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Showing posts sorted by relevance for query JOB. Sort by date Show all posts

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Covid-19 lockdown and migrant workers: Survey of vocational trainees from Bihar and Jharkhand - II


Covid-19 and the associated lockdowns have led to widespread job losses, and a subsequent exodus of migrant workers from the cities. In this note, Chakravorty et al. discuss findings from their survey of young vocational trainees from rural Bihar and Jharkhand – highlighting the severe impact on employment, increased informalisation, lack of re-migration, and disproportionate adverse effects on women. They also test a digital intervention to help youths find jobs.


In March 2020, when the Government of India imposed a national lockdown in response to the first wave of Covid-19, it became clear that the health emergency would also lead to an economic crisis. In the aftermath of a devastating second wave, it is now more urgent than ever to learn about the economic and social fallout of the first.

Through 2020-2021, we have followed the employment and migration trajectories of about 2,260 young women and men from rural Bihar and Jharkhand. Before the pandemic, these youths had benefitted from the training and placement programme of the Ministry of Rural Development of the Government of India, DDU-GKY (Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojna). They were part of a randomised experiment, which involved provision of information to trainees about post-training placement opportunities in order to improve their employment outcomes (Chakravorty et al. 2021). As part of recent IGC research, we conducted two phone surveys, one in June-July 2020 (shortly after the national lockdown) (Chakravorty et al. 2020, 2021), and one in March-April 2021 (one year after the national lockdown). Respondents of the June-July 2020 survey were retrospectively asked about their employment and migration situation before the lockdown. In collaboration with the Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society (JSLPS), we also experimentally test whether a government-supported job platform (app) was of assistance to them in their job search. We discuss our findings in this note.

Figure 1. Time periods of phone surveys and the experiment

Most youth have lost their salaried work, and many have taken up informal work

The economic shock of the pandemic has led to a decrease in the proportion of respondents working in salaried jobs – it decreases from 40.5% before the lockdown to 24.2% one year after the lockdown. Of those who were in salaried jobs pre-lockdown, six out of 10 have lost their job or quit one year later. This decrease in salaried work has been accompanied by increased informalisation: the proportion of respondents working in the informal sector has nearly tripled from 8.8% before the lockdown, to 23% one year after the lockdown.

Figure 2. Employment trajectories

Note: ‘Prelockdown’ refers to the period after the festival of Holi (10 March 2020) until the announcement of the nationwide lockdown on 25 March 2020.

Women are more likely to drop out of the labour force, and only a few have searched for jobs

There is a stark difference in the employment trajectories of women and men. Half of the women who had a salaried job before the lockdown, have lost their jobs and are still not earning, even one year after the lockdown. At the same time, many men have transitioned from having salaried jobs in the pre-lockdown period, to informal work one year after the lockdown. This gender difference is likely to persist – only half of the women we survey say they are looking for jobs as against three quarters of men, and only 13% of the female workers in our sample applied for a job in the last two months (against a quarter of men).

Figure 3. Employment trajectories, by gender

Many migrant workers have come back home, and are still home a year later

The proportion of young people in our sample who work outside of their home state has decreased by half, from 32% before the lockdown to 16% one year later. Nearly half (45%) of the interstate migrants have returned home shortly after the lockdown, and we find that half of the remaining migrants who were still outside their home state shortly after the lockdown (June-July 2020) have returned home one year after the lockdown (in March-April 2021). The intention to re-migrate is relatively low, particularly among women workers – 37% of the men we survey are willing to work outside of their home state, against 17% of women.

Figure 4. Migration: Pre-lockdown, shortly after lockdown, and a year after lockdown

Government-sponsored job app has not had any short-term effect on job search

The Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society (JSLPS) contacted a randomly selected half of our sample, to introduce them to the job platform YuvaSampark, assist them in registering on the app, and support them in applying for jobs. Two or three weeks after the call, we do not see any impact on job applications, job search method, or intensity of job search between ‘treatment’ (those who received the intervention) and ‘control’ (those who did not receive the intervention) groups (Figure 5). The app had a few issues that limit its effectiveness for rural youth. First, the app had relatively few job postings, and only in a limited number of sectors. Second, all the modules in this app were in English. Third, a smartphone and good internet connectivity are required to use the app, which is not universally available in many parts of India.

Figure 5. Job applications in the two groups

Discussion and policy implications

The Covid-19 pandemic has had dramatic consequences for the sample of young migrant workers from rural Bihar and Jharkhand who were part of the DDU-GKY programme before the pandemic. Many lost their jobs and returned to their hometowns after the first lockdown, and a year later, only a few of them have gone back. Some of them, mostly men, have taken up informal employment, are still looking for jobs, and hoping to migrate again. In contrast, most women who lost their jobs have dropped out of the labour force and are neither looking for jobs nor thinking of migrating. Hence, the crisis seems to have reinforced the disadvantages faced by the rural youth, especially women, in accessing formal jobs in urban areas.

Liki24 UA

As digitisation becomes more widespread, digital solutions have tremendous potential to help rural youths to access information about job vacancies. However, not all tools will be of use to them. The results of our experimental trial suggest that these digital solutions must be carefully designed to be easy to use for the job-seekers, and attractive for employers to offer a wide range of job openings.

The rural youth from Bihar and Jharkhand, particularly women, face additional barriers in accessing formal jobs, which require vocational training – only available in cities in other states. The success of DDU-GKY in overcoming these barriers – evident from the number of youths (almost equal percentage of women and men) employed in formal jobs pre-lockdown – suggests that dedicated efforts are needed by the government in collaboration with NGOs (non-governmental organisations) and private partners.

The authors would like to thank BRLPS, JSLPS and the Ministry of Rural Development for collaboration on the project. They are also grateful to Mr Sanjay Kumar (BRLPS) and Mr Abhinav Bakshi (JSLPS) for their extensive cooperation during the implementation of this study.


  1. The programme provides short-term residential training to disadvantaged rural youth aged between 15 and 35 years.
  2. Those outside of state before the lockdown.

Further Reading

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Wednesday, 30 June 2021

Job Aspirants in Kashmir Apprehensive As Government Amends Civil Services Instructions

 The verification process now requires candidates to disclosed details of their social media accounts used in the past. Experts say this may coerce people from freely expressing themselves online.

 Job Aspirants in Kashmir Apprehensive As Government Amends Civil Services Instructions 

Srinagar: In 2019, when the Narendra Modi-led BJP government at the Centre diluted Article 370, Kaiser Ahmad (25) was in China, studying medicine. Back home, Kashmir was under a protracted communication blackout, the longest in the history of any democracy. Cut off from his family, an angry and distraught Kaiser would flood his social media with posts criticising the Centre’s move to revoke Kashmir’s special status and the imposition of a communication blackout.

Two years down the line, Kaiser has completed his degree in medicine and is preparing for a government job. However, as the Government of Jammu and Kashmir amended the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Verification of Character and Antecedents) Instructions, 1997, he feels anxious about his past social media activity.

Rosegal WW

Under these new civil service instructions, authorities have made a comprehensive ‘satisfactory report’ from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) necessary for the selection of a candidate. Among the various details mandated to be disclosed at the time of appointment include providing the details of social media accounts used in the past.

“I would definitely feel insecure about furnishing my social media details. We live in a volatile place where everyone is politically active. We share our grief on social media. Now, authorities can mine my past social media activities and scuttle my chances of employment,” said Kaisar, who had recently applied for the job.

Bizarre details sought

Other details sought in the CID report include disclosing whether any family member or close relative is associated with any political party or organisation, or has participated in any political activity, or has had links with a foreign mission or organisation, or any prescribed/ prohibited/ banned organisation such as the Jamaat-e-Islam and even details of the in-laws.

In the updated format, the job seeker would also need to provide details of mobile numbers used during the past five years, accounts of email or web-based portal accounts used, registration numbers of vehicles owned/used, account numbers of bank, post office account numbers and passport number.

Zivame [CPS] IN

“The CID shall conduct verification of character and antecedents of the selectees and forward the same to the requisitioning authority within one month from the date of receipt of the list of selectees. In case the verification process in respect of some candidates requires more time, the CID may seek another one month in respect of such candidates only while forwarding the completed cases,” the order issued by the General Administration Department read.

The order further states, “In case of receipt of an adverse report and on confirmation thereof by the State/Divisional/District Level Screening Committee, as the case may be, the appointment shall automatically stand cancelled without any notice.”

Jammu and Kashmir police. Representative image. Photo: PTI

Aim of the amendments

J&K has about 450,000 people employed in various government departments. The region lacks a robust corporate sector, thus making the government the biggest employer. As the majority of the educated youth in the Valley look for government jobs, these amendments have made aspirants anxious as they feel their past could be weighed in to cancel their selection at the time of appointment.

Tanveer Ahmad* (22) feels this order has eliminated him from competing for any government job. In 2014, Ahmad was arrested under Section 7/25 of the Arms Act, which deals with acquiring of, or possessing, carrying any prohibited arms or prohibited ammunition.

At the time of arrest, Ahmad was a juvenile. After eight months of custody in a juvenile jail, Ahmad started a fresh life. Today, he is enrolled in the University of Kashmir, pursuing a master’s programme in Islamic Studies. But now, he has no hopes of securing a government job in future, as he feels his record would be cited to cancel his candidature for any government job.

“Like me, hundreds of students who have enrolled in colleges and universities have been arrested on fake charges. With these new civil service rules coming into effect, our chances of acquiring a government job are minimal,” Ahmad said.

Sheikh Showkat Hussain, who formerly headed the department of law at the Central University of Kashmir, said while the verification process was mandated earlier too, the updated format is in line with the “present preoccupations” of people.

“Restrictions like these were prevalent throughout India and Kashmir earlier as well. In the late 1960s, the then government in Kashmir issued an order according to which people associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh and Islamic Study Circle were barred from government jobs. Now they have updated the manual in line with the evolving realities,” Sheikh said.


Showkat feels the aim of such amendments is to deter people from associating with the organisations mentioned in the order.

“What they intend to do is to harass people, so they remain aloof from these organisations. This is a sort of deterrence,” he said.

He explains this will choke the space further for those who remain within Kashmiri society “because they will be scared of associating with different groups, lest it may impede their chances of getting employment.”

Violates constitutional provisions

Constitutional experts in the Valley believe that the amended instructions violate multiple provisions of the constitution of India. Shafqat Nazir, advocate at the J&K high court explains that the new order violates Articles 14, 16, 19 and 21 of the constitution.

“In any other part of the country, such an arbitrary process is not followed during the recruitment process. This action of treating job aspirants of Jammu and Kashmir not at par with the aspirants from other states violates Article 14 of the constitution,” Shafqat said.

He further explained that these instructions do not provide equal opportunities in the right to employment and hence violate Article 16 of the constitution.

“This order will effectively categorise job aspirants. Those who have been vocal on social media or have been associated with any political activity which was permissible earlier but is banned now will face the brunt of these amended instructions. However a socially and politically disconnected candidate will be advantaged,” he added.

Shafqat said besides violating freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under Article 19, these rules also breach the privacy of the candidate implicit in Article 21 of the constitution.

“Making it mandatory to provide social media details and details of association with political organisations will put fear in the mind of the aspirant, who would definitely self-censor. In this way, these rules take away aspirants’ right to speak and express. This also amounts to the breach of privacy of a candidate,” he added.

The rules violate Articles 14, 16, 19 and 21 of the constitution, according to experts. Representative image. Photo: George Pagan III/Unsplash

‘Orwellian move to dispossess thoughts’

Rifling through his exam notes at his home in Central Kashmir’s Charar i Sharief town, Mohsin Hussain (26), said he would think a hundred times before posting anything on his social media accounts. He said the new service rules are intended to silence the vocal and articulate youth of the Valley.

“It is the dispossession of our thoughts. We do not have the right to think now. They want to curb our sentiment completely by changing our thought process. This will affect me psychologically,” he said.

Mohsin said the rules make an opinionated government job seeker an oxymoron of our time.

“I am a government job aspirant and with this order, I should not have any opinion. I have to be very sterile politically,” he told The Wire.

Gowhar Geelani, author and political analyst, told The Wire that the entire process is a form of punishment. He says it is intimidating for a lot of people to apply for a government job in Kashmir.

“It is off-putting on multiple counts. Human beings are thinking beings and they have political views too. How can their personal viewpoint be held against them and their professional skill set?” Geelani asked.

Geelani termed these amendments as Orwellian in nature and, comparing it to thought policing. “Such rules will create roadblocks. It will make job seeking difficult,” he added.

*Name changed

Zubair Amin is an independent journalist based in Kashmir. He Tweets @zubaiyramin.


Social media is bold. 

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 Social media is not satisfied with an answer.

Social media looks at the big picture.

 Social media is interested in every detail.

social media is curious.

 Social media is free.

Social media is irreplaceable.

But never irrelevant.

Social media is you.

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Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Reintegration key to handle Covid-19 job-market crisisReintegration key to handle Covid-19 job-market crisis

 Supreme Court Directed Govts for Specific Relief for Migrant Workers After Bombay Lawyers Intervened 

The pandemic of COVID-19 has resulted in one of the worst mass layoffs since the Great Depression. There is a huge concern that the crisis will exacerbate poverty and aggravate inequality around the world, with long-term consequences. It is crucial to develop an appropriate framework for countries to avoid the ongoing job crisis from escalating into a social crisis. The focus should be on rebuilding a resilient and sustainable labour market as it is a critical investment in the future and the long run, says DR GYAN PATHAK.

THERE is still a risk of a rapid buildup of long-term unemployment almost a year and a half into the pandemic crisis. At the end of 2020, there was a 60 percent increase in the number of people who had been unemployed for at least six months. This figure has continued to grow in the first quarter of 2021. Workers, who have not regained normal working hours are at a higher risk of becoming unemployed. At the same time, many of those who lost their jobs during the first phase of the pandemic have been jobless since then, and they may find it increasingly difficult to compete with those whose jobs were previously sheltered, as many job retention schemes are being phased out.


The pandemic’s influence on global employment opportunities and workforce

Though people and governments have managed to learn to coexist with the COVID-19 virus, allowing many to return to work, the deeply sectoral nature of the crisis and differences in the sheltering offered by various types of jobs have left some to bear the brunt of the burden in terms of job losses and reduced working time, as per the OECD Employment Outlook 2021.

Those working in low-paying jobs, often with fixed-term contracts, or with a low level of education, and especially youth, have been severely affected by the crisis’s ravages. These group’s working hours have decreased disproportionately, and unemployment has accounted for a larger share of the alteration.

Firms are also restructuring in ways that accelerate pre-existing megatrends like automation and digitalisation, which will have additional consequences.

According to the report, there are over 110 million fewer jobs worldwide, with a 20 million decrease in job availability in OECD countries.

Economic advancement is expected to accelerate as vaccination campaigns continue and countries begin to relax COVID-19 restrictions. 

Furthermore, many countries are providing unprecedented levels of assistance through job retention initiatives and income support, which are assisting many households in sustaining the pandemic. As a result, there is light at the end of the tunnel, but it shines brighter for some than others. It reflects inequality, which has already been expanding.

Cultural and gender disparities in the midst of the pandemic

We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has widened previously existing social and economic disparities between those with high skills and high incomes and those without, between generation to generation, between men and women, between those with good jobs and those with precarious jobs or no jobs at all.

Unemployment is high and job opportunities are not expected to retrieve swiftly. Youth, women, people with lower education levels, and self-employed people were particularly hard hit by the catastrophe and continue to stay among the most vulnerable.

The first wave of the crisis disproportionately affected temporary workers, while the second wave adversely affected workers in non-standard employment, whether temporary or self-employed, with significant implications for income security and well-being because they were not protected.

Those who lost their jobs at the beginning of the pandemic may be in even a much worse position now that the labour market is still unstable.

The full impact of the crisis on the labour market has yet to be experienced, and the final magnitude of net job devastation is likely to be determined not only by the length of restrictions but also by expectations and long-term shifts in consumer demand and technology.

The global recovery continues to be a struggle for job opportunities in the face of the pandemic. The labour market recovery will be slow in most countries.

Reaching pre-pandemic employment rates may take several years. Only Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, Germany, Greece, and Korea can hope for returning to the pre-pandemic employment rate by the end of 2021.

The Euro area may be able to return by the end of 2022, OECD countries, UK and US by 2023, countries like Iceland, Chile, Czech Republic by the end of 2024, and Countries like Iceland, Israel and many others in 2025 and beyond.

Since economies are slowly recovering, employment growth will be eventually slow, raising the possibility of long-term unemployment. 

Unemployment has declined since its peak in 2020, but it remains higher than it was in 2019. In May 2021, the OECD countries’ unemployment rate as a percentage of the labour force reached 6.6%.

Global unemployment trends and development

A more recent trend is that many unemployed people are not actively looking for new jobs. The main reason was a lack of available jobs, as well as the difficulties in finding one.

In 2019, 14 million more people did not work or sought work in OECD countries. Unemployment among those who have been out of work for 6 to 12 months has increased substantially, while unemployment among those who have been out of work for less than 6 months has increased by about 20%.

The social and economic disparities have also widened. As the economy improves, this situation has the potential to worsen further.

The report recommends the reconstruction of a more resilient and inclusive labour market, as well as the rectification of long-standing structural flaws exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis.

Failure to recognise inequality and exclusion now is likely to exacerbate societal divisions and could negatively affect the efficiency rate and economic recovery. In the changed scenario, approximately 53% of countries increased support for job applicants, and approximately 52% increased support for matching skill needs and talent. It is recommended for all countries because investing in productivity and jobs will aid people in going back to work.

A more stable and efficient government framework to combat unemployment

What should governments do?

The first of the top three suggestions is to ‘invest in productive jobs.’

Fund reskilling, especially green and digital skills, to guide job seekers to emerging employment opportunities, while also assisting firms in transitioning out of support and identifying the skills and workers they require – and hiring them.

‘Tailor employment support and training’ to further develop specific measures to assist the most vulnerable groups (youth, women, low-skilled workers, and some self-employed) in reintegrating into the labour force.

Priority should be given to ensuring adequate social protection and job quality to address the gap that exists in social protection and extend coverage to workers who are frequently left out, as well as ensuring that as new jobs are created or existing jobs evolve, they are of high quality. (IPA Service)



Social media is bold. 

Social media is young.

Social media raises questions.

 Social media is not satisfied with an answer.

Social media looks at the big picture.

 Social media is interested in every detail.

social media is curious.

 Social media is free.

Social media is irreplaceable.

But never irrelevant.

Social media is you.

(With input from news agency language)

 If you like this story, share it with a friend!  

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Thursday, 6 May 2021

Informing youth about job opportunities to improve the effectiveness of training programmes


Launched in 2014 by the central government, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Garmeen Kaushalya Yojana seeks to provide skills-based training to rural, marginalised youth, and to place them in salaried jobs. Based on an experiment conducted in Bihar and Jharkhand, this article shows that providing detailed information about the programme and prospective jobs to the trainees, helps align their expectations with realities, and enhances job retention.


A vast majority of the youth in India are engaged in informal jobs, or employed in small unorganised enterprises (Mehrotra 2020). To promote formal salaried employment, in 2014, the Ministry of Rural Development of the Government of India, launched a national skills-based training programme – Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Garmeen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY). The programme provides short-term residential training to disadvantaged rural youth between 15 and 35. Unlike other training programmes, DDU-GKY ensures that every trainee will be offered a placement job. Despite this, according to official data, about one million of youth were trained since 2014, but only about 55% of them were placed.

Initial discussions with training providers and state officials in charge of implementation in Bihar and Jharkhand highlighted their concern regarding drop-out from training (12% according to administrative records), low placement rates (about 50%), and low retention in the placement jobs (about 60% after three months). One possible reason mentioned is that many of the trainees were unaware of the details regarding the placement jobs. There also seems to be some misalignment between trainee’s expectations and the actual economic returns to training, which was also highlighted by recent research from Banerjee and Chiplunkar (2020). This forms the basis of our research.

The experiment

In a project funded by the IGC, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the University of Warwick, we set up a randomised experiment in the states of Bihar and Jharkhand, two of India’s poorest states, to investigate whether providing detailed information about post-training jobs could improve placement outcomes for DDUGKY trainees (Chakravorty et al. 2020). The experiment includes 86 training batches (about 2,500 trainees)1, of which 42 were randomly allocated to the treatment group and the remaining 44 to the control group2.

The intervention administered to the treatment group consisted of two classroom information sessions about the DDU-GKY programme (number of days of training, modules taught, facilities provided during and after the training), and prospective job opportunities (job location, compensation package, working hours). The sessions ended on a motivational note about the possibilities of on-the-job career progression. The first session happened at the beginning of the training, the second before placement.

Our expectation from this intervention is that trainees who continue with the training would be better informed about the placement jobs, and therefore less likely to be negatively surprised, and more likely to stay. Candidates who realise early on that the placement jobs do not match their expectations, may decide to drop out of the training, and be replaced by candidates who may need the programme more than they do. Hence, the intervention would improve the targetting of resources on trainees who really value them.


To evaluate the effect of the intervention, we conducted four rounds of surveys with 2,488 trainees between December 2018 and May 2020. The average age is 20 years, and 52% of trainees are female. In Jharkhand 46% of the trainees are Scheduled Tribes, in Bihar 33% are Scheduled Castes, and around 79% of the trainees are from BPL (below poverty line) households, which suggests that DDU-GKY does fulfil its mission of targetting disadvantaged youth. Most trainees did not have any job before joining the training.

We find that overall, the intervention did not change the likelihood of training being completed, nor the likelihood of being placed in a job (Figure 1). However, trainees in the treatment group were 17% more likely to stay in the jobs in which they were placed, for at least until five months after training completion. This suggests that a low-cost intervention can achieve substantial improvements in placement outcomes. These average effects mask important heterogeneity by level of education and gender3.

Figure 1. Impact of the intervention on training and placement outcomes

We first consider heterogeneity by level of education. The intervention increases the probability of training completion among less educated youth (less than grade 12) by 7% (Figure 2a). In contrast, the intervention decreases the probability of training completion among more educated youth (grade 12 and above) by 50% (Figure 2b). This suggests that more educated youth have better outside options, and hence, when they learn about the details of the placement jobs, they are disappointed and drop out of the training. Thus, the intervention improves the targetting of DDU-GKY towards the less educated youth.

Figure 2. Impact of the intervention by level of education: less than grade 12 (left; 2a) and grade 12 and above (right; 2b)

Turning to heterogeneity by gender, we find that the treatment has no effect on women (Figure 3a). In contrast, the effect of treatment on men is large (Figure 3b) – the intervention increases the placement probability by 33% and the probability of job retention for at least five months after training by 46% in men. These results suggest that the mismatch between expectations and placement jobs may be more important for male than female trainees – women have fewer alternative employment opportunities, and have very low dropout, higher placement, and higher retention to start with.

Figure 3. Impact of the intervention, by gender: women (left; 3a) and men (right; 3b)


We conclude that, providing detailed information about post-training job opportunities can help to align trainees’ expectations with realistic earnings, and be more effective in increasing job retention. This finding is notable, given that the cost of delivering this kind of intervention is low. Implementing a similar intervention in a larger scale has the potential to enable training providers to better meet the goals of the DDU-GKY.

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  1. A batch is a group of students who enrol, have classes, and graduate together.
  2. Randomisation ensures that the control group is comparable to the treatment group, and that the only difference between the two is that the treatment group received the information intervention. The randomisation design ensured equal numbers of treatment and control in each state and sector of training.
  3. We investigate heterogeneity by caste and find no statistically significant difference

Further Reading

Social media is bold.

Social media is young.

Social media raises questions.

 Social media is not satisfied with an answer.

Social media looks at the big picture.

 Social media is interested in every detail.

social media is curious.

 Social media is free.

Social media is irreplaceable.

But never irrelevant.

Social media is you.

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Friday, 4 June 2021

No recovery in global jobs market forecast until 2023 due to Covid


At least 220 million people expected to remain unemployed globally this year, well above 187 million recorded in 2019, a new report by International Labour Organization says.

Job seekers wait outside the New Hampshire Works employment security job centre in Manchester, US on May 10, 2021.
Job seekers wait outside the New Hampshire Works employment security job centre in Manchester, US on May 10, 2021. (AP)

At least 220 million people are expected to remain unemployed globally this year, well above pre-pandemic levels, with a weak labour market recovery exacerbating existing inequalities, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has said.

The United Nations agency on Wednesday forecast the outlook improving to 205 million unemployed next year, still well above the 187 million recorded in 2019 before the coronavirus crisis wreaked havoc.

According to ILO models, that equates to a global unemployment rate of 6.3 percent this year, falling to 5.7 percent next year but still up on the pre-pandemic rate of 5.4 percent in 2019.

"Employment growth will be insufficient to make up for the losses suffered until at least 2023," the ILO said in a report, World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2021.




Working hour losses

Stefan Kuehn, ILO economist and lead author of the report, told Reuters that the true impact on the labour market was even greater when reduced working hours imposed on many workers and other factors were accounted for.

All told, it estimated that working hours losses in 2020 relative to 2019 amounted to the equivalent of 144 million full-time jobs in 2020, a shortfall that still stood at 127 million in the second quarter of this year.

"Unemployment does not capture the impact on the labour market," Kuehn said, noting that whereas hiring in the United States had resumed after massive job losses, many workers elsewhere, particularly in Europe, remained on reduced-hours schemes.

Hardest-hit populations

Women, young people and the 2 billion people working in informal sectors have been hardest hit, with 108 million more workers worldwide now categorised as poor or extremely poor compared to 2019, it said. 

"Five years of progress towards the eradication of working poverty have been undone," the report said.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies 
Social media is bold. 

Social media is young.

Social media raises questions.

 Social media is not satisfied with an answer.

Social media looks at the big picture.

 Social media is interested in every detail.

social media is curious.

 Social media is free.

Social media is irreplaceable.

But never irrelevant.

Social media is you.

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Monday, 21 December 2020

Job Hunting in a Bad Economy ?

Finding a job is a bad economic environment can be tricky to navigate. You’ll find yourself on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. It’s depressing to apply for job, after job, after job and not get interviews.

When you do find you have an interview. There might be feelings of anxiety. It’s natural to want to make a good first impression, so you might worry about selecting the right outfit, turning up on time, beating the traffic and trying to find a park. You might have the additional requirements of having to hire a babysitter, finding someone to look after your elderly parents or your disabled partner.

It’s depressing to read an email to say that you haven’t been shortlisted. You might have missed out it an opportunity or role that you thought you were perfect for you and your career. So how do you stay motivated?

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Sales Officer - JOB

 Sales Officer
Janani DKT International
Location: India

Janani DKT- INERNATIONAL head quarter based at Patna, is an NGO which is register under Indian society Act 1860, working across India in social marketing, and it is affiliated with DKT International, based at Washington D.C. A non-governmental organization and one of the largest social marketing organizations at the world level operating in 22 developing countries. In India, Janani is working in contraceptive Social Marketing Program under the Health Ministry for Family Welfare, Government of India, since 1995.

Current Job Opening for SALES OFFICER
Job Title: Sales Officer
Reports To: Area Business Manager

Minimum Qualification: Graduate with University Degree, preferably in Business Administration or equivalent.

Experience: At least 3 years experience in social marketing / FMCG marketing /Health Sector, sales and distribution. Preferably involved in consumer goods sales.

Vacancies for - (operating HQ): Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, and Maharashtra.

Job Description
Ensure effective overall strategies for sales and marketing of all Janani Products. Plan, design and execute Janani’s social/ commercial marking and sales distribution operations. Direct and control the social/ commercial marketing and sales distribution function. Monitor market trends. Provide regular feedback on market / program trend and product performance to management. Performance against marketing plans and sales targets (Market growth rate). Effectiveness of warehousing and distribution systems/Operations. Quality of relationship with distributor, clients, contracted agencies and other partners. Quality and timeliness of reports provided and perform other duties as assigned by Supervisor.

The remuneration package for the successful candidates shall be attractive and comparable with the best in the sector.

Janani is an equal opportunity employer providing primarily women’s reproductive health services, therefore women candidates are especially encouraged to apply.

If interested and qualified for this position, please send your CV (including 3 work related references) along with one page cover note to alternatively you can apply online on our website Please mention the position you are applying for in the subject line.

Job Email id:     recruitment(at)


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Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Covid-19: Asia at risk of financial turmoil resulting in huge job losses

 Covid-19: Asia at risk of financial turmoil resulting in huge job losses 

BY ; 

Gyan Pathak

ASIA is now running the risk of financial turmoil. Hopes of its recovery have been dashed by the second wave of Covid-19 in India.

It has even endangered the global economic recovery.

The drop in employment for the region has been projected to nearly 70 percent of the total employment loss globally.


The estimated wage income losses for the region may range from $348 billion to $533 billion as against the global loss of $1.3 to $1.8 trillion, and it is only an early estimate.

Given the low earnings of the working class in this region, its impact would be devastating though the loss would be only about 30 percent of the global wage loss.

There are many other lingering risks clouding the regional outlook, says an ADBI working paper, “Macroeconomic Impact of COVID-19 in Developing Asia”, while warning that risks of financial turmoil and financial crises cannot be discounted.

Employment has been severely impacted. The most affected would be unskilled workers, women, informal sector workers, and foreign workers.

Particularly at risk are the workers in the informal sector, which is characterised by low wages and lack of access to social protection. Around 7 in 10 workers in the region are in the informal economy.

South Asia, where would be at higher risks of poverty because of the crisis as at least 9 in 10 people are informal workers. 

Even before the pandemic struck, manual and routine jobs were at risk from robotisation and automation. Technological change is leading the polarization of low and high-skilled jobs and hollowing out of middle-skilled ones, displacing middle-skilled workers into lower-paying work and further driving down wages of low-skilled workers.

Covid-19 has accelerated digital transformation and automation as workers are forced to work from home and stay out of offices. This has fast-tracked job polarization trends and widening of wage inequality, to the detriment of workers in labour-intensive, low-skill, and informal jobs.

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Jobs held by migrant workers may be particularly vulnerable, the paper said, who accounted for 91 million which is about one-third of all migrant workers worldwide, and about 44 percent which is over $316 billion of global remittances in 2019.

With the pandemic triggering a global recession, destination economies of these Asian migrants are projected to suffer a contraction in economic output and numerous jobs lost.

Severe losses of migrant jobs have been reported in retail trade, manufacturing, hospitality and recreation, and accommodation and food services sectors.

In addition, border control restrictions are putting migrant workers’ job security and well-being in peril. Crucial remittances they send home to their families are thus expected to decline dramatically.

MSEMEs Seriously Affected

The pandemic has put a severe strain on firms, especially on MSMEs.

The Asian Development Bank has conducted a series of surveys and found that most enterprises are in very bad shape. They have reduced their workforce and are experiencing production and supply disruptions. They see sharp reductions in sales and revenues. Lack of funds has made retaining their business difficult. Only a few were able to obtain bank credit, though authorities in all countries introduced measures of special refinancing, soft loans, or guaranteed loans. Most MSMEs need further assistance from governments to survive.

The crisis could reverse years of progress towards eliminating poverty in developing Asia, the paper warns.

In 2020, Covid-19 has added to the number of poor in the region by 162 million (below $3.2 earning per day). Even at $1.9 per day, 78 million were pushed into extreme poverty.

Covid-19 could further worsen income inequality, chiefly because it is hitting harder the working people in general and less skilled ones in particular. Economic contraction and containment measures would lead to slower recovery.

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The government fiscal stimulus measures could also exacerbate income inequality if these are not well-designed and targeted at protecting jobs and livelihoods of low-income households and vulnerable groups. 

It has been warned that the “new normal” may exacerbate the “digital divide” by creating technological unemployment, especially among the poor, as well as disproportionate business failures of MSMEs by facilitating rapid digitalisation. For example, a UNICEF report showed that around a third of schoolchildren in Asia as well as in the world cannot access remote learning during school closures due to lack of home-based technology and tools.

The projected contraction in the majority of developing Asia’s economies has raised concerns about the threat from rising non-performing loans (NPLs) and financial instability.

The economic slowdown implies lower corporate earnings and higher unemployment, exacerbating the debt service burden for both firms and households.

Many corporations and enterprises, especially MSMEs, face the risk of default due to prolonged forced business closures. 

Job losses also imply rising household debts and mortgage defaults. As NPLs would rise, emerging economies would become more vulnerable to withdrawal of funds by major global lenders, and also bank’s balance sheets’ health would deteriorate, which in turn would constrain their lending capacity.

It is therefore imperative for governments to move beyond the pandemic towards the “new normal” and must get their economies back on track while grappling with the constraints created due to the spread of the pandemic and response measures.

Economies have been opening slowly, but it has resulted in new waves of infection. It must be determined on the basis of data available which measures work best in controlling the virus while costing the least for the economy.

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Measures that may work

Cross-country data suggest that contact tracing combined with a paid sick leave policy is highly effective in controlling the spread of Covid-19. In addition, mass testing bans on gathering, and a mandate on masks are effective in controlling spread and are less costly for economy. Therefore, such measures should be the central features until herd immunity is achieved.

There is no way that economies can return to their pre-Covid environments anytime soon.

Therefore, we must find ways for all affected sectors of the economy to survive and thrive under new circumstances, maybe with plans of phased recovery, digitalisation, re-skilling, stronger social protection programmes, clear action plan for banks, and improving sovereign debt to achieve medium-term fiscal sustainability.  (IPA Service)



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social media is curious.

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Social media is irreplaceable.

But never irrelevant.

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Friday, 12 February 2021

Did MNREGA Cushion Job Losses During the COVID-19 Crisis?

 Analysis suggests that districts that have historically exhibited high state capacity to utilise MNREGA funds have been better able to use the additional funds for employment recovery last year – especially for women.

Did MNREGA Cushion Job Losses During the COVID-19 Crisis? 


Data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE)’s Consumer Pyramids Household Survey (CPHS) show that employment fell precipitously during the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown, especially in April and May 2020. It exhibited a V-shaped recovery in June-July, when mobility restrictions were eased, but tapered off thereafter and has remained below the pre-pandemic level since the economy was opened up further from August onwards. A key measure that the government undertook to pump up employment was increased allocation for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA).

This year’s Budget allocation for MNREGA is Rs 73,000 crore – 34% less than the revised estimates of Rs 111,500 crore for 2020-21. The allocation for last year was increased from the initial allocation of Rs 61,500 crores following the COVID-19 migrant crisis. While the allocated amount for MNREGA this year is 18% more than the budget estimate for 2020-21, it is only 2% more than what was spent in 2019-20 (Rs 71,600 crore).

Employment gains from MNREGA spending in 2020-21

In the context of budgetary allocation, it is imperative to understand what the overall employment gains from MNREGA spending were last year and where the gains accrued. This is because the programme can potentially lead to not only direct gains in employment, but also have a multiplier effect on the economy by spurring demand for goods, as additional income reaches the hands of people.

The programme generated approximately 202 crore person-days of work until September 2020, compared with 188 crore for the entire fiscal year of 2019-20. Figure 1 compares the district-level monthly average person-days of work per rural inhabitant generated under the scheme in 2020 and 2019. The average person-days of work generated in May-June 2020 saw a sharp spike, which again fell in July-August 2020 (the peak agriculture season) but remained slightly higher in 2020 than in 2019 even during August. Thus, the person-days of work provided under MNREGA increased manifold between January-March and April-May 2020 (19%), June-July 2020 (94%) and August 2020 (20%).

District-level monthly average MNREGA person-days per rural inhabitant, 2020 and 2019

Source: Authors’ calculation from MNREGA public data portal

A closer look at the data shows that the increase in person-days of work provided in 2020 was higher in districts with above-median historical state capacity to provide MNREGA person-days – measured by the average number of person-days per rural inhabitant provided under the scheme during 2014-2018 in a district.

Districts with historically higher state capacity to generate person-days under MNREGA not only generated more person-days in 2020 under the scheme but also witnessed a sharper absolute rise (from 0.53 to 1.12 person-days per rural inhabitant) in generation between March and June 2020, compared to historically low performing districts (from 0.09 to 0.31 person-days per rural inhabitant). Hence, state capacity to utilise public funds has been a critical determinant of governments’ ability to respond quickly to economic crises.

Our analysis using the CMIE-CPHS data shows that an increase in historical state capacity to provide employment under MNREGA by one day per rural inhabitant (approximately moving a district from 50th to 95th percentile of the MNREGA historical state capacity distribution) in a month reduced job losses in rural areas during April-August 2020 by 3.1 percentage points overall or 7% over the pre-crisis employment rate.

Rural women’s employment increased relatively, by 8.6 percentage points or 74%, suggesting that not only were employment losses for women stemmed, but women who were previously not in the labour force may also have entered the market during the crisis in districts with high MNREGA state capacity. Thus, it appears that women benefitted more than men from the employment guarantee, in terms of bolstering their overall employment rate. However, we find no spillover effects due to MNREGA on the urban labour market.

Why did women benefit more?

Reservation for women in MNREGA jobs and possibly higher allocation of MNREGA person-days to women during the crisis cannot explain the disproportionate – female workers made up for approximately 48.5% of MNREGA person-days, both before and during the pandemic crisis. Women’s labour market participation has been shown to be countercyclical in existing research – with significant losses to household incomes, women often join the workforce.

However, women are likely to prefer jobs near their home due to mobility restrictions, safety concerns, and the need to balance care work with market work (paid work outside the home and besides MNREGA) as well as a guaranteed job. Since MNREGA guarantees work within the village precincts, it meets many, if not all, of the preferred job characteristics of women.

We find that gains in employment for rural women, in areas with historically high MNREGA state capacity, varied by marital status, education, children and poverty levels. Married women’s employment probability increased by 33% more than women who were never married, and that of women with primary school-going children increased by 33% more than those in households with no child in that age group. These findings support the hypothesis that limited mobility and the need to balance childcare duties could have led to women accessing a public guarantee programme like MNREGA more than men in the past year.

Employment probability of women who were less educated or in households classified as ‘poor’ increased relatively more due to MNREGA. However, we do not find any significant difference in employment increase due to MNREGA state capacity, by previous employment status of women. In other words, women who were previously employed as well as those who were not reportedly employed pre-crisis, benefitted in historically high MNREGA state capacity areas.

Lastly, rural women in districts having low migrant worker population were more likely to join the workforce during April-August. This can potentially be attributed to the lower demand for limited MNREGA jobs in low-migrant districts, as primarily male migrant workers returned to rural regions post the nationwide lockdown in March.

On the other hand, we find no differential employment effects along the dimensions of marriage or children in the household for rural men. Thus, mobility and childcare concerns were additional factors due to which women may have benefited more from MNREGA during the crisis. 

Capacity-building is critical

Demand for social protection peaked during the crisis and is likely to remain high. While women’s labour force participation has been dismal in India, even more so in urban areas, they are likely to join the workforce during periods of economic distress. Thus, the nature of guaranteed jobs – the skills required and wages offered – can be a critical determinant of which demographic groups benefit from such social protection.Our analysis shows that past state capacity to utilise MNREGA funds has aided employment recovery, and more so for women. Augmenting MNREGA funds – along with efforts to ensure that local bureaucracy and grassroots institutions have the capacity to quickly translate funds into jobs on the ground – is thus critical for protecting livelihoods and creating a multiplier effect on aggregate demand in the economy.

 This article was published in collaboration with Ideas for India.

 Social media is bold.

Social media is young.

Social media raises questions.

 Social media is not satisfied with an answer.

Social media looks at the big picture.

 Social media is interested in every detail.

social media is curious.

 Social media is free.

Social media is irreplaceable.

But never irrelevant.

Social media is you.

(With input from news agency language)

 If you like this story, share it with a friend!  

    We are a non-profit organization. Help us financially to keep our journalism free from government and corporate pressure



Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Will Keep Fighting for Workers, Farmers and Women’—Nodeep Kaur

‘Will Keep Fighting for Workers, Farmers and Women’—Nodeep Kaur 


The story of the unflinchingly brave workers’ rights activist Nodeep Kaur has captured the national imagination ever since her arrest in January. In this interview, Nodeep says her struggle for the rights of workers and women will only get stronger. VIVEK GUPTA reports from Chandigarh on her struggle and plans.


BORN in Gandhar village of Punjab’s Muktsar district, Nodeep Kaur was in her teens when her village was woken up to a brutal rape of a Dalit girl in 2014.

Twenty-three-year-old Nodeep, who recently emerged as a symbol of labour rights in India, says she knew the victim very well as their family lived in her neighbourhood.

“Her story was tragic,” she recalls. The upper caste men of her village picked the victim on her way to school and gang-raped her.

It is only after a protest by the victims’ family and worker unions that the police were forced to arrest all the accused, charged them with gang-rape, and then tried them for the crime in local courts, says Nodeep.

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She says that since her childhood she noticed how “normal” it was considered in rural Punjab to mete out ill-treatment to the Dalits.

Sharing a personal anecdote, she says that whenever she accompanied her mother to work in fields owned by big landlords, they often faced their misbehaviour including bad language. The wages they were paid were also inadequate and not on time, she says.

Through such experiences, Nodeep saw the caste fault-lines within society and the state machinery’s tepid response to the plight of those who live on its margins.

“When something troubles with the poor, no one, be it the police or rich people, comes to their help. They are left with no way out except to unionise and join hands with each other and fight for justice,” says Nodeep, who grew up in a poor family that, like millions of others, survived on the pain of daily labour.

Nodeep has four sisters and two brothers. Except for her elder sister Rajveer Kaur, no one could get a proper education in her family due to financial difficulties, she says.

She studied in her village school till class eight. Then, after a few years, she completed her tenth and then twelfth classes in the open school.

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She says she tried to educate herself further, but the pressure to earn a livelihood did not allow this.

Delhi changes her life

Her sister Rajveer Kaur’s admission to Delhi University in an M.Phil programme after her post-graduation from Patiala’s Punjabi University allowed Nodeep to leave her village and Punjab for the first time.

Nodeep, who was not getting much work in Punjab, thought she would earn more in Delhi and that may help her return to studying. This is how she landed in the national capital in 2019.

She says her first job in Delhi was at a call centre in Azad Nagar. “But I left the job soon after when I realised that I was made to make false premises about employment to callers,” she says.

She came in contact with student union politics in Delhi through Rajveer, who was already actively involved in the union and was also involved in fronts such as the Bhagat Singh Students’ Front, named after the great Punjabi revolutionary.

“But the pressure of working was always there as parents often ask me to find some work or return home,” says Nodeep.

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That is how, last year, she went in for employment in the industrial area in Kundli, a small town in Sonepat district on the Delhi-Haryana border. It was a move that later became her new battleground.

Nodeep’s first job soon after the Covid-19 lockdown was with a firm that makes headphones and lighting for home decor. But she was pained to see the labourers being made to work for 12 hours a day without Sundays off.

“In exchange for such hard labour, the monthly salary was a mere Rs. 7,000 a month, not more than Rs. 230 a day, whereas state labour laws fixed minimum pages of Rs. 9,300 for an eight-hour job,” she says.

“There was a salary cut when sometimes I left work early. I could not cope with it and left it later, she informs.

She says, “Another firm that I joined in June that was manufacturing LED lights had similar labour conditions.”

She says the firm’s manufacturing unit was near the Singhu border where farmers later squatted for protest against the Centre’s three new farm laws.

“During my work period, I found that wages were not as per the government’s minimum wage protocols. The condition of female labourers was even more exploited as their monthly salary was even lower than what the men would make,” she says.

This is when she came into contact with Mazdoor Adkhikar Sangathan (MAS), a local group that was actively highlighting workers’ rights and their issues in the Kundli industrial area.

This group came to exist three years ago under the leadership of people like Shiv Kumar (who currently is in jail), says Nodeep.

More than 1.5 lakh labourers are employed in Kundli factories. But industry owners often ignore their rights and do not help families of those who die during work or of work-related complications, she says.

After the sudden lockdown in March last year, there was a major issue of non-payment of pending dues of the workers.

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When labourers returned to work after the lockdown, the factory owners did not pay them. They were already reeling under huge financial hardships because of the lack of work for over a month. Many left, but those who stayed on had no money to even feed their family, leave aside home rent and other needs.

Nodeep says MAS often engaged in conflicts with factory owners over the payment issue and helped several labourers get their pending dues.

“MAS also came to my rescue when my employer refused to clear my wages following my active engagement with MAS, which involved skipping work every now and then,” she adds.

She remembers actively participating in MAS’s massive protest against the alleged gang-rape of two Dalit girls in police custody. The girls had been arrested in connection with the alleged murder of two policemen of the Butana outpost in Sonipat.

“But I had to leave the job soon as this firm was not in favour of my active engagement with union work,” she says.

“In fact, I was refused work in other factories too. Later, I stopped trying since I learned I was on the target list of the industries in the area,” she recalls.

She says the Kundli Industrial Association has formed a team of security guards known as a quick reaction team (QRT), which has armed bouncers.

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On paper, its purpose is to protect industrial properties from theft and other security threats.

But Nodeep alleges that the QRT also worked to suppress those who are fighting for the rights of workers in the area.

On several occasions, QRT beat and threatened workers involved in a peaceful demonstration, she says.

The Kundli Industrial Association has formed a team of security guards known as a quick reaction team (QRT), which has armed bouncers. The company says its purpose is to protect industrial properties from theft and other security threats. But Nodeep says QRT suppresses workers and beats peaceful demonstrators.

“Even we were stopped from circulating pamphlets among workers to make them aware of their problems and labour rights,” she says.

Clashes and aftermath

Nodeep says her arrest on 12 January has its genesis in a 28 December protest.

“Like our previous demonstration, we gathered outside a factory which had not released the pending dues of a group of labourers. A group of QRT bouncers showed up and started manhandling us. One of them even fired in open. We approached the police and marched towards the Kundli police station. We sent an email to the SP Sonipat, but no action was taken against QRT staff,” says Nodeep.

Instead, she and other workers were slapped with a case (FIR 649/2020) by the Kundli police station under section 148 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly, 384 (extortion) of Indian Penal Code, 1860.

Freelance journalist Mandeep Punia has recorded the incident in a story published in December in The Caravan magazine.

Nodeep says that since workers sought MAS’s help for the release of their pending dues, they had no option but to regularly hold marches in front of factories to put pressure on them.

“On 12 January, we held a similar peaceful demonstration. We went to a couple of factories where owners assured us to release pending dues at the earliest. But all of sudden, we were under attack by QRT. I and other women were also beaten. The police reached the spot later and beat us too,” Nodeep recalls.

She says, “Such a tense atmosphere was created that many from our side were also forced to respond to the QRT attack and police brutality in self-defense before the crowd was made to scatter.”

The state and industries version is different. Industry sees MAS as extortionists causing trouble to factories for months for fictitious pending dues.

Dheeraj Choudhary, a KIA executive, claimed in a media interview that why would any industry not pay workers? That KIA did not threaten anyone with violence or assault. He also said that if salaries were stopped, it must have been for a reason — for instance, if the worker “did not follow company rules”.

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On QRT, KIA president Subhash Gupta reportedly said: “We have been robbed a lot of times. Our generators have been stolen and intruders have tried to get in. That is why we keep guards.”

Police saw MAS’s 12 January demonstration as an act of vandalism and hooliganism. It claimed the protest was violent and when police tried to disperse the crowd, they were attacked with sticks, injuring seven police personnel. There were also alleged attempts to snatch police weapons.

Police saw MAS’s 12 January demonstration as an act of vandalism and hooliganism. It claimed the protest was violent and when police tried to disperse the crowd, they were attacked with sticks, injuring seven police personnel. There were also alleged attempts to snatch police weapons.

Soon after the clash, Nodeep was picked up and two more FIRs were filed against her. Shiv Kumar was arrested three days later and faces similar charges. Nodeep faces sections 148, 149, 332 (deterring public servant from his duty), 353 (assault on public servant), 186 (voluntarily obstructs public servant of his public function), 384, 379-B (snatching), and 307 (attempt to murder) under the Indian Penal Code, 1860, registered at Police Station Kundli, district Sonipat.

FIR No. 26/2021 that was filed was at the behest of the accountant of the company where the incident occurred has four criminal charges under section 148, 149, 384, and 506 (criminal intimidation) of Indian Penal Code, 1860, registered at Police Station Kundli, District Sonipat.

Sister act, Harris support and bail at last

These events got hardly any media attention until Nodeep’s sister Rajveer and a group of her friends started fighting for her release.

In an interview published on 25 January, Rajveer said Nodeep was tortured in police custody and framed because she was fighting for labour rights.

She also claimed the state was worried that she was mobilising support for the farmers’ protest at the Singhu border.

Later, Rajveer claimed her sister was hit in her private parts, which the police have denied.

Word of the arrests spread and human rights organisations began talking about it. Nodeep’s story was picked up in other major portals notably by The Wire on 3 February.

The issue caught major media attention after US-based lawyer Meena Harris, a relative of American vice president Kamala Harris tweeted on 6 February about Nodeep’s case and seeking her release.

The Hindu newspaper reported on February 27 that after Harris’ tweet, everybody seemed interested in the story of the young activist. She was all over the social and mainstream media, with hashtags seeking her release trending on Twitter. “The issue gained centre stage with the arrest of climate activist Disha Ravi and the media drawing parallels between the two young women activists. Support also poured in from farmers’ unions,” the report says.

A Sonipat court granted Nodeep bail on 12 February in connection with the 28 December FIR related to extortion and rioting.

She got more relief on 15 February, when a judicial magistrate in the Sonepat district court allowed her release in the 12 January FIR filed on a complaint of the company’s accountant.

But she was still in the jail premises in Karnal since the local court denied her bail in the third FIR related to the 12 January incident in which the police had slapped non-bailable charges of attempt to murder among others on the complaint of Kundli police station SHO.

It was during her bail argument in Punjab and Haryana High Court that her medical examination report was taken on record.

As per media reports on 26 February, the doctors who examined her at Sonipat Civil Hospital on 25 January, 13 days after her arrest, found bruises on various parts of her body.

The medical report said the injuries were simple and caused by a blunt object or weapon.

A Sonipat court granted Nodeep bail on 12 February in connection with the 28 December FIR related to extortion and rioting. She got more relief on 15 February when a Sonepat district court released her in the second case. During her bail argument in the Punjab and Haryana High Court on the third FIR, her medical examination was recorded. Doctors had found bruises on her body.

The High Court granted Nodeep bail in the third case as well, much to the relief of a large number of institutions and individuals that had been campaigning for her release. Then a startling fact came to notice relating to MAS president Shiv Kumar, co-accused in the case.

A medical examination report submitted by Chandigarh based Government Medical College and Hospital revealed on 24 February that Kumar, 24, had multiple injuries, including at least two fractures on his left hand and right foot, “caused by blunt object/ weapon”. The injuries are “more than two weeks old”, says the report. The next hearing in his bail plea filed by his father is on 16 March.

Emergence of a young activist

After her release from jail, Nodeep has been hailed for her courage and determination.

She told The Leaflet that when she was shifted to Karnal Jail after her arrest on 12 January, her mind was restless that their fight for pending wages of labourers and other issues is still not over.

“I somehow lost a bit of hope whether I would be able to come out of jail. It is when my parents met me in jail that I narrated the entire police brutality against me and that is how my medical [examination] was conducted on 25 January,” says Nodeep.

She says her hopes grew strong again when she learned of the public support for her release. “How can we be called extortionists for seeking the release of pending wages? Asking for minimum wages is not extortion. Minimum wages are a government rule that is not being implemented and we are fighting for it,” she says.

‘How can we be called extortionists for seeking the release of pending wages? Asking for minimum wages is not extortion. Minimum wages are a government rule that is not being implemented and we are fighting for it.’

She says, “Our fight is long. We want labour laws implemented, whether in Kundli or other industrial parks. The pending wages stuck since the lockdown should be released at the earliest.”

“I urge everyone to stand up for Shiv Kumar as well and demand his release, as has also been framed just for raising the voice of poor labourers,” she says.

‘Our fight is long. We want labour laws implemented in Kundli and other industrial parks. The pending wages stuck since the lockdown should be released. My hopes grew strong when I learned of public support for My release. I now urge everyone to stand up for Shiv Kumar and demand his release for he has also been framed for raising the voice of poor labourers.’

“I will keep fighting for labour rights and better conditions for farmers and women,” she says.

(Vivek Gupta is a senior journalist based in Chandigarh. The views are personal.)

source ;  theleaflet

Social media is bold.

Social media is young.

Social media raises questions.

 Social media is not satisfied with an answer.

Social media looks at the big picture.

 Social media is interested in every detail.

social media is curious.

 Social media is free.

Social media is irreplaceable.

But never irrelevant.

Social media is you.

(With input from news agency language)

 If you like this story, share it with a friend!  

We are a non-profit organization. Help us financially to keep our journalism free from government and corporate pressure