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

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An Analysis of Rural Shocks in India during the Pandemic

Utilising the third round of World Bank Survey data collected during September 2020, the employment shocks in rural India are analysed based on the gender, age, caste, and income quartile of individuals. Using graphical representations and simple mean tests, it is found that, on average, females in rural areas did not have an occupation relative to males in most of the states that feature in the survey. Older females and Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Classes show a lower probability of retaining regular salaried jobs during the lockdown and were adversely affected owing to disruptions in daily wage work.

Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Rural Non-farm Self-employed in India

This paper examines the importance of skills, especially through vocational training, for the rural non-farm sector in overcoming the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The difference-in-differences technique has been used to assess the differential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the earnings of skilled and unskilled self-employed activities. The primary data have been collected from 880 rural non-farm self-employed individuals who hailed from different regions of Karnataka. Although every section of the rural non-farm activities has been adversely affected due to the pandemic, the impact is more severe on unskilled individuals as compared to skilled individuals. Therefore, policymakers need to pay attention to enhancing the provision of formal vocational training for RNFS individuals on a grander scale.

Unfolding the Employment Story in Uttar Pradesh

The article examines labour market changes in Uttar Pradesh and fi nds a deeper employment crisis in the state. The analysis shows a sharp decline in workforce participation and an increase in unemployment levels across all age groups and education levels after 2011–12. Employment decline was particularly high among the youth and the most educated. Female workforce participation hit a historic low in 2018–19.

On the Adequacy of the Quarterly Periodic Labour Force Survey

This article examines the difference between the estimates of unemployment rate and worker population ratio in urban areas in the Periodic Labour Force Surveys for the quarters ending March and June 2021. It further investigates the sample size needed if the survey is to be equipped to detect the quarterly changes of specifi ed magnitudes in the respective population parameter.

Emerging Pattern and Trend of Migration in Megacities

Rural-to-urban migration, particularly between states, towards megacities continues to contribute to their overall growth, although the trajectory of migration is shifting towards smaller cities.

The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Formal Sector Crisis in IT and ITeS

The information technology and information technology-enabled services sector in India have largely been opaque, with little known about its social profile, work conditions, and office culture. The sector hides its everyday workings behind massive revenue figures and the number of jobs in the organised sector it has created. What slips through the cracks is the precarious nature of these permanent jobs and the shocking ineffectiveness of employee protections. These vulnerabilities, built into the employment and work culture of the sector, acquired a nightmarish quality during the COVID-19 pandemic. With most IT companies being forced to shift their employees to work-from-home formats, it is crucial to study how these vulnerabilities have affected the latter. This paper draws upon media reports, a short online survey, and telephonic interviews to highlight the working conditions in the IT and ITeS sector, the experience of working from home, and the overall state of its permanent employment.

 
 

Income Distribution and Aggregate Demand in the Indian Economy

Does there exist a trade-off between labour income share and output growth rate? Or does a reduction in the wage share reduces the output growth rate? These questions remain central for analysing the impact of change in income distribution on the output growth rate. Since the dilution and suspension of labour laws involve exogenous changes in income distribution, the impact of such policies would depend on the relationship between income distribution and aggregate demand. This paper attempts to lay bare this relationship for the Indian economy through an empirical analysis of India’s macro data and a theoretical model based on the regression results.

 

What Must be the Priority of the Budget?

Improving agriculture incomes and boosting consumer demand must be the top priorities.

 

Loss of Job, Work, and Income in the Time of COVID-19

The counter-intuitive nature of the results of the Periodic Labour Force Survey 2019–20 is unravelled by arguing that in a situation of exogeneous shock, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the poor and vulnerable working people will be forced to engage in some kind of economic activity for sustaining

Changes in Uttar Pradesh’s Labour Market Outcomes

This article portrays the trajectory of Uttar Pradesh’s labour market outcomes between 2011 and 2020 based on the employment and unemployment situation and the Periodic Labour Force Survey data. It finds a deepening employment crisis in the state, worse than what is prevailing in the country; this crisis is severe in rural areas and for women, though even men, in comparison to their status in the past, find themselves in a new low. We find absolute declines in labour and workforce in the state with shrinking self and casual employment. There is an increase in regular salaried jobs, both in absolute terms and proportions. The employment crisis has affected people at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder more, marking a dangerous form of livelihood crisis in the state.

 

How Reliable Is Labour Market Data in India?

Public perception about the pattern of shock on the employment rate during COVID-19 is based on the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy data, which is widely referred to in public debates, corporate policy-making, and banking sector. The question that crops up then is how reliable is the CMIE data on the labour market? Here, the examination of the employment ratio indicator of the Periodic Labour Force Survey and CMIE is extended to two another very important labour market indicators, that are, labour force participation rate and unemployment rate, and a comparison of the PLFS and CMIE is carried out to look at their trends and association.

NEP 2020 and the Language-in-Education Policy in India

The National Education Policy of India 2020 is a significant policy document laying the national-level strategy for the new millennium. It is ambitious and claims universal access to quality education as its key aim, keeping with the Sustainable Development Goal 4 of the United Nations Agenda 2030. One of the highlights of the NEP is its emphasis on mother tongue education at the primary levels in both state- and privately owned schools. The present paper critically assesses the NEP 2020, primarily in relation to the language-in-education policy. The paper argues that it presents a “contradiction of intentions,” aspiring towards inclusion of the historically disadvantaged and marginalised groups on the one hand, while practising a policy of aggressive privatisation and disinvestment in public education on the other.

 

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