The crisis in Indian manufacturing
Jayan Jose Thomas
Posted on: 13 Dec 2013
Topics:   Economic Growth , Jobs

Manufacturing sector growth in India has fallen from over 9% to a dismal 1% in the past couple of years. This article discusses the factors that have caused a slowdown in organised and unorganised manufacturing. It contends that inadequate credit and infrastructure are key constraints, and the fate of the sector hinges on greater domestic investment and well-directed industrial policies.
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The labour reforms debate: Broadening horizons
Radhicka Kapoor
Posted on: 01 Jun 2015
Topics:   Jobs

Even as the government has indicated that it plans to go slow on labour reforms and build consensus among all stakeholders, trade unions are protesting against “anti-labour” reforms. In this article, Radhicka Kapoor, an economist at ICRIER, emphasises the need to go beyond the narrow agenda of providing flexibility to firms to hire-and-fire and focus on decent work conditions and social security for workers in both organised and unorganised sectors.
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Bringing global evidence into the MNREGA discourse
Inayat Sabhikhi
Posted on: 12 Feb 2016
Tags:   MNREGA

MNREGA – the largest public works programme in the world – completed 10 years this month. In this article, Inayat Anaita Sabhikhi, Project Officer, United Nations Development Programme, at the Ministry of Rural Development, summarises evidence on MNREGA from four recent reports of international and national organisations. She contends that MNREGA’s high global rankings among social security programmes and the positive evidence on its impact should boost efforts to strengthen its implementation.
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Introduction to e-Symposium: 10 years of MNREGA and the way forward
Farzana Afridi
Posted on: 14 Mar 2016

India’s Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme – the largest public works programme in the world – completed a decade in February 2016. As a contribution to the discussions, I4I Editor Farzana Afridi is hosting an e-symposium to summarise the existing evidence on various aspects of the programme, and to discuss the future of the programme.

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Could emerging economies change the rules of the global labour standards game?
Kuntala Bandyopadhyay
Posted on: 24 Aug 2016
Topics:   Jobs , Trade

In an increasingly global marketplace, the ramping up of trade has drastically altered the way goods are manufactured and sold. In this article, Kuntala Bandyopadhyay, research associate at ICRIER, discusses four processes and vectors through which emerging economies can shape global labour standards in a way that protects both their workers and the environment.
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Is the proposed restructuring of MNREGA desirable?
Ashwini Kulkarni
Posted on: 20 Oct 2014
Tags:   MNREGA

The rural development ministry plans to restrict MNREGA to the 200 most backward districts, and reduce the wage component of the total expenditure of the programme. In this article, Ashwini Kulkarni - a member of the National Consortium of Civil Society Organisations working on MNREGA - argues against the proposed changes.
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What explains the low and stagnating female labour force participation in India?
Stephan Klasen
Posted on: 03 Mar 2017
Topics:   Jobs , Gender

In this article, Stephan Klasen gives an overview of the existing evidence on the supply- and demand-side drivers of female labour force participation in India.

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Saving people’s livelihoods
Sudha Narayanan
Posted on: 28 Oct 2014
Topics:   Jobs , Agriculture

The new government is seeking to alter the essence of MNREGA based on the premise that it is not useful in its current form. In this article, Sudha Narayanan criticises the move and argues that despite its shortcomings, MNREGA is the best available institutional mechanism to preserve the resource base for food production and build resilience of Indian agriculture.
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The labour reform myth
Pranab Bardhan
Posted on: 08 Sep 2014
Topics:   Jobs

A few Indian states have taken steps to relax the labour law pertaining to worker retrenchment. This article argues that while this is a step in the right direction, it may be unrealistic to expect big improvements in output and job creation simply as a result of such reform as there is no evidence to show that this law is the only, or even the main, constraint on growth
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MNREGA: Vision and reality
Martin Ravallion
Posted on: 16 Mar 2016
Tags:   MNREGA , Bihar

In this article, Martin Ravallion, Professor of Economics at Georgetown University, contends that the main proximate reason for MNREGA’s disappointing performance is that many people in poor areas of rural India who want work under the scheme have not been able to get it. To match the reality of MNREGA with its grand vision, poor people need to be made more aware of their rights and entitlements under the scheme, and the supply side needs to be more responsive.

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