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We have a grim picture of the progress and prospects of women’s employment in India. It is time to embark on imaginative labour policies for the promotion of women’s employment in the non-farm sectors.

“The potential ‘overhaul’ that the NEP 2020 boasts of will remain on paper like preceding policy documents unless there is a genuine move to widen people’s mental horizons & change the mindset of people including that of the leaders,” writes Devi Kar.

The Covid-19 pandemic demonstrates that the discipline of public health needs to be open towards a plurality of ideas and paradigms. Else it could end up being reductionist and suited to authoritarian governance and commercial interests.

“NEP 2020 can be critiqued even before it is implemented because of the unrealistic timelines that have been drawn up for meeting far-reaching goals.”

Devi Kar on the “absurdly overambitious” policy:

A photo essay on the Brahma Kshatriyas of , whose association with the Mughal and the Nizam’s administration produced a unique syncretic culture.

A socially engineered minimum wage, supported through public expenditure, can safeguard low-income groups against any distress-driven migration. It can empower them to navigate towards skill mobility and remunerative jobs.

Contrary to expectations, urbanisation has not positively influenced the entry of women into the Indian labour force. In most states, women’s participation in work outside the household has remained low.

Across India, women earn less than half that of men in self-employment and less than two-thirds in casual work. Unemployment is conspicuously higher among educated women than men.

National Education Policy fails to recognize education as a legal human right of every child. It misses an opportunity to address one of the hardest challenges in education today.

Most women workers in Indian cities would rather wait, if they can afford to, for regular jobs than do other kinds of work. One reason for their preference for regular employment is the prevalence of wide differentials in earnings across status groups.

"The glory and development of modern Assam has rolled on and now threatens to break the backs of local communities from Baghjan’s adjoining villages."

The new education policy sounds impressive on initial reading and no doubt its intentions are to make the public education system work well. But closer examination raises some serious red flags. Read Kiran Bhatty @[email protected] in:

"In @[email protected]'s narrative in 'The Age of Surveillance Capitalism', human beings are now essentially Pavlov’s dogs, punished by the regime of surveillance capitalism for ‘undesirable’ behaviours and rewarded for ‘desirable’ ones."

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AV Jose (@[email protected]) looks at the current indicators of work participation among women in Indian states. The participation rates are extremely low but the unemployment rates are very high.

The has dazzled many. Devi Kar, a veteran school educator, writes about the welcome changes expected, and nagging fears that persist.

"If the rural economy starts humming…the rise in rural incomes will persuade the formal sector in urban areas to start investing and absorbing the excess labour from the rural areas."

Why does the India-China border flare-up with regularity? Why cannot afford to cut its economic links with ? What's happening with the neighbourhood in South Asia? Read our commentaries:

The abysmally low participation of women in paid work in India even today is very worrying. Policy interventions should look at how to encourage higher work participation, through offers of higher wages and better social security. AV Jose writes.

The lacks a coherent strategy to strengthen public education. It does not own the narrative of education as a public good, instead the policy pushes for private practices antithetical to public goals. By Kiran Bhatty of @[email protected]

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