Inclusiveness and sustainability of indian labour market: an interstate analysis

DEKA, NIJARA (2018). 'Inclusiveness and Sustainability of Indian Labour Market: An Interstate Analysis' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA, Buenos Aires, Argentina 2018.


Although having a job is considered as a precondition to escape from poverty but it doesn’t guarantee the same. In India, over the period of time unemployment rate has been decreased to a considerable rate. But assessing labour market in terms of the unemployment rate is similar to the Sen’s argument of assessing development through GNP per capita instead of measuring it in terms of human capabilities.The official poverty rate has also decreased in India with a considerably high rate of wealth and income inequality.  After the all-inclusive Millennium Development Goals, United Nation introduced Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 with a new addition of goal of decent work as the key to achieve sustainable development. However, the contemporary labour policies have not been considering the quality of life of the labourers in India. According to the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), India is among the 10 worst countries for labour rights in 2016 in terms of the Global Rights Index (GRI).

Sen (2009) defines justice in terms of the lives and freedoms of the people involved rather in terms of institutions which cannot but play a significant instrumental role in the pursuit of justice. On the other hand, Nussbaum (1988) gave a moral-legal-political philosophy with the specific aim to argue for political principles that a government should guarantee through its constitution. Both Sen and Nussbaum recognize empowerment as an important aspect of human development but from different perspectives. The present paper analyses the labour policies in India both from the perspective of institutional as well as the actual freedom of the people.   The following are the objectives of the paper

  1. To find out the efficacy of the Government Policies, Programmes and laws available for the workers in India and different states.
  2. To analyze the quality of work and its effect on the well being of the people in India and different states.

To fulfil the objectives of the study, following hypothesis will be considered

  1. There is a gap in the applicability of the Government introduced policies, programmes and also constitutionally safeguarded laws in India.
  2. Women workers are more vulnerable than their male counterpart.
  3. There is a lack of social protection for the children and elderly in India.
  4. There is a positive relationship between quality of work and well being of the people.
  5. Schedule Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Muslims are more deprived in terms working condition in different sectors in India and different states.   
  6. The labour deprivation in terms of unemployment is less than the other work-related deprivation characteristics.

The broader aim of these objectives and hypothesizes is to demonstrate the relevance and applicability of the capability approach of Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum as well as to highlight its potential for being used as a basis for public policy decisions. The overall result of these objectives will be to broaden and stimulate the debate on labour policy in India, and direct attention away from the single variable of the unemployment rate to a summary labour market statistic, which will oblige policymakers to take into account a range of variables that are otherwise left unconsidered.

The data source for this paper will mainly be secondary. The main sources will be the different rounds of employment and unemployment survey of National Sample Survey (NSS), Annual Survey of Industries (ASI) and government documents from different ministerial websites etc. The tentative statistical tools to be used in the paper are simple mean, correlation, regression and in order to calculate the composite labour market capability and contribution of different deprivation characteristics towards overall capability, the Alkire-Foster methodology of multidimensional deprivation will be used.    

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