For First Time Since 1993-94, India’s Male Workforce Is Getting Smaller: Report

The Wire | March 20, 2019

New Delhi: The National Sample Survey Office’s periodic labour force survey 2017-18 has reportedly found that the size of India’s male workforce – or men who are working – has reduced for the first time since 1993-94.

According to the Indian Express, the unreleased report says there are 28.6 crore employed men – a decline from 30.4 crore in 2011-12, when the last NSSO survey was conducted. This downward trend is even stronger in rural areas than in urban, the newspaper reported, with a 6.4% decline in the number of employed men in rural areas against 4.7% in urban.

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The Life of Labour: India’s Working Women; Workers at Statue of Unity Go on Strike

by Venkat T., Srividya Tadepalli & Thomas Manuel

The Wire | March 13, 2019

The Life of Labour, a compilation of important labour developments from around the world, will be delivered to your inbox every week. Click here to subscribe.

Agricultural Crisis

Agrarian crisis spreads to non-farm rural economy

According to a new report, the rural non-farm wage rates have remained almost stagnant over the last four years of the NDA government. After adjusting for inflation, the real wage increase in the rural economy has been at 0.5% year on year since 2014, as against a robust 6.7% in between 2009 to 2013.

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India’s Unemployment Rate Rose to 7.2% in February: CMIE

by Manoj Joshi

The Wire | March 06, 2019

New Delhi: The unemployment rate in India rose to 7.2% in February 2019, the highest since September 2016, and up from 5.9% in February 2018, according to data compiled by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) that was released on Tuesday.

The unemployment rate has climbed despite a fall in the number of job seekers, Mahesh Vyas, head of the Mumbai-based think tank told Reuters, citing an estimated fall in the labour force participation rate. The number of employed persons in India was estimated at 400 million in February compared with 406 million a year ago, he said.

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India: Nearly 20 Lakh Tribals Vulnerable to Eviction Thanks to Supreme Court Order

by Kabir Agarwal

The Wire | February 22, 2019

Nearly 20 Lakh Tribals Vulnerable to Eviction Thanks to Supreme Court Order

Tribal women carry bundles of twigs and leaves near Shantiniketan, 150 km northwest of Kolkata. Credit: Reuters

New Delhi: On Wednesday, it was reported that the Supreme Court had ordered the eviction of over 10 lakh tribals from forest land over which they hadn’t demonstrated ownership.

As per the apex court’s order, those households whose claims over forestland had been rejected are to be evicted by the states before the matter is heard next.

However, the order could potentially impact almost 20 lakh tribal and forest-dwelling households. This is according to data collected by the Ministry of Tribal affairs. As on November 30, 2018, 19.39 lakh claims had been rejected across the country.Read More »

Women in Resistance, Women in Prison: A Public Hearing in Delhi

by Avantika Tewari

groundxero | January 25, 2019

The All India Union of Forest Working People and Delhi Solidarity Group organized a public hearing at the Constitution Club of India to talk about the increasing incarceration of women, the prison conditions, and the targeting of women from specific communities. Women spoke of their experiences in prisons across the country, from Tamil Nadu to Chattisgarh to Kashmir. Avantika Tewari reports on what was discussed, and the importance of the call for prison abolition.

With a steady rise in the incarceration rate of women over the last fifteen years, and with only 18 jails out of the 1401 in the country reserved for women, it seems rather obvious to ask – how do these 18 jails hold 2985 female prisoners? Most of the women inmates are housed in women’s enclosures of general prisons designed in colonial times to keep ‘delinquent’ men and freedom fighters. According to the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) Report 2015, globally,  the number of women and girls in prison have increased by 50 percent in the past 15 years. India, too, has seen an increase in the number of women prisoners. In 2001, 11094 women inmates formed 3.5 percent of the prison population. 15 years later, Indian prisons house 17834 women inmates — an increase of 61 percent — with their share in prison population having gone up to 4.3 percent.Read More »

Nine Richest Indians Now Own Wealth Equivalent to Bottom 50% of the Country

by Akhil Kumar

The Wire | January 21, 2019

Nine Richest Indians Now Own Wealth Equivalent to Bottom 50% of the Country
Credit: Atul Loke, Panos / Oxfam

New Delhi: “Rising wealth inequality threatens the social fabric of the nation,” says the Oxfam Inequality Report 2019, released on Monday.

The report details shocking levels of wealth inequality in the country, adding that wealth is being further concentrated in the hands of the richest while the poor are pushed deeper into deprivation. “High levels of wealth disparity subverts democracy,” the report says.Read More »

India: How Institutions are Trying to Make Us Forget Rohith Vemula

The Wire | January 19, 2019

It’s been three years since a Dalit student and PhD candidate at the University of Hyderabad committed suicide, but the wounds the incident brought to light are still being ignored by institutions across the country.

University campuses and cultural spaces keep refusing or backing out of events  meant to memorialise Vemula’s life and work. This year, communities across the country decided to mark the date of Vemula’s demise with a screening of the documentary We Have Not Come Here to Die. However, finding a venue proved to be difficult in some cases.Read More »