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Provident fund body likely to hike monthly wage ceiling to Rs 25,000 on 19 December

New Delhi: Retirement fund body EPFO is likely to approve a proposal to hike wage ceiling for coverage under its social security schemes to Rs 25,000 per month from the existing Rs 15,000 on 19 December.



The move can bring in 50 lakh more formal sector workers into the social security net of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) in addition to its existing subscriber base of around 4 crore organised sector workers.

The apex decision making body of the EPFO — the Central Board of Trustees (CBT), headed by the Labour Minister — is scheduled to meet on Monday (December 19).

“The CBT is likely to discuss and approve the proposal to increase the monthly wage ceiling to 25,000 for coverage under social security schemes for providing provident fund, group insurance and pension in the its trustees’ meet at Bengaluru on 19 December, 2016,” a source said.

The source added that back of the envelop calculations suggest that 50 lakh additional formal sector workers would be covered after the ceiling is hiked to Rs 25,000 per month.

The source also said that the wage ceiling hike is imminent because Employees State Insurance Corp (ESIC) which provides health insurance to formal sector workers has already increased the monthly wage ceiling to Rs 21,000 from Rs 15,000 from 1 October, 2016.

The EPFO and ESIC run social security schemes for formal sector workers and are under administrative control of the Labour Ministry.

Earlier this month, Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya had told the Lok Sabha, “A proposal for increase in the wage ceiling from Rs 15,000 per month to Rs 25,000 per month for coverage under the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 has been submitted by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). No decision in this regard has been taken.”

EPFO had increased the wage ceiling to Rs 15,000 per month from Rs 6,500 on 1 September, 2014 in view of price rise and pay revisions in the formal sector.

Besides the wage ceiling, the issue of exempting textile sector from meeting mandatory EPFO norms could come up for discussion.

On 7 December, the Union Cabinet had given its approval to reforms to boost employment generation and exports in the made-ups sector (part of the textile sector).

The Union Cabinet made it optional for employees earning less than Rs 15,000 per month to contribute towards EPFO schemes.

At present, employees are required to contribute 12 percent of their basic wages towards social security schemes run by the EPFO.

First Published On : Dec 13, 2016 12:06 IST

Child trafficking accounts for a good chunk of black money: Kailash Satyarthi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It is a sleepy afternoon outside Kailash Satyarthi’s Kalkaji residence. But the flurry of activities inside belie the quietude outside. Calls have just come in from Mumbai about a dozen children being left alone at a railway station, and the Nobel laureate’s phone keeps ringing.
Satyarthi is launching an initiative that will bring in global leaders to speak out against violence against children. He is bringing 14 Nobel laureates to the Capital for the project — Leaders and Laureates — on December 11 and 12 this year. He will also launch a youth-for-youth programme — 100 million for 100 million — which will mobilise 100 million well-to-do young people to help another 100 million in need.”If a government in any country makes laws which are regressive to children, or cuts budgetary allocation earmarked for children, or if the overseas development budget is not up to the promises made globally, we will raise those issues,” says Satyarthi.Ahead of Children’s Day on Monday (today), Satyarthi spoke to DNA about his initiative, about the lack of will among our political class to fight for children, and about mobilising the young to bring changes. Excerpts:You have spoken out against child laws that are regressive. In India, the Child Labour Act, which was amended this year, has invited a lot of flak. Similarly, the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, currently in discussion, has been derided on several counts. Think for a while, think about the power that about 100 million young people will wield. Of course, not everyone will join at one go, but several million will be on board initially. And, when this moral platform of global leaders get working, as the youth protest and appeal to their governments, pieces of legislation like the Child Labour Amendment Bill will not pass. The Bill has passed now, but several concerns plague almost all countries. It is our moral duty to stop that.This was one of the reasons that motivated me to think in that direction. Creating a safer world for children it is not an idealism. I think it is equally important to influence political will through moral power, which is something lacking in the world today.As far as the trafficking Bill is concerned, we have been working on it at the Bachpan Bachao Andolan. We are in close touch with the authorities and hope that this will be a good Bill. We have seen some progressive elements, like in the case of the Juvenile Justice Act, when we helped the government draft the model draft rules.You have said many times that black money and trafficking has a deep relationship. Do you think demonetization will help?I know that the common man is facing a lot of difficulties with the demonetization drive in several ways. But, I will say that the drive will definitely help curb trafficking. It will create a lot of problems for the traffickers, the slave masters, and those employing child labourers.I have spoken on black money with the previous government and the current one. When they talk of black money, the focus is on tax evasion. We have done some scientific studies, and we found that human trafficking, particularly child trafficking, prostitution and child labour, account for the largest segment of black money – much more than what the government estimates. Our estimate is that the trafficking trade in India is worth Rs 21 lakh crore, which includes the black money embedded in it.Every single rupee generated out of a child labourer, whether it is because of the denial of daily wage, or the denial of contract labour, or the violation of child labour laws, trafficking laws and the like, becomes black money. When a girl is trafficked from Assam, usually for Rs 10,000- Rs 15,000, and brought to Delhi or Haryana to be sold as a child bride, Rs 1,00,000-Rs 1,50,000 change hands. If she has been brought in by placement agencies for domestic labour, she is sold for Rs 40,000-Rs 50,000. All of this is black money.The government, while replying to a Lok Sabha question a few years ago, accepted that a child labourer earns Rs 20-25 a day, which means an employer spends Rs 20-25 on him or her every day. The floor wages of an adult labourer is Rs 120, even though the minimum wage across states is between Rs 175 and Rs 350.The situation today has changed slightly. A child labourer earns around Rs 40 and an adult around Rs 240. An employer saves Rs 200 on every child he or she employs. They cannot show on paper that they are employing child labourers. So, they write in wage books that they are paying Rs 240 while they pay only Rs 40. This is black money. For every child, the employer is saving Rs 200 every day. If somebody is employing 50 children in a small workshop, that’s Rs 3,00,000 every month.The good outcome of demonetization is that it has hurt traffickers badly. Yet, in the long run, we need proper enforcement laws relating to the poor, especially those relating to children. Otherwise, the situation will not change. The money will remain, only the bank notes will change.The amendment to the Child Labour Act formalised the need for young children to earn. How does that pan out when we talk of black money in the trafficking trade?I spoke against the Bill till the last moment. There was nothing substantial in the Lok Sabha debate. The government did not have any strong point to support the amendment, and the Opposition’s questions were not stinging enough.For example, I could not gather from the discussion as to the need for child labour when there is such a large number of unemployed youth, adults and the elderly in the country. I have been pushing this argument for sometime now – globally, 170 million children are doing full-time jobs when 197 million adults are jobless. Most of the jobless are the very parents or elders who send children to work.Children are preferred in labour-intensive industries as they are cheap, easy prey for tax evasion, and cannot speak on their behalf. Adults, on the other hand, demand more money and better living conditions.The government should have given employment schemes to parents, instead. Most importantly, if the government’s thought process is guided by the principles of disparity, discrimination and exclusion, children will continue to suffer. On the one hand, you are creating a club of elite young people whose aspirations touch the sky, and on the other, you are telling children in villages that our country is poor. Did these children create poverty? They are already suffering from poverty, and you tell them that this is the harsh reality. Why should children suffer? Educate them. The global economy owes everything to knowledge, information and technology. You are taking that away from the child in the village and asking him to drop out of school and help elders at home. That’s because of the government’s mental state of complacency. There’s also a fair amount of vested interest.Do you think that the Parliament lacks healthy voices to highlight social sector failures?There are a lot of social workers in the Parliament. If we look closely, social work is also, in the long run, a form of politics. Social workers may not actively pursue politics, but you are influencing the lives of people and that’s what politics is all about.Never in the history of India had a single day been devoted to child-related issues by the Parliament. Children may not be voters, but they are our future.That’s my appeal to the government and political parties today, on Children’s Day. No party has ever demanded that in the 69 years of the country’s parliamentary history. Every year, for dozens of days, the Parliament does not function, or business hours are wasted on frivolous issues. There has never been a demand by the parliamentarians to bring down the exploitation of girls even in the Capital. They will slur or fight, but not for children. Neither inside or outside the Parliament has it ever happened that leaders of national or regional parties have got together to discuss children’s education, budgetary allocation, and laws. This shows a serious lack of political will among the political class. Prioritise children in your political decisions, in policies and their implementation. If you design schemes with children in mind, a whole generation will benefit. But if you will look only at votes, benefits will percolate only for the coming five years. Accountability in the polity, society and other spheres is lacking.In the last few decades that you have been working for children in India, where do you think is the problem most prevalent?As far as child trafficking and child labour are concerned, the source areas have always been the eastern parts of the country — Assam, West Bengal, Bihar and Odisha. The metros – Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad etc. – make up for most of the destinations. These are the places which exploit children behind closed doors. Ten days ago, we carried out a big rescue operation and saved 45 children from a workshop in Delhi. We had to break this huge lock on an iron door, and it was complicated and messy. Some of us went in with the police. A lot of children were hidden inside, and many were sent to the terrace. They were hidden under gunny sacks, and they were terrified.

Ahead of India visit, British opposition asks Theresa May to clarify UK’s role in Operation Blue Star

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The UK’s Opposition Labour party has called on British Prime Minister Theresa May to “come clean” about the role played by Britain in Operation Blue Star before her three-day visit to India starting Sunday.Labour party Deputy Leader, Tom Watson, said on Friday that Britain’s Sikh community deserves to know the truth in the wake of allegations by Sikh Federation UK that the UK Foreign Office had removed files with “new evidence” of British involvement in the military operation on Golden Temple in June 1984. “Before her visit to India, Theresa May must come clean about the role played by the UK in the attack on the Golden Temple in 1984 and subsequent events. There is increasing evidence that Margaret Thatcher s administration worked more closely with the Indian government than was known at the time,” Watson said in a statement.His statement followed claims that the Foreign Office had intentionally removed files referring to the possibility of the Special Air Services (SAS) unit of the British Army being involved after “an Indian request for military assistance in the setting up of a National Guard for internal security duties” during Operation Blue Star. While the Foreign Office said it had merely “borrowed” the files, the Labour party said the fact the files exist raise important questions. Watson added: “David Cameron’s previous inquiry failed to reveal the full facts and we now learn that vital new documents relating to the massacre have been removed from the National Archives by ministers. The revelation that these new documents exist suggest that Parliament may have been inadvertently misled by a former Foreign Secretary. After over 30 years of demanding answers, Britain’s Sikh community deserves to know the truth, no matter how embarrassing it is for the current government. After the failure of the Cabinet Secretary s internal inquiry, there should be a full independent investigation into these matters.”The Cabinet Secretary’s inquiry refers to an official UK government inquiry in 2014 into the exact nature of British involvement in the Indian Army operation at the Golden Temple. The inquiry had been ordered by then British Prime Minister David Cameron after documents released previously under the 30-year declassification rule had implied British SAS commanders had advised the Indian government as it drew up plans for the removal of militants from Golden Temple. “The report concludes that the nature of the UK s assistance was purely advisory, limited and provided to the Indian government at an early stage in their planning,” William Hague, then UK foreign secretary, had told the House of Commons in February 2014.Sikh Federation UK claims the latest note it found, marked confidential, was written on July 3, 1984, a month after the operation, which points to a more prominent British role. The note was written by a civil servant in the Foreign Office s South Asia department and copied to Ministry of Defence officials and the high commissioner in Delhi. Earlier on Friday, their lawyers wrote to UK home secretary Amber Rudd demanding an “independent investigation”. “The FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) borrowed some of their files from 1984 that were released to the National Archives so they could read the content following concerns raised by the Sikh Federation. They will return all the files in full shortly,” a UK government spokesperson said.

Will immediately implement equal-pay-for-equal-work: Delhi CM Kejriwal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said the AAP government will implement ‘equal- pay-for-equal-work’ principle for its contractual employees vis-a-vis regular ones. The Chief Minister’s announcement on Twitter comes a day after the Supreme Court held contractual employees are entitled to wages on par with permanent staff under the ‘equal-pay-for-equal-work’ principle.”Landmark judgement by SC. Will immediately implement it in Del and simultaneously expedite the process of their regularisation (sic),” Kejriwal tweeted.Meanwhile, Delhi Labour Minister Gopal Rai has convened a meeting of all departments on November 8 to discuss implementation of ‘equal-pay-equal-work’. Rai has directed his department to furnish suggestions on measures for implementation.Earlier in the day, the Labour Minister convened a meeting of department officials at Delhi secretariat.”Government has decided to hold a meeting of all departments on November 8 to implement the Supreme Court order on equal pay for equal work,” Rai tweeted after the meeting.The AAP government has sought proposals from its various departments by November 15 regarding regularisation of contractual employees.

Scary picture: India may see 7 million jobs disappearing by 2050, says a study

New Delhi: As many as 550 jobs have disappeared every day in last four years and if this trend continues, employment would shrink by 7 million by 2050 in the country, a study has claimed.

Farmers, petty retail vendors, contract labourers and construction workers are the most vulnerable sections facing never before livelihood threats in India today, the study by Delhi-based civil society group PRAHAR has said.



As per the data released by Labour Bureau early 2016, India created only 1.35 lakh jobs in 2015 in comparison to 4.19 lakh in 2013 and 9 lakh in 2011, the group said in a statement.

“A deeper analysis of the data reveals a rather scary picture. Instead of growing, livelihoods are being lost in India on a daily basis. As many as 550 jobs are lost in India every day (in last four year as per Labour Bureau data) which means that by 2050, jobs in India would have got reduced by 7 million, while population would have grown by 600 million,” the statement said.

The data clearly points to the fact that job creation in India is successively slowing down, which is very alarming, it pointed out.

“This (rise in unemployment) is because sectors which are the largest contributor of jobs are worst-affected. Agriculture contributes to 50 per cent of employment in India followed by SME sector which employs 40 per cent of the workforce of the country,” the statement said.

The organised sector actually only contributes a minuscule less than 1 percentage of employment in India. India has only about 30 million jobs in the organised sector and nearly 440 million in the unorganised sector.

According to the World Bank data, percentage of employment in agriculture out of total employment in India has come down to 50 per cent in 2013 from 60 per cent in 1994. It said that the labour intensity of small and medium enterprises is four times higher than that of large firms.

It further said that the multinationals are particularly capitalistic a fact vindicated during investment commitments of $225 million made for the next five years during the Make in India Week in February 2016.

However, what went unnoticed is that these investments would translate into creation of only 6 million jobs, it said. “India needs to go back to the basics and protect sectors like farming, unorganised retail, micro and small enterprises which contribute to 99 percent of current livelihoods in the country. These sectors need support from the Government not regulation. India needs smart villages and not smart cities in the 21st century,” it added.

Scary picture: India may see 7 million jobs disappearing by 2050, says study

New Delhi: As many as 550 jobs have disappeared every day in last four years and if this trend continues, employment would shrink by 7 million by 2050 in the country, a study has claimed.

Farmers, petty retail vendors, contract labourers and construction workers are the most vulnerable sections facing never before livelihood threats in India today, the study by Delhi-based civil society group PRAHAR has said.



As per the data released by Labour Bureau early 2016, India created only 1.35 lakh jobs in 2015 in comparison to 4.19 lakh in 2013 and 9 lakh in 2011, the group said in a statement.

“A deeper analysis of the data reveals a rather scary picture. Instead of growing, livelihoods are being lost in India on a daily basis. As many as 550 jobs are lost in India every day (in last four year as per Labour Bureau data) which means that by 2050, jobs in India would have got reduced by 7 million, while population would have grown by 600 million,” the statement said.

The data clearly points to the fact that job creation in India is successively slowing down, which is very alarming, it pointed out.

“This (rise in unemployment) is because sectors which are the largest contributor of jobs are worst-affected. Agriculture contributes to 50 per cent of employment in India followed by SME sector which employs 40 per cent of the workforce of the country,” the statement said.

The organised sector actually only contributes a minuscule less than 1 percentage of employment in India. India has only about 30 million jobs in the organised sector and nearly 440 million in the unorganised sector.

According to the World Bank data, percentage of employment in agriculture out of total employment in India has come down to 50 per cent in 2013 from 60 per cent in 1994. It said that the labour intensity of small and medium enterprises is four times higher than that of large firms.

It further said that the multinationals are particularly capitalistic a fact vindicated during investment commitments of $225 million made for the next five years during the Make in India Week in February 2016.

However, what went unnoticed is that these investments would translate into creation of only 6 million jobs, it said. “India needs to go back to the basics and protect sectors like farming, unorganised retail, micro and small enterprises which contribute to 99 percent of current livelihoods in the country. These sectors need support from the Government not regulation. India needs smart villages and not smart cities in the 21st century,” it added.

Welcome to India, world’s fastest growing economy where 39% children starve

Prime minister Narendra Modi took a jibe at India’s perennially hostile neighbour Pakistan at his Kozhikode speech, just a few days ahead of the ‘surgical attacks’ conducted by army’s special forces at LoC. The Prime Minister said India is ready for a war with Pakistan, but a war on poverty, unemployment and malnutrition. Modi’s ‘war cry’ resonated well even in the Pakistani media. It seems we, Indians, are indeed at war with Pakistan on poverty and malnutrition.

As this Mint report notes, among Asian countries India and Pakistan are at the bottom of the rankings in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) report released by US-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).



In the 2016 rankings of 118 countries, India is at 97th position and Pakistan at 107. All other Asian neighbours of India are doing relatively better — China (29), Nepal (72), Myanmar (75), Sri Lanka (84) and Bangladesh (90), the report showed, adding India’s GHI score of 28.5 is worse than the developing country average score of 21.3.

Brazil and Argentina have a GHI score of less than 5 and are ranked the best among developing nations, while countries like Chad and Central African Republic come at the bottom with a score of 44.3 and 46.1, respectively, the report says.

GHI is a multidimensional statistical tool used to describe the state of countries’ hunger situation. Updated once a year, it gauges the progress and failures in the global fight against hunger.

Take a look at the specifics. The IFPRI thinks we have a “serious” hunger problem with 15.2 percent of Indians undernourished and 38.7 percent of children under the age of five stunted on account of malnutrition.

One can always argue on the efficacy of such surveys in portraying the accurate picture with a decent amount of skepticism. But, facts are facts and the more you ignore it, a bigger joke you make out of yourself. The hunger index numbers indeed throw some serious questions on the course of ongoing government programmes to alleviate poverty and malnutrition in the country, and whether we have prioritised this problem the way it should be.

For a layman on the street, a logical question arises. With one in every 15 Indians facing near starvation and close to 40 percent below-5 children stunted for want of minimum nutritious food, what sort of China-beating economic growth and India’s emergence into world central stage are our politicians boasting of?

Yes, India has been struggling to cut down poverty. The level of poverty and malnutrition have come down over the past decade, but somewhere we are missing the sense of urgency when it comes to address the people at the bottom of the pyramid.

The IFPRI report isn’t a one-off.

Going by a United Nations annual report for 2014-15 released last year, India has the world’s highest number of hungry people in the world. Ironically, we have beaten China here too. India has 194.6 million hungry people compared with 133.8 million in China, of the total of 795 million people in the world. In other words, one-fourth of the world’s hungry population is in India. What does being the citizens of the world’s fastest growing economy mean to them?

Jobless economic growth

When we talk about poverty and malnutrition, it is necessary to look at what education and job market are doing to elevate India’s poor from the deadly grips of poverty. Since independence, India has progressed remarkably on giving basic education to the children. Though the quality of higher education offered in our universities is still a matter of debate, India continues to be one of the biggest exporter of human talent across sectors to the developed world.

That takes us to the next problem — joblessness in our country and why we continue to see a period of high growth but less number of jobs being generated (mechanisation and efficiency cannot be the sole excuses). The problem for the poor is lack of employment opportunities.

For a larger section of people at the bottom of pyramid, a 7.6 percent GDP growth is a mere number on the morning newspapers considering lack of employment opportunities. Even if one looks at the job data, the picture is disappointing. There has been no corresponding increase in the number of jobs in the economy to align with what the headline GDP numbers indicate.

Let’s revisit briefly a recent Firstpost article, which highlighted the unemployment problem in the country.

According to the Labour Bureau data, the country’s unemployment rate has shot up to a 5-year high of 5 percent in 2015-16. This figure is significantly higher, at 8.7 percent, for women as compared to 4.3 percent for men. About 77 percent of Indian households do not have regular wage/salaried person.
India’s unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in 2013-14, 4.7 percent in 2012-13, 3.8 percent in 2011-12 and 9.3 percent in 2009-10. There was no report from Labour Bureau in 2014-15. And the situation is not looking better going ahead.

A World Bank research has showed that automation threatens 69 percent of the jobs in India. With the use of more technology, the pattern of traditional economic path in developing countries could be fundamentally disrupted, the report noted.

That’s not all.

Asia-Pacific Human Development Report released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) this year gives a strong warning on the level of unemployment in the country. According to the report between 1991 and 2013 India could provide employment only to less than half of the new entrants into the job market.

“The the size of the working-age population increased by 300 million (during the period), while the number of employed people increased by only 140 million — the economy absorbed less than half the new entrants into the labour market. A wider gap in India than China suggests a more limited capacity to generate employment — a serious challenge given the continued expansion of the workforce in India over the next 35 years,” the report said.

The bottomline is this: It’s perhaps time our politicians stopped weighing India’s economic growth only in GDP percentage figures and go for a broader set of parameters that reflect the actual growth of the economy/ real situation on the ground — something which depicts the level of poverty, unemployment and malnutrition rate, not just a measure crunching the domestic produce numbers.

Delhi stalker Surender threatened to kill Karuna before, wanted to marry her too

In a terrifying incident on Tuesday, a 21-year-old teacher was killed in broad daylight when her stalker stabbed her as many as 22 times on a busy road in front of onlookers in north Delhi’s Burari area.

The murder was caught on CCTV and the victim was identified as Karuna Kumar, a teacher at Novel Riches School. The attacker was identified as 34-year-old Surender Singh, who was stalking Karuna for the past year-and-a-half.

Surender attacked Karuna with a pair of scissors as she was on her way to work with her cousin Neha, near Labour Chowk in Burari.

Representational image. APRepresentational image. AP

Representational image. AP

The 21-year-old was stabbed some 22 times, after which the attacker was subdued by the onlookers, who beat him up. He was later arrested by the authorities.

Preliminary reports suggest that Surender Singh, who also goes by Aditya Malik, is the son of a retired police officer, who stalked Karuna after she refused to marry him.

Police investigation revealed that Karuna met Surender in his computer training classes in 2012 where they fell in love. Karuna’s aunt revealed that Surender had asked the 21-year-old to marry him while she resisted. The girl’s family asked her to discontinue the classes after which Surender started harassing her and threatening her with morphed pictures of herself on Whatsapp.

Karuna soon threatened to approach the police, after which Surender left her alone.

In May 2016, Surender attacked Karuna with a beer bottle near the GTB Nagar metro station, after he saw a picture of her with his friend. He threatened to kill her, but Karuna managed to escape. When the matter reached the police, Surender’s relatives intervened and worked out a compromise.

The mother of the victim, Rama, revealed that the accused had continued to stalk her and pass indecent comments at her. He would also secretly click pictures of Karuna and circulate them amongst his friends. “He even threatened to kill her once, but since Singh’s family requested us, we did not report the incident.”

According to her mother, Karuna was a bright young girl who was very keen on her career. She continued her job, despite the constant threat and fear she lived in.

Karuna’s uncle Vinay revealed that she used to support her two younger brothers, Manish and Himanshu, who are studying. “My brother Naresh has a shop in Sant Nagar where he sells bags. He makes around Rs 8,000-Rs 10,000. Since Karuna finished her BA through a correspondence course and got a job, she had been helping her father. Even though she earned Rs 5,000, she would help her brothers,” he said.

The victim’s brother Manish demanded stringent punishment for the accused.

With inputs from agencies

Flipkart, Infosys, AskMe: Why recent spate of job cuts should worry us

New Delhi – In the last few days, newspapers have had screaming headlines of loss of thousands of jobs across the services sector.

On Monday, The Indian Express reported Infosys, the country’s second largest software exporter, has cut 500 jobs after the company recorded poor quarterly results were and lost a contract from RBS.

Over the weekend, reports said about 4,000 people were about to lose their jobs due to a suspension of operations at e-commerce website AskMe. Earlier Flipkart had asked about 700 underperformers to leave. Meanwhile, Snapdeal is shutting down a luxury fashion portal which could lead to loss of hundreds of jobs. Taxi aggregator Ola has shut down operations of TaxiForSure, a company it had acquired in March 2015, again resulting in hundreds of lay-offs.



Should a few thousand jobs getting axed in the services industry worry us? It should, indeed. The services sector has been the key jobs creator in India, since manufacturing has not been a big draw. Remember, about a million Indians reach the employment age every month. Finding employment for them is in itself a daunting task and the enormity of the problem becomes larger when seen in the context of job cuts in the sectors which were seen as most employment friendly.

Already, the government’s own data show job growth slowed to a six-year low in 2015 under the NDA government. There is no data to show if the decline has been arrested in the first six months of this calendar year since the Labour Bureau is yet to release these figures.

Let us look at the IT sector, one of the largest services sector employers. This story points out that India’s IT industry is faced with one of the leanest years of growth in its history and the lower demand for IT services is driving down hiring numbers. Automation is adding to the worries. Companies like Infosys and Wipro have become selective in hiring even freshers — a departure from the traditional “mass hiring” strategy that IT firms have followed for the last two decades.

In the ecommerce space, jobs are being lost in large numbers as the sector begins a painful consolidation drive. Unconfirmed reports have already suggested that one of the poster boys of India’s ecommerce industry may be looking to merge with another biggie – if this were to happen, there could again be a massive realignment of jobs.

D K Joshi, chief Economist at Crisil says India needs to create high-value added jobs as lower level jobs are already getting eliminated on increased automation. Joshi was one of the authors of a 2014 Crisil report on jobs which predicted a slowdown in employment generation in the coming years. The decline in employment creation has been compounded by falling labour intensity in the economy as automation rises.

This is because the GDP growth in recent years has been driven by less labour-intensive services such as IT/ITeS, business and financial services and the capacity of labour intensive sectors such as manufacturing to absorb labour has diminished considerably in face of rising automation and complicated labour laws.

Sectors such as IT/ITeS require only around 1-2 people to produce Rs 1 million of real value-added GDP so that higher growth in these sectors does not create large-scale employment. Also, the labour dependency of the manufacturing sector – which once used to be the most labour-intensive sector barring agriculture – has diminished considerably as automation has increased.

According to this report, the ‘Internet of Things’ is expected to take away close to a lakh jobs in India in the next five years because of technological innovation.

A report by HDFC Bank on India’s tapering jobs growth says that “employment elasticity” in the economy is now close to zero – for every one point rise in GDP, jobs grow only 0.15.

Fifteen years ago, it was 0.39. The economy’s job creating potential has shrunk 60 percent during the last decade-and-a-half. Put simply, we are close to literally achieving “jobless growth.”

The Crisil report has also predicted a sharp decline in employment generation in the non-agriculture sector in the coming years as the economy treads a lower-growth path.

“CRISIL estimates that employment outside agriculture will increase by only 38 million between 2011-12 and 2018-19 compared with 52 million between 2004-05 and 2011-12. Due to insufficient employment creation in industry and services sectors, more workers will become locked in the least productive and low-wage agricultural sector. We estimate that 12 million people will join the agriculture workforce by 2018-19, compared with a decline of 37 million in agriculture employment between 2004-05 and 2011-12.”

Madan Sabnavis, Chief Economist at Care Ratings, had pointed out earlier that job creation has been slow in the last few years because of a virtual stagnation in manufacturing sector growth.

“There has been limited job creation in the last couple of years despite India’s GDP showing an uptrend. This is because in the physical segment, we have not seen similar growth commensurately”. He pointed out that the government has really offered no new jobs in PSUs etc whereas even the private sector has seen layoffs or some replacement jobs at best these last few years.

Already, overall job creation has been suffering under the Modi Government despite India’s galloping GDP, as the government’s own data show. Last available data of the Labour Bureau for the December quarter of 2015 show no new jobs were created but there was actually a decline of 20,000 jobs across eight labour intensive sectors.

Remember, the September quarter of the same year had added 1.34 lakh new jobs across the same eight sectors and was still the slowest quarter in the previous six years (barring 2012 where quarter wise data was not available). Now, with the December quarter data in, the total number of new jobs created across the eight sectors between January-December 2015 stood at just 1.35 lakh. This is the slowest pace of new jobs being created since 2009.
Here’s some easy math for grasping the enormity of this slowdown in jobs under the NDA: The Modi government took charge in mid-2014 and for that full year, 4.93 lakh jobs were added across these eight sectors.

So job addition in the first full year of this government fell to just a fourth of 2014 and was only a tenth of the growth seen in 2009, when the UPA was in power.

Joshi of Crisil says the government is not oblivious to job creation and points to the recently announced package for the textiles sector to boost jobs. The textile and apparels industry employs over 100 million people directly and indirectly and is thought to have the potential to create 50 million more jobs by 2025. But India lags in competitiveness to even Bangladesh in textiles and reaching the target of 10 million additional jobs over the next three years looks tough.

Employment in the textiles and apparels sector fell 0.11 percent in April-June 2015, rose 0.18 percent in July-September and 0.23 percent in October-December 2015, according to Labour Bureau estimates. Hardly the pace at which the expected job creation will happen.

Jobless growth is a reality staring India in the face. The government and industry must work together to solve this crisis.

David Cameron hails ‘partner’ India in post-Brexit statement

Outgoing UK Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday hailed “important partner” India in his first Parliament statement since the country voted to leave the EU and said Britain must not turn its back on Europe or the rest of the world.In his official statement on the “Outcome of the EU Referendum” in the House of Commons, Cameron laid out the future course to be undertaken under a new Prime Minister after the UK voted to leave the European Union (EU) last week.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The nature of the relationship we secure with the EU will be determined by the next government but I think everyone is agreed that we all want the strongest possible economic link with our European neighbours as well as with our close friends in North America, the Commonwealth and important partners like India and China,” Cameron, 49, said to cheers from MPs.”Britain is leaving the EU but we must not turn our backs on Europe or the rest of the world,” he said. Cameron said he will go to Brussels for a summit tomorrow with EU leaders but will not invoke article 50 immediately.He had announced his resignation in his first speech following the results of last week’s referendum on Friday. The Conservative party has since confirmed that a leadership contest will open later this week, with a new leader in place latest by early September.In contrast to his emotional resignation speech at the Downing Street doorstep, the outgoing premier adopted a light-hearted tone throughout today’s Parliament speech, starting with a jibe at Opposition Labour’s leader Jeremy Corbyn’s ongoing crisis of having to replace the rapidly resigning members of his shadow cabinet.Cameron triggered laughter throughout the Commons as he began by congratulating new Labour MP Rosena Allin-Khan, who replaces London mayor Sadiq Khan as MP for Tooting in east London, by suggesting she should keep her mobile phone on as she “might be in the shadow cabinet by the end of the day”.He admitted before MPs that a Brexit result was not what he had wanted “but there can be no doubt about the result”. “The decision must be accepted and the process of implementing the decision in the best possible way must now begin,” he said, confirming the creation of a new unit of the “best and the brightest” officials and policy experts across government to work on delivering the outcome of the referendum.

dna Morning Must Reads: Fate of ‘Udta Punjab’ at box office; OnePlus 3 first impressions; Euro 2016; and more

1. British MP Jo Cox stabbed and shot dead; EU referendum campaigns suspendedJo Cox was a lawmaker for the Labour Party and a strong advocate for Britain remaining in the European Union. Read more here2. Will Udta Punjab ‘fly high’ at the box office?It’s a common knowledge in the film industry that the fate of a film is decided in the first three days of its release, given the rampant piracy that ensures film is downloaded and watched on computers and mobile phones rather than in cinema halls. Read more here<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>3. Oppn guns for Mehbooba Mufti after Rs 58.8 lakh seized in poll-bound AnantnagA major political storm has hit Mehbooba Mufti-led Jammu and Kashmir government after police seized Rs 58.8 lakh cash from a car in the poll-bound Anantnag constituency. Read more here4. OnePlus 3: Unboxing and first impressionsIt’s got 6GB of RAM, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and 64GB of storage. Of course we couldn’t wait to get our hands on it. Read more here5. Euro 2016: Stubborn Poland hold toothless Germany to goalless drawGermany were playing their first game at the Stade de France since the deadly November attacks in Paris when they also failed to score in a 2-0 defeat by the hosts. Read more here

AAP suspends Alka Lamba as party spokesperson

Aam Aadmi Party leader Alka Lamba was suspended from the post of party spokesperson after she told reporters that Transport Minister Gopal Rai had been ‘relieved’ of his portfolio in order to ensure fair probe into the Premium Bus Service scheme.Lamba later tweeted that she accepted the party decision. The party had earlier said that senior minister Gopal Rai was being relieved of the Transport Department on health grounds. The portfolio has now been given to his cabinet colleague Satyendar Jain. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The departments left with Rai now include Labour, Irrigation and Flood Control, General Administration Department (GAD), Development and Employment.

Publicise all central govt vacancies: Centre tells ministries

All central government vacancies must be publicised countrywide through local employment exchanges and ‘Employment News’ newspaper among others, the Centre said on Tuesday.The decision assumes significance as over two lakh posts are estimated to be created by the central government in its various departments by 2017.Citing the instructions it had issue earlier, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said all vacancies to be filled on regular basis, except those which fall within the purview of Union Public Service Commission and Staff Selection Commission, are to be notified in the local employment exchange or central employment exchange.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”In addition to the reporting of the vacancies to the local employment exchange or central employment exchange, it has been stipulated that the vacancies should be given wide publicity on an all India basis,” it said.In this regard, it was advised that the advertisement should be placed in the Employment News or ‘Rozgar Samachar’ published by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.Such recruitment notices are also to be displayed on the office notice board.It has been decided that an advertisement of vacancies may also be put at the National Career Service (NCS) portal of Ministry of Labour and Employment, which has been developed primarily to connect the opportunities with the aspiration of the youth, DoPT said in an order issued to all the secretaries of the central government’s ministries.The central government has projected in the budget estimates for 2016-17 an increase of about 2.18 lakh in the existing workforce of 33.05 lakh (as in 2015) by 2017.The Centre has been striving to create more jobs in the country. It had recently decided that all proposals seeking approval of appraisal bodies like Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) and Core Group onDisinvestment need to mandatorily mention “employment generation potential”.

Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa retains 13 ministers of previous cabinet

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s Cabinet is a mix of those who had previously been ministers during 2011-16, in previous AIADMK tenures and new faces. The AIADMK supremo retained 13 of her ministers in her previous cabinet and inducted several new faces including four women.Among those retained is Jayalalithaa’s trusted lieutenant and party strongman of Theni district O Panneerselvam, who will again hold Finance portfolio. A key minister in the 2011-16 AIADMK tenure P Thangamani will be the Electricity Minister.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Salem district party veteran Eddapadi K Palaniswami, who was also a minister during 2011-16, will now man the key Public Works Department besides Highways and Minor Ports. Madurai-based Sellur K Raju and Coimbatore district-based SP Velumani will handle Cooperation and Municipal Administration portfolios respectively.M C Sampath (Labour), R Kamaraj (Food and Civil Supplies), C Vijayabaskar (Health), S P Shanmuganathan (Milk dairy), R B Udhaya Kumar (Revenue), K T Rajenthra Balaji (Rural Industries), and K C Veeramani (Commercial Taxes). C V Shanmugam, who had a stint during 2011-16 and dropped later, has also found a place in the cabinet and would handle Law and Courts. K P Anbazhagan who has been given the Higher Education portfolio was a minister in the AIADMK cabinet during 2003-06. D Jayakumar, the new Fisheries Minister, was the Speaker for a brief period during Jayalalithaa’s previous tenure.The new faces are Dindigul Srinivasan (Forest), V Saroja (Social Welfare), KC Karuppannan (Environment), O S Manian (Textiles and Handlooms), Udumalai Radhakrishnan (Housing), R Duraikannu (Agriculture), Kadambur Raju (Information), Benjamin (School Education), Vellamandi N Natarajan (Tourism), S Valamathi (Backward Classes and Minorities Welfare), VM Rajalakshmi (Adi Dravidar Welfare), M Manigandan (Information Technology), and M R Vijayabaskar (Transport).Four more new names, Nilofer Khafeel (Labour), Sevvoor S.Ramachandran (Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments) G.Baskaran (Khadi and Village Industries Board), and P Balakrishna Reddy (Animal Husbandry), were announced later in the day.

Govt. set to revise archaic labour laws: Labour Secretary

New Delhi: In another move towards ease of doing business in India, the government is consolidating 44 labour laws into just four and the draft bills will be tabled in the monsoon session of parliament beginning mid-July, the top official in the labour ministry has said.

“We are realigning 44 labour laws into four. Out of that two are already ready —Code on wages is already with the cabinet, Code on industrial relations is with the Ministry of Law,” Shankar Aggarwal, Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment, told IANS in an interview.

Tripartite talks for the other two laws — one on safety and working conditions of workers and the other for their social security and welfare — will be held among the central and state governments, trade unions, and employers represented by the top industry chambers, he said.

Representational Image ReutersRepresentational Image Reuters

Representational Image Reuters

“The bills for the four labour laws should be placed in the next session in parliament,” Aggarwal said at his office.

“Most of our labour laws are not in sync with the current times. For ease of doing business, the people via the new legislations will be able to do things like online registration and filing of returns,” said Agarwal, a 1980 batch officer of the Indian Administrative Service of the Haryana cadre.

“The consolidation will also facilitate manufacturers and entrepreneurs.”

One of the codes intends to unify wages of workers across the country among all sectors, while another seeks to amalgamate all laws pertaining to industrial relations. The third deals with social security, health insurance and pension, and the fourth on labour conditions.

The second National Commission on Labour had recommended that 44 central labour laws be broadly grouped into just four-five categories. The report of the Working Group on Labor Laws and other Labour Regulations for the 12th Five Year Plan had also recommended clubbing them together.

Once the new bills are framed and passed, it will lead to ease of compliance. Consolidating the different labour laws will reduce multiplicity and ensure better enforcement and compliance.

International Labour Organisation Director in India Panudda Boonpala said recently that a key theme in the debate on employment relations in recent years is the flexibility wished for by employers, along with security, benefits and protection that workers are entitled to.

“India is at a very crucial juncture in relation to bringing about labour law reforms. It is important that all stakeholders join in the discussion and arrive at a consensus that would be the best option for the country,” she said.

“Experience around the world suggests that new labour problems are solved neither by old forms of regulations nor by removing regulation, but by better regulation, and social dialogue is the best means to achieve this end.”

Does India need a unified labour management system

Who would build such a system?The government needs to build an integrated database of the profiles of all the employed and unemployed people across industries. Such a database will consist of details of an individual’s educational background, employment status, current package, designation, key skills, interests etc. The database will also consist of the profiles of all the public and private sector employers and their job vacancies, location of opening, trade specializations, number of skilled resources required, salary bands, time frames, etc.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>How would this labour management system function?The employee database would be accessible to employers and employees across industries. This will enable the employees to understand the industry demands in terms of the skills, experience, qualifications required by their dream employers. This will also help employees keep a track of the emerging job roles in their field of interest for their perusal. For the employers, this database serves like a matchmaker- to match the right person with the right skills and interest for the right job. It will also help the employers to analyse the hiring trends of other companies to make an informed decision thus improving their hiring process and eventually reducing costs. Is there a system like this anywhere else in the world?In India, we do have Labour management systems. However, there is a lack of integration between the public and private sector industries. For example, the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) is a unit of the United States Department of Labour and has a labour management system used to collect, process, analyze, and disseminate essential statistical data to the American public, the U.S. Congress, other Federal agencies, State and local governments, business, and labour representatives. This provides all the stakeholders a statistical resource to do their research and plan their talent pipelines accordingly. How would this benefit everybody involved?In India, a majority of the fresh graduates, with years of college education from some of the country’s top 100 colleges fail to secure employment on campus placements. Despite initiatives like Skill India and Make in India by the government, there still exists a huge mismatch, with students claiming lack of opportunities and organizations claiming a lack of skilled talent. Hence, such an integrated system will benefit the private and public sector employers to find the right job for the right talent as well as help the employees to get the right job to fulfill their dream career. It will also help the skill development institutions to understand the industry demands and accordingly train the students with relevant skills required to bridge the skill gaps in the industry.

Our schemes show Modi Government is "pro-poor": Bandaru Dattatreya

Claiming that 71 lakh people have benefited under the NDA Government’s social security schemes and another six lakh under the Mudra Bank programme, Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya on Saturday said the achievement showed the BJP-led ruling coalition at the Centre is “pro-poor”.”In Telangana, under the Mudra Bank, last year they sanctioned Rs 4,557 crore and approximately six lakh poor people benefited. This year they are going to give more than Rs 6,000 crore (as loans to small entrepreneurs) and we are expecting eight lakh people to benefit,” he said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Nearly 71 lakh people are benefiting under social security schemes… This is the greatest achievement. People are asking `what Narendra Modiji did?’ Just in Telangana, 71 lakh people are getting social security benefits.How many are benefiting in the country! This shows that this Government is a pro-poor Government,” he told reporters here.The Minister of Labour and Employment was speaking after holding a meeting with state-level bankers.Against an agriculture loan disbursement target of Rs 27,800 crore last year, Rs 22,376 crore was distributed, said Dattatreya.The banks are ready to disburse Rs 40,350 crore in the current fiscal, he said.The Union Minister urged the Telangana Government to release funds for the third instalment of farm loan waiver programme.The Lok Sabha MP from Secunderabad said he will post the check list for availing Mudra Bank loans on his social networking site page for the benefit of people in his constituency.A ‘loan mela’ would be organised in the Khairatabad Assembly segment in the city for disbursing Mudra Bank loans, he added.On the ongoing row between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh over irrigation projects, Dattatreya said he would speak to Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti if the two States are ready to follow the Centre’s advice to resolve the matter.Andhra Pradesh has objected to construction of new irrigation projects on Godavari and Krishna rivers by Telangana Government in “violation” of the AP Reorganisation Act-2014.

dna Morning Must Reads: Updates on VVIP Chopper Scam; Maharashtra drought; London’s new mayor Sadiq Khan; and more

1. VVIP chopper scam: Tyagi brothers admit to ties with Agusta middlemenAs defence minister Manohar Parrikar mounted an offensive on the Congress in the parliament over the AgustaWestland deal, in a startling revelation, the CBI sources on Friday claimed that former air chief SP Tyagi’s cousins have admitted to having property links with him. Read more here<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Maharashtra drought: Water transported to Latur is less than a day’s needWhile the entire effort by the railways and state is laudable, the depressing part is that all this water is a full 5 lakh litres less than the daily water requirement of Latur city. Read more here3. Tuesday floor test for Harish Rawat; all eyes on HC decision on rebel MLAsAfter getting Centre’s nod, the Supreme Court on Friday ordered floor test in the Uttarakhand assembly on May 10 for deposed Congress chief minister Harish Rawat to prove his majority. Read more here4. #YesWeKhan: Sadiq Khan declared as the new London mayorThe 45-year-old Opposition candidate takes charge as the first Muslim head of City Hall in London and marks the return of Labour rule to the British capital after eight years of Conservatives in power. Read more here5. Indian Railways attracts Rs 42,000 crore FDI: GovtGovernment on Friday said Indian railways has attracted foreign direct investment (FDI) to the tune of Rs 42,000 crore and will soon float tenders for manufacturing rail coaches in the country. Read more here6. Olympics debutant PV Sindhu seeks inspiration from Saina NehwalExcited to make her maiden appearance in the sporting extravaganza, 20-year-old shuttler says quadrennial event is bigger than World Championships. Read more here7. Salman Khan and Sonia Gandhi should have their apps, too, says Sonam Kapoor Here’s Sonam talking about her new app, her connect with social networking and more over a dozen bouts of laughter. Read more here

Modi should live in India before promoting Make in India: Ashok Chavan

Maharashtra Congress Chief Ashok Chavan on Sunday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying he should first “live in India” and then promote “Make in India”, even as he criticised the Centre for being “anti-labour” on the occasion on International Labour Day.Taking potshots at Modi’s flagship ‘Make in India’ campaign, Chavan said, “Modi ji should first love India and live in India, and then he should say Make In India.” He was addressing a gathering of railway officials and employees in Mumbai organised by Central Railway Majdoor Sangh (CRMS) to mark the occasion.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Union government is coming up with revised laws in the name of labour reforms but they are turning out to be anti- labour. Now, time has come when all labour unions come together at one platform and oppose it,” he said.He also said it was the erstwhile Congress government in Maharashtra which brought monorail and metro rail services in Mumbai, but, the BJP government was trying to take away the credit for it. Earlier, Chavan unveiled statue of founder president of CRMS, S M Shukla, at its headquarters in Dadar.M Raghavaiya, General Secretary of National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR) also addressed the gathering and suggested the government to improvise the efficiency of the railways by motivating employees.General Manager of Western Railway G C Agrawal, president of CRMS R P Bhatnagar, Maharashtra Secretary of INTUC (Indian National Trade Union Congress) J P Chhajed and other officials of Central and Western Railway were also present on the occasion.

Low wages, poor housing and now EPF: Garment workers’ protest in Bengaluru was inevitable

The garment workers’ violent stir in the beginning of this week in Bengaluru may have died down, with the central government withdrawing the provident fund amendment, but what is apparent is that this was one protest that was just waiting to happen.

The workers in this unorganised sector, living and working in pathetic conditions, were looking for a just such a trigger to erupt in rage.
The protest was not organised by any trade union; it was spontaneous and leaderless and started innocuously outside a factory gate in Bommanhalli, a suburb near Electronic city, the IT hub of Bengaluru.

Within hours it had spread like wildfire, drawing nearly 10,000 workers from the surrounding five factories. By Tuesday, the protesters had turned violent, pelting stones, burning buses and other vehicles in major hubs, including Hosur road, Tumkur Road, Jallhalli. Protests were also happening in Madur and Mandya. Several people, including policemen were injured. Two of them were struck by bullets when the police fired in the air to control the mob.

Garment workers torch furniture during a protest over EPF withdrawal norm, in Bengaluru on Tuesday. PTIGarment workers torch furniture during a protest over EPF withdrawal norm, in Bengaluru on Tuesday. PTI

Garment workers torch furniture during a protest over EPF withdrawal norm, in Bengaluru on Tuesday. PTI

Bengaluru may primarily be known as the IT capital of India, but there are almost 1,200 garment factories in and around the city. Many international brands source from these factories. Nearly 90 percent of the garment workers are women and many are migrant workers from rural Karnataka and North India. Many maids working in houses now have at one time or the other worked in garment factories.

To get a better sense of what ails the industry, Firstpost reached out to the Garment Labour Union (GLU), founded by women garment workers. The GLU has only women workers as members and collaborates with other trade unions, civil society organisations and campaigns to improve the working conditions in the garment sector.

Highlighting the problems in the garment industry, Yashoda PH, general secretary of the GLU told Firstpost, “The factories have high production targets, this is a major issue. If workers don’t reach their targets, they’re abused verbally and even terminated. There’s also sexual abuse, although nobody will complain openly. Workers can’t take leave, if they do, when they return they’re summarily sacked. Security will be told that the worker should not be allowed in and their tokens will be confiscated. Once a year they are allowed 15 days to a month to go home, but when they return there’s no continuity of service. They have to take a new appointment.”

Talking about the pathetic living conditions of the 15,000 to 16,000 workers from North India, Yashoda says, “They have no freedom, they are housed in hostels, where there are no newspapers and no TV. They can’t go out and are allowed to go out for about two to three hours on Sundays. The hostel warden and the factory executives keep a track of the time it takes for the workers to reach the factory from the hostel and back. For instance, the hostel warden will tell the factory manager or supervisor or whoever is in charge, ‘I am sending 25 people it will take them 15/20 minutes to get to the factory’. The factory executive will do the same when the workers leave the factory to go back to the hostel.”

GLU was involved in the tripartite meeting called by the Minimum Wage Board between the government, manufacturers and unions to discuss minimum wages of the workers for 2013-2014. Yashoda explains what transpired at the meeting. “We asked that wages be increased by Rs 500 per day from Rs 196 per day. But it was hiked to only Rs 252 per day inclusive of DA for 2014. In 2015 this was raised to Rs 272 per day inclusive of DA,” Yashoda says.

Firstpost also contacted Cividep India, which is doing a lot of work in the industry. Cividep India attempts to educate workers about their rights and campaigns for corporate accountability with other like-minded organisations and individuals.

Gopinath Parakuni, general secretary and founding member of Cividep India told Firstpost that it was quite a complex situation. “There are so many brands involved, with a global supply chain and some 100 different operations are going on. Designing, building, marketing and image building for a product is going on in Europe, while the manufacture is happening in different countries, including India. Fundamentally it’s a trade issue, but a colonial hangover rules the industry. It took nearly 40 to 50 years for the manufacturing to move to Asia.”

Talking about the unorganised work force in the garment industry, Parakuni says, “They are a vulnerable workforce, perhaps they spend four to five years in school. They come from feudal backgrounds and suddenly they find themselves in a city and have to fend for themselves. There are no long term employees in the industry. There’s a high attrition rate, workers stay in one company for a maximum of two to five years.”

Talking about the low wages, he says, “It’s a race to the bottom, where the market led by leading brands like H&M, C&A, GAP, Inditex, Tommy Hilfiger, Mother Care dictate pricing. They try for the cheapest manufacturing cost and wages are thus determined by suppliers in negotiation with the smaller trade unions. There’s no formal collective bargaining, as the factories never allow a trade union to be formed, from lessons they learnt from the textile industry in Mumbai. And they are well within their rights not to recognise a labour union.”

Asked why the state government wouldn’t step in and conduct inspections, he said, “There’s no political will. They have to favour both the manufacturers and the workers. They do inspect when they get complaints or memorandums are submitted by the workers. But these are not effective and not on scale. There are no prosecutions or convictions.”

Meanwhile, let’s not lose heart. It’s not as though no action is taking place. The Economic Times reported in March this year that Indian firms who supply apparel, even if it is to foreign brands such as Gap, H&M and Marks & Spencer, will now be scrutinised for unfair trade practices. This decision was taken after a consortium of international agencies, including Unicef, Stop Child Labour and Solidaridad, signed an agreement on this issue.

This agreement was in response to a paper published by The India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) in January 2016. Titled Unfree and Unfair, the paper highlighted how young migrant garment workers live in appalling conditions. Unfree and Unfair studied the conditions for migrant workers in four garment factories – K Mohan, Texport Industries, Arvind Ltd Exports and Shahi Exports.

It is high time the Karnataka government stepped in and took action before another protest takes place. It should not allow human rights violations to carry on in the industry and should prosecute and convict the offenders.

For, Make in India comes with responsibility.

Bengaluru: Garment workers’ protest over EPF withdrawal norm turns violent; buses set on fire

Protest of garment factory workers against an amendment to the Employees Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act turned violent in Bengaluru on Tuesday as police resorted to a ‘mild’ lathicharge to control the ‘mob’.According to reports, several vehicles were burnt and incidents of stone throwing were reported.”At least three buses have reportedly been set on fire at Jalahalli Cross. There are reports of stone pelting at Gorguntepalya,” reported The Hindu.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The EPFO is considering barring the withdrawal of employer’s contribution to provident fund corpus till the employee attains 58 years of age. Currently, this stands at 54 years.The report also said that three buses were stoned at Tumakuru Road and the BMTC has suspended services across the city.
ALSO READ EPFO puts new PF withdrawal norms on hold till July 31The protest resulted in traffic jam at several places for a few hours with many ambulances getting stuck.Protesting garment employees have expressed fear that the new rule would take away their right over the employer’s contribution portion of PF till they attain 58 years age.”We want full PF money, not only our part. Several of us will need it to fulfil our aspirations like owning a house and several other things,” a protesting employee said.Meanwhile, the EPFO suspended its decision on the matter till July 31 this year. Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said that the issue will be discussed with various stakeholders.

India, Saudi Arabia sign 5 MoUs including one on exchange of intelligence on terrorism financing

India and Saudi Arabia on Sunday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) under which both nations agreed to exchange intelligence related to money laundering, terrorism financing and related crimes. The MoU, which was signed between Financial Intelligence Units of both countries, was one of the five MoUs concluded during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the nation.LIVE England vs West Indies final T20, ICC World T20The other MoUs include an agreement on labour cooperation between the Ministry of Labour of Saudi Arabia and Indian Ministry of External Affairs for the recruitment of general category workers. Besides, an MoU was also concluded on technical cooperation program between the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and the Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organisation (SASO).<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Another MoU was signed in the field executive program for cooperation in the field of handicrafts between Indian Export Promotion Council for Handicraft (EPCH) and Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage. An understanding to create a framework for Investment Promotion Cooperation between India and the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) was also concluded.Prime Minister Modi held delegation-level talks with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in a move to cement new momentum in bilateral ties between both sides and expand cooperation in diverse areas including trade, investment and counter-terrorism.

No new bills this session as Centre sitting on 14 bills: Manish Sisodia

The AAP dispensation is not tabling any new bill during the Budget Session of the Delhi Assembly as the central government is already sitting on 14 bills, including the one on Lokpal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Tuesday. The Budget Session of Delhi Assembly began on Tuesday and Sisodia said he was “saddened” over the delay on part of the Centre. He said if the Centre does not give nod to the city government’s bills at the earliest, there is “no benefit” of tabling new bills and sending them to it for approval.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We pass bills from here (Delhi Assembly). We work hard to prepare them, but the Centre sits on these bills passed by the Assembly,” he said. Sisodia will present the Budget on March 28. The session will conclude on March 31. “We have sent several bills to the Centre which are very important for Delhi, including formation of a new university, amendments in the Labour Laws, journalist salary bill. If we continue to send bills from here to the Centre, there is no benefit.””Lokpal Bill, which is a very important, is also pending with the Centre. We are today fighting for ACB (Anti- Corruption Branch) and if Lokpal would been appointed today, corruption would been rooted out from the top to bottom,” Sisodia said. He said people of Delhi have been waiting for the Centre’s approval for 14 bills which should have become laws by now.”We would have been able to increase seats in NSIT (Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology) after making the institute a university, but the bill pertaining to this is still pending with the Centre,” the deputy chief minister said.Earlier this month, Sisodia and Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel had met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh over 14 bills of the city government pending with the Centre for approval for the past several months.The bills include Delhi Jan Lokpal, MLA Salary Amendment, CrPC Amendment and Delhi School Education (Amendment).

London mayoral poll candidate uses Modi flyers to woo British Indians

The Conservative party candidate for the high-profile London mayoral polls is using leaflets with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s image to woo Indian-origin voters against his veteran Labour party rival who is the son of Pakistani immigrants.Zac Goldsmith, an Oxford-educated millionaire, is the Conservative party candidate for the race for the polls on May 5 to replace Boris Johnson when his term comes to end. He is up against Labour’s Sadiq Khan, a politician who proudly proclaims his working class roots as the son of a Pakistani bus driver.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In an effort to grab an edge over Khan, Goldsmith’s team has been using a leaflet with an image of him shaking hands with the Indian prime minister alongside British counterpart David Cameron during Modi’s visit to the UK last November.The message reads: “Standing up for the British Indian community.” However, the 41-year-old’s tactic seems to have backfired as he was accused of a Hindu bias by only mentioning festivals of “Diwali, Navratri and Janamashtami” in reference to his “strong engagement with the Indian community.” The Goldsmith team also issued tailored letters for London’s Tamil-origin population which tend to have expensive jewellery in their homes, warning that Khan is planning a “wealth tax on family jewellery.”The letter reads: “The first job of the Mayor of London is to protect Londoners. I recognise that far too often, Tamil households are targeted for burglary due to families owning gold and valuable family heirlooms.”As mayor I will stand up to focus the Metropolitan Police on this issue and will fight to keep you, your family and your homes secure.” Tulip Siddiq, Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, branded his techniques as “scaremongering” to win votes.She told the ‘Daily Mirror’: “The Tories are running a desperate and negative campaign for Mayor of London. It’s no surprise that they have resorted to sending out these scaremongering and totally dishonest leaflets.” Goldsmith is the son of the late Sir James Goldsmith and brother of Jemima Goldsmith, formerly Jemima Khan when she was married to Pakistani cricketer Imran Khan.A spokesperson for Zac Goldsmith said: “Khan experimented with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and helped elect a Labour leadership who want a new tax on family heirlooms, including jewellery if he is allowed to experiment with London from City Hall he represents a threat to the economic security of every family in our City.” The London mayoral race so far seems to be pretty close between the two main candidates and is likely to pick up speed next month.

‘Make in India’ can’t work on toil, miseries of young children : Satyarthi on child labour laws


Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi feels that Prime Minister

Narendra Modi

‘s ‘Make in India’ programme will prove to be a “big disaster” if child labour laws are not strengthened.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Satyarthi has said, “If investors are coming from foreign countries to manufacture

in India and if your laws are so weak in child labour in comparison to international standards then it will become a big disaster”.

He says that the ‘Make in India’ programme is a great move, but it also exposes a serious weakness of the country.

“Make in India” cannot be successful on the toil, miseries and abuses of young children in the manufacturing sector,” the 62-year-old founder of ‘Bachpan Bachao Andolan’ told PTI.

Giving the example of Apple, he said the US-based company faced a lot of criticism after allegations that child labour in China was being used to manufacture their products. “In India, child labour is working because your law allows it. These big brands will be dependent on local producers who are free to employ children. But the international media and human rights organisations are not going to spare us,” said the child rights activist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 along with Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai.

He was in Kolkata to support the Rotary India Literacy Mission.

On one hand, Satyarthi said, the government was talking about a ‘clean India’, ‘Skill India’ and ‘Digital India’ missions, but on the other hand children were being employed in tea shops, slaughter houses, restaurants and hazardous industries.

His current concern is the Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Amendment Bill where the list of prohibited occupations for children has been reduced to only three from the earlier 83. The proposed amendment also allows children of any age to work in family enterprises or house-based industries.

“I am calling upon all MPs that please don’t fail children again and again. The entire political class has to own up the responsibility of our children. If you allow child labour, you also allow unemployment,” the Nobel laureate said. Describing child labour as a form of modern day slavery, he said kids were preferred because it is cheap to hire them.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“If the amendment was passed it would become legal to employ children in hazardous industries like e-waste, zari/embroidery works, butcheries, tanneries, glass industry, etc.”

“Even in family-based industries most of them are hazardous and most of the trafficked and enslaved children work under the garb of an ‘extended family’. That is a big grey area,” Satyarthi said while describing the Bill as “regressive.

The Bill would also go against the Constitution which makes education a constitutional right, he pointed out. He started the fight against child labour in 1981 when India had no law against child labour. In 1986, Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act was passed.

Till now Satyarthi and his Bachpan Bachao Andolan team has rescued over 83,000 children. According to a report by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), there are 5.7 million child workers in India between the ages of 5 and 17.


Maharashtra govt to develop 50 smart villages: CM Devendra Fadnavis

Maharashtra government will soon transform 50 villages in the state into ‘smart villages’, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Friday.”Maharashtra will soon develop 50 smart villages across the state. Village Harisal in Melghat region in Amravati district, which has the dubious distinction of being the malnutrition capital, will be the first one to become ‘smart village’. It will be done with the assistance of Microsoft company,” Fadnavis said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He was speaking while presenting the national awards for e-Governance for the Year 2015-16 at the valedictory function of 19th ‘National e-Governance Conference’.”Development of ‘smart villages’ will bring financial prosperity to these places, besides better education and healthcare facilities. There will be enough opportunities for shopping and marketing,” he said.In the era of technology, people’s expectations have gone up, the Chief Minister said, adding “there is a need to take fast track decisions to save the escalating cost of projects. The fast track process should avoid any human interference.””Governance with accountability, transparency and innovation – ‘GATI’ will lead the country to the path of development by overcoming the country’s challenges,” Fadanvis said while presenting the awards given for exemplary implementation of e-Governance initiatives.Emphasising on transparent and efficient mechanism in administration to achieve citizen-centric service delivery, Fadnavis said, “People’s participation is essential while designing the governance system.” He said that under Maharashtra government’s ‘Aaple Sarkar’ project, about 42 different services have been brought online. “We hope to bring 150 services for the convenience of service delivery to the citizens,” the Chief Minister added.Fadnavis honoured 18 winners in 12 different categories for their outstanding achievement in e-Governance.Alex Paul Menon, District Collector of Balrampur in Chhattisgarh, the project-head of ‘Chhattisgarh online school monitoring system (COSMOS)’ won the gold award in the category of excellence in Government process-re-engineering. Silver award was given to the Social Justice Department of Madhya Pradesh for the project ‘SAMAGRA Portal’, an initiative to implement integrated social security programmes.For its online tracking system for missing children (Track Child), West Bengal’s Department of Women & Child Development won the gold award.In the category of innovative use of technology in e-governance, Employment Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) under Ministry of Labour and Employment, won gold for implementation of universal account number programme. Delhi Police won the silver award for its lost report application. Maharashtra Remote Sensing Applications Centre, Nagpur won gold award for innovative use of GIS Technology.Other award categories include incremental innovation in existing projects, best district level initiatives in citizen centre service delivery through ICT, innovative use of mobile technology in e-governance.Besides, sectoral awards in the fields like financial inclusion, innovative use of ICT by Central Government, PSU’s, State Government were distributed.The Universal Account Number (UAN) programme of the Employees Provident Fund Organisation under the Ministry of Labour & Employment bagged the gold in innovative use of technology in e-Governance.IRCTC’s next generation e-ticketing system bagged the gold in innovative use of ICT in central PSUs category. Award in the category of use of ICT for development by non-government organisation went to Western Union, Mumbai for its collaboration with India Post for money transfer.The paddy procurement automation system of Odisha, village profile planning atlas of Gujarat, Delhi traffic police mobile app, online hotel reservation system of Himachal Tourism were also among the winners.

Rohith Vemula’s suicide letter sent for forensic analysis

The letter purportedly written by Rohith Vemula, the Dalit scholar of University of Hyderabad, before he committed suicide, has been sent to the forensic lab for analysis, police sources said.”The letter was sent to forensic lab for handwriting match and other analysis. It would take a few days to get the report,” police sources told PTI.Rohith’s body was found hanging at one of the hostel rooms on the University of Hyderabad campus on Sunday. Rohith and four other students were earlier suspended from the university following an alleged assault on an ABVP leader. Later, the suspension was revoked but they were barred from accessing hostel facilities.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When contacted, Inspector J Ramesh of Gachibowli police refused to share any information saying it would hamper the investigation.Cyberabad police has named Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, Vice Chancellor Appa Rao, Telangana BJP MLC Ramachandra Rao and two students in the FIR filed in the suicide case.

Dalit scholar suicide: Rahul, Kejriwal attack Irani, Dattatreya; BJP rejects resignation demand

The suicide by a dalit student of Hyderabad University on Tuesday snowballed into a major issue with BJP’s rivals wading into it and demanding the removal of Union Ministers Smriti Irani and Bandaru Dattatreya, accusing them of being responsible for the death.As Congress mounted the demand for the sacking of the HRD and Labour Ministers, Rahul Gandhi led the multi-party charge attacking them and the Vice Chancellor Appa Rao saying “The VC and the Union Ministers in Delhi have not acted fairly. This youngster was put in so much pain that he had no option but to kill himself.” Though he did not name Irani, who had just over the week attacked Rahul in his constituency Amethi of failing youths there, the reference was obvious to her against the backdrop of ministry’s action which is blamed for the suicide by Rohith Vemula, a dalit research scholar, on Sunday night.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Protests escalated in Hyderabad and cities across the country including in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Chennai. Student organisations including the pro-Left AISA and AAP-backed CYSS and Congress’ NSUI held protests in Jantar Mantar and the HRD ministry in the capital demanding the sacking of the ministers and strong action against the VC. Various political parties and leaders have blamed Labour Minister Dattatreya’s letter of Aug 17 last year to Irani seeking action against the “anti national activities” of a students union and the alleged assault of an ABVP leader and a series of five communications from the HRD Ministry between Sept 3 and Nov 19 demanding follow up action for the suicide.Picture courtesy AFPThe HRD ministry, however, today rejected allegations that it had put any pressure on the University relating to either suspension of Rohith or keeping him out of the hostel. The communications, it maintained, was not aimed at putting pressure but was in compliance with the standard protocol adopted in accordance with the Central Secretariat Manual of Procedure whenever a “VIP Reference” is received. Ministry officials said the two-member committee of HRD officials have met people concerned in Hyderabad today and their fact-finding report is expected to be ready after their return tomorrow.After the high-profile visit of Rahul to the campus, Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi also went there and asked why Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not saying sorry over the incident. “It does not need even 140 characters,” he said in an apparent reference to the Prime Minister’s penchant for tweeting on issues. He alleged that there has been social discrimination that had led to the suicide. Gandhi flew into Hyderabad from Delhi in the morning and drove straight from the airport to the University campus where he addressed the agitating students.He alleged that the institution instead of operating fairly has used its power to “crush” the freedom of students to express. “The Vice Chancellor and the Minister in Delhi have have not acted fairly. What is the result. The result is that the youth, who came here to improve the country, to learn and to express himself was put in so much pain that he had no option but to kill himself.”Certainly he has committed suicide but conditions for his suicide were created by the Vice Chancellor, the minister and the institution,” he told the students, one of whom said before his speech that they did not want any politicising of the issue. He demanded “strictest punishment” for Vice-Chancellor and the minister holding them “responsible” for the death of the research scholar.After meeting the students, Gandhi upped the ante against Irani and Dattatreya and the Vice Chancellor, by observing in a tweet: The VC and Union Ministers in Delhi have not acted fairly. This youngster was put in so much pain that he had no option but to kill himself.”Union Labour Minister Dattatreya and Hyderabad University Vice Chancellor Appa Rao and three others were yesterday named in an FIR lodged with the Cyberabad police over the alleged suicide of the dalit student. The Congress Vice President said there is “no question of the Vice Chancellor remaining” on merit and criticised him severely for not even meeting the mother of the deceased.”There are certain people responsible for it. Vice Chancellor is among them. The minister is among them,” Gandhi said insisting that whoever is responsible for this outcome has to be punished in strictest terms. In a series of other tweets, Gandhi said, “Any student can come to the University- whether he belongs to any caste or religion. He should feel that I can say what I want to say.The idea of a University is that young people can come and share their thoughts.” “These students were protesting against the unjust expulsion and social boycott of Dalit students on campus.Met students of the Ambedkar Students Association, Hyderabad University,” he said in the other tweets.Earlier, accompanied by senior Telangana Congress leaders, Gandhi paid tributes to Vemula by garlanding a memorial “stupa” put up in the university. He also spent some time with family members of Vemula and consoled them. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi sack HRD Minister Smriti Irani, Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya and apologise to the nation over the alleged suicide by a Dalit student in Hyderabad university questioning their “interference” in the internal affairs of the institute.Terming it as a “murder” of democracy, social justice and equality, Kejriwal said the incident, which sparked massive protests across the country, has shaken the “collective conscience” of the entire nation. In a statement, Kejriwal said the “searing injustice” of depriving Rohit Vemula, the deceased, along with four other research scholars of their monthly stipends, library facilities, and their eventual suspension from the Hyderabad Central university, led him to take the extreme step.”The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is constitutionaly bound to protect the fundamental guarantees of the dalits, victims of historical discrimination and injustice. To this end the PM must ask this crucial question– “What business do ministers have in interfering in the internal affairs of a University? How can a minister term young, bright students as anti-national, simply because they had an altercation with the ABVP? How can young Dalit students be socially ostracised and economically penalised by the University administration?” Kejriwal asked.) Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi sack HRD Minister Smriti Irani, Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya and apologise to the nation over the alleged suicide by a Dalit student in Hyderabad university questioning their “interference” in the internal affairs of the institute.Kejriwal alleged that the two Ministers “endorsed and abetted” the ABVP’s systematic campaign to “socially ostracise” the students and deny them “library facilities, deprive them of their monthly stipends, and finally have them suspended from the university itself.”Earlier, Kejriwal tweeted, “Modi govt constitutionally duty bound to uplift dalits. Instead Modiji’s ministers got five dalit students ostracised and suspended.” “It’s not suicide. It’s murder. It’s murder of democracy, social justice and equality. Modiji should sack ministers and apologise to the nation,” he said.Rejecting Congress’ demand for resignation of Union ministers Smriti Irani and Bandaru Dattatreya over the suicide of a dalit student at Hyderabad Central University, BJP today accused its vice president Rahul Gandhi of politicising the death.Attacking Congress for taking the political discourse to “such a low” that it was doing politics over a student’s death, BJP insisted there was no link between Rohith Vemula’s suicide and the Hyderabad Central University’s action against him and other students on a complaint against them.Defending Dattatreya and Irani, party’s national secretary Shrikant Sharma said the former had merely forwarded a complaint about the alleged anti-national activity of some students on the campus to the HRD Minister, who in turn referred it to the institution for appropriate action.He noted the disciplinary action against Vemula and another student was taken by the university even before the Ministry’s communication to it in this regard. “It is unfortunate that Rahul Gandhi is doing politics over suicide. Congress has stooped to such a low that it is doing politics over the death of a student. We reject any such demand (of resignation) outright,” Sharma, accompanied by another party secretary Sidharth Nath Singh, told reporters.They noted that the HRD Ministry had already sent a committee to inquire about the incident and it will soon submit its report. Earlier, BJP general secretary P Muralidhar Rao alleged that Vemula’s suicide has been made into a political issue by “Congress, a section of media and some groups with vested interests”. Rao, in a series of tweets, said, “Suicide of Rohith Vemula has nothing to do with Dalit issues or rights just because he was a Dalit. It is merely politicising of the issue.””Disciplinary action was taken against Rohith at the advice of the court and even a lenient stand was taken by University authorities by permitting him to enter the campus except the hostel,” he said. “Rahul Gandhi’s hurried visit to Hyderabad is an unprincipled behaviour and it is unfortunate that a national political party stoops to such levels. “Congress did gross injustice to Dr B R Ambedkar and harassed him all his life. Now Rahul Gandhi and Digvijay Singh championing Dalit cause!” he said.The BJP leader, who hails from Telangana, said the student’s suicide note is self-revealing. “Connecting with incidents related to his ideological adversaries is baseless and orchestrated,” he said. Taking a dig at Gandhi, Sharma said he was a “part-time and non-serious” politician.

Hyderabad scholar commits suicide after expulsion from university

One of the five Dalit scholars who were expelled from the University of Hyderabad hostel 12 days ago hanged himself to death on Monday. 25-year-old Rohith Vemula, who belonged to Guntur district of Amravati, was doing his PhD in science technology and society studies for the past two years, before the scholar allegedly got involved in a tiff between two student groups in August last year.The five researchers were supported by 10 other students’ outfits on campus including ASA, Students Federation of India, Dalit Students Union and National Students Association among others.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Sunday, the students from each of the outfits had started relay hunger strike asking the university administration to take back the students all of whom hailed from backward socio-economic backgrounds.The students protested against Union Cabinet Minister of State for Labour and Employment Bandaru Dattatreya, and HRD minister Smiriti Irani. The students demanded the revoking of the suspension of the five Dalit research scholars and also demanded the apology of Dattatreya for interfering in University matters and branding students of University of Hyderabad as casteists, anti-nationals and extremists.

Indian-American women earn more than white men in US: Report

Indian-American women earn more on average when compared to non-Hispanic white men in the US, according to a new report.However, compared to Asian American men, Asian American women only make 78 cents on the dollar, which is the largest gender gap among the racial and ethnic categories studied, the report by US Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) said.The smallest gender gap was among African Americans black women earn nearly 90 cents on the dollar compared to black men. More than half of Asian Americans over 25 have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to only 33 per cent of non-Hispanic whites.About 72 per cent of Indian Americans have four-year college degrees, and a whopping 40 per cent have some professional or graduate degree. This means that Indian Americans are more likely to have advanced degrees than white Americans are likely to have finished college, the ‘Washington Post’ reported.About 21.8 per cent of Asian Americans also have graduate or professional degrees, compared to 12.8 per cent of non-Hispanic whites. This could explain the apparent advantage that Asian women have over men, the report said.Economist Mark Perry wrote in his blog that Asian women working full-time earned only about 3 per cent less per week (USD 841) than the average full-time male worker (USD 871) in 2014, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Asian women working full-time in 2014 earned more per week on average than black (USD 680) and Hispanic men (USD 616). <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

AAP govt refuses to implement Centre’s order on officers suspension

“The matter was twice placed before LG, but he never said that he has any disagreement on revision of the remuneration and retairnership fee. He only raised the issue of competence of Council of Ministers to take this decision without the approval of the MHA, which is subjudice,” it said. Later, on December 23, the government Cabinet reiterated its decision to hike the fees and sent a copy of its decision to the LG, the letter said.


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