Men of Yamuna Pushta

Delhi’s homeless migrants work daily wage jobs that provide temporary housing on worksites, but they often endure abuse from their contractors and employers and receive low to no wages. The city’s approximately 200 shelters allot 18 square feet per resident, which is far below the National Urban Livelihoods Mission’s Scheme of Shelters for Urban Homeless guideline of 50 square feet per person. Labourers in Yamuna Pushta use congested shelters because the nearby jobs determine their survival. In this context, the homeless labourers’ working and shelter conditions, the skills they possess, and the barriers they face to decent working conditions are examined.

COVID-19 and Tribal Communities: How State Neglect Increased Marginalisation during the Pandemic

In the absence of state support and social security, the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns created short- and long-term hardships for already marginalised tribal communities in India.

Government and Labour: Return of Dialogue?

Worker’s organisations are crucial to the government’s planned labour policy measures.

Labour ‘Invisibility’ during COVID-19 Times

As the migrant labour exodus unfolded with unrelenting grimness through the summer of 2020, there was frequent mention of how the COVID-19 pandemic had exposed the “invisibility” of migrant labour to Indian planners and policymakers.

India–Gulf Labour Migration in the Aftermath of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic-associated developments in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries have had direct and adverse impacts on low- and semi-skilled migrant workers, including job loss, wage cuts and earning loss. The crisis has in many ways also exposed fault lines in the existing Indian migration governance system in dealing with the vulnerabilities experienced by such migrants; these gaps are structural in nature and have been prevailing for a long period. The article delineates some of the major policy interventions that merit immediate attention to make the migration policy architecture “migrant-centric,” thereby enhancing the migration and developmental outcomes of future labour outflows.

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.

Crisis behind Closed Doors

The impact of the national lockdown due to COVID-19 on domestic workers in New Delhi and Gurugram is examined. Through extensive surveys with members of three labour unions, it was found that not only were domestic workers able to find less work, but were also paid lower wages, while unable to access government schemes or financial or in-kind support from their employers. This points to a dire need for policies that protect domestic workers’ interests.

​Migrant Labour and Mobile Sensibilities

Mobile media is intricately interwoven into the public and private lives of migrant workers, bringing together multiple, previously divergent functions.

Sex Workers and Misrepresentations

The article responds to “Social Distancing and Sex Workers in India” by Priyanka Tripathi and Chhandita Das (EPW, 1 August 2020). By putting forth how the arguments in the published article were bereft of references to feminist literature on sex work and the problematic comparison of the sex...

Limelight in Dark Times

Viewing Jyoti Kumari’s cycling feat as “matter out of place” reveals our collective gender and social biases.

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