The 64th Annual Conference of the Indian Society of Labour Economics (ISLE), hosted by the University of Hyderabad (UoH), concluded its second and third days with significant contributions from scholars, policy analysts, and industry experts, focused on dissecting the intricacies of the Indian labour market.

Day 2: Intersectionality, Labor Dynamics, and the Gig Economy

The conference’s second day delved into “Intersectionality and Labor Dynamics,” with panel discussions highlighting caregiving challenges, transitions in the labour market, gender disparities across urban and rural sectors, gig economy experiences, and the influence of social identity on labor outcomes. In-depth technical sessions examined the surge in gig economy roles, evaluating their effects on traditional employment paradigms, and discussed the economic significance of unpaid care work, predominantly undertaken by women, in shaping labour market participation trends.

Keynote speakers included Sukti Dasgupta, Director at the International Labour Organization (ILO), and Rama Bijapurkar, renowned business advisor. They offered insightful perspectives on the “Political Economy of Care” and an analysis of “India’s Consumer Economy,” respectively. The day concluded with a captivating Kuchipudi dance performance by the celebrated Yamini Reddy, blending cultural heritage with academic discourse.

Day 3 Highlights: Growth and Employment in India

Dr. Soumyakanti Ghosh, Group Chief Economic Adviser of the State Bank of India and a member of the 16th Finance Commission, delivered a keynote lecture on “Growth and Employment in India.” Leveraging data from the PLFS and CMIE, Dr. Ghosh addressed some myths surrounding the growth-employment nexus, spotlighting the rise in female labour force participation and the effects of government welfare measures and credit access schemes. His discussion also touched on youth unemployment and global employment trends, urging careful analysis of PLFS and CMIE survey data to avoid biases.

Valedictory Function

The conference wrapped up with a prestigious valedictory ceremony, where Priyanka Tyagi, CEO of the Institute of Human Development, alongside other dignitaries, welcomed guests. Alok Kumar Mishra (Professor, School of Economics, UOH) and Ritu Dewan (President, 64th ISLE Conference) shared opening remarks and a comprehensive overview of the conference deliberations.

The ceremony’s highlight was the address by Chief Guest Shri K. Ramakrishna Rao, IAS (Special Chief Secretary, Financial and Planning, Government of Telangana), who underscored the conference’s importance to policy formulation. Reflecting on Telangana’s spectacular economic growth and labour force dynamics, he called on the academic community to critically assess the state’s development trajectory and contribute to informed policy-making.

The event concluded with closing remarks and a vote of thanks by Jajati Keshari Parida (Associate Professor, School of Economics, UOH) and Alakh N. Sharma (Director, IHD), marking the end of a deeply enriching dialogue aimed at shaping the future of labour economics in India.