The 64th Indian Society of Labour Economics (ISLE) Conference commenced today at the University of Hyderabad, marking a significant milestone for the institute. The inaugural session witnessed insightful addresses from leading figures in economics.

From L to R : Badri N Rath, I C Awasthi, Ritu Dewan, Deepak Nayar, B J Rao, VC, UoH, D P Rath, RBI, Satoshi Sasaki, ILO, A N Sharma, R Vijay, Alok K Mishra

The session commenced with introductory and welcome remarks by Professor Alakh N. Sharma and Prof Alok Kumar Mishra, Organizing Secretary respectively.  Following this, Ritu Dewan (Conference President) outlined the conference’s key themes, objectives, and achievements in her address and set the agenda for the upcoming discussions and presentation. Mr. Satoshi Sasaki (Deputy Director of ILO Decent Work Team for South Asia and Country Office for India) highlighted the importance of advancing labour economics in India. He also talked about the informal sector and the potential of India’s large youth workforce, which has opened the market to new business avenues. He also highlighted women’s labour force participation and their flexible work care arrangement. The event progressed with an inaugural address by Dr. Deba Prasad Rath,   Principal Adviser, DEPR, RBI on “Post COVID Fiscal Policy – The Indian Experience”. He highlighted the need for Fiscal policy & Research and its significant impact on India’s potential growth and sustainability. In his presentation, he emphasised the significance of episodal counter-cyclical interventions. Prof B J Rao, Vice Chancellor, UoH welcomed the delegates and talked about the complexity of an economy compared with the Physical systems in science disciplines. He encouraged ISLE to hold their meetings in UoH in future.

Mr Satoshi Sasaki , Deputy Director , ILO, addressing the 64th ISLE Conference at UoH

Professor Deepak Nayyar (President, ISLE) provided a brief overview of the ISLE’s history and its commitment and dedication to improving the lives of workers in India. He also shed light on the conference, which involved perspectives from scholars worldwide. In the end, he expressed gratitude to all the members of ISLE for having considerable success to this point. He was confident that ISLE will continue to bring a platform for stimulating discussions, knowledge sharing, and collaboration to achieve a more equitable and prosperous future for Indian workers.

In her presidential address, Ritu Dewan took up the topic of self-employment and delivered a presentation on “Towards Demystifying Self-Employment in India: Delineation, Dimensionality, Differentia”. Her presentation highlighted the issue of unpaid workers, gender inequality in the workforce and their wages indifferences. She directed the concern on patriarchal dominance perpetuated by the fiscal functioning of the government. The concern was also emphasized regarding the discrimination of rural-urban workforce in terms of type of employment and wage distribution.

Professor Badri Narayan Rath from IIT Hyderabad proposed a vote of thanks.