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Thursday, January 18, 2018
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Issues concerning employment and minimum wages in India's urban informal economy
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Issues concerning employment and minimum wages in India's urban informal economy

11 pages · 2.57 EUR
(September 2016)

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This paper attempts to look critically at the position of the expanding informal economy in India. This section which comprises 93% of the labour force has minimum social protection and other benefits that lead to decent work. The first part deals with the dimensions of informal employment and later it discusses the issue of minimum wages which would provide a minimum economic protection to the workforce.

With a total population of 1.2 billion India is the second largest country in the world next to China. The population of India is 1.2 billion in 2011 census and the decennial growth rate is 17% which is lower than the previous decade but much higher than China’s decennial rate of around 5%. India should be overtaking China in population by 2030.

The literacy rate is an important variable in determining the nature of the labour force. A high level of literacy could mean a high level of skill. According to the Census of India any person aged 7 or above who can read and write in any language is a literate. It mentions that a person who can read but not write is not literate. In 2011 census there were 1.05 billion over 7 years of age and 75% of them were literate. This could be considered a leap as in the 2001 census 65% of the population were literate. Nonetheless, India has the highest number of illiterates in the world. This leads to the growth of unskilled and vulnerable labour.

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the author
Sharit K. Bhowmik
Sharit K. Bhowmik

is a Sociologist who specialises in labour studies. He was Professor of Labour Studies at Tata Institute of Social Sciences and was earlier the coordinator (India) of the Global Labour University. He is National Fellow (Sociology), Indian Council of Sociel Sciences Research.