A new system of data collection on issues pertaining to labour and employment, called the Periodic Labour Force Survey, replacing the very comprehensive and detailed surveys on the employment and unemployment situation, also known as quinquennial surveys, was introduced in India in 2017. This paper is an attempt to highlight the effects of the modified sampling methods adopted in the PLFS on data outcomes and inconsistencies. Compared to the EUS survey, the determining criteria used in the PLFS for classifying households across various socio-economic strata seem to be irrational, less comprehensive, and technically incorrect. A fundamental change in the basis of sample selection introduced with the PLFS makes it incomparable to the earlier surveys.
Articles By Manoj Jatav
India has one of the largest youth populations in the world. Migrant youth in the urban informal economy are a distinctly vulnerable group. They fall outside the purview of most of the labour legislations, including those related to rights-based social security. The draft National Youth Policy 2021 has recognised this. However, in the absence of a robust strategy, and timely and targeted intervention plan, the policy vision of “unlocking the potential of the youth” will remain on paper only.
Caste Inequalities in Access to Regular Non-farm Jobs and the Likely Implication of the Industrial Relations Code
This paper attempts to highlight the extent of employment insecurity and informality among the formal regular workers in the formal non-farm sector and examines the differential data outcomes across various caste groups. It also highlights the likely implications of the various provisions of the newly enacted Industrial Relations Code, 2020 on the access to the most secured jobs across different caste groups.
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.
The idea of providing comprehensive social security benefits to unprotected workers has still remained an unsolved task for the government due to a number of reasons, from administrative and financial limitations, and scattered and biased nature of social security legislations in the country, to inadequate information available on the unorganised sector and lack of data. The relevance of the mathadi model of social security to casual and other workers in the present context is highlighted and inputs on adopting its good practices in the proposed code on social security are provided.
Towards improving the existing system of collecting data on socio-economic parameters, the National Sample Survey Office introduced the Periodic Labour Force Survey in 2017–18 by replacing its previous quinquennial rounds on the employment–unemployment situation. There has been a significant restructuring of the previously existing questionnaire, survey methodology, and inquiry schedule. The advantages of the new PLFS data are listed, and inputs for further improvements are provided.
A political ecology framework has been employed to analyse patterns of drinking water (in)securities peculiar to peri-urban geographies. Primary field data have been used in the analysis. The many institutional arrangements that have emerged in peri-urban Hyderabad and how such arrangements have shaped the water ecology in the region and outcomes with respect to access to drinking water are described here. It argues that the water environment, both in terms of scarcity and pollution, and the social relations around water, co-produce each other, in sometimes unexpected ways. A primary finding is that the varying degrees and forms of private sector engagement in the drinking water sector produce different kinds of sub-geographies of distress in peri-urban spaces.
With limited water resource endowments and a predominantly agrarian base, livelihoods in the semi-arid tropics are particularly vulnerable to climatic uncertainties and frequent droughts. The low levels of development of diversified livelihood options in the non-farm sector and a lack of skill base compel households to seek multiple low-income livelihoods to sustain the household in lean resource years. Among these, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme has provided the most significant coping mechanism for most households, particularly the poorest and most backward sections. The scheme may thus be seen as a prominent drought risk reduction policy. However, challenges of implementation arise when the policy manifests on field realities which tend to reduce the effectiveness and weaken its impact.
Based on secondary data from the National Sample Survey Office and a household-level survey of four villages in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the study found that the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme has a number of direct and indirect benefits. Overall, it was found that, in both rural Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, women’s participation in the MGNREGS has been encouraging and beneficial.