School: School of Social Sciences and Humanities
The Master of Arts (Labour Studies and Social Protection) (LSSP) is aimed to prepare academic experts and professionals in labour studies, policy making and research. This programme deals with conceptual, theoretical and practical issues concerning the functioning and dynamics of work, labour and livelihood. Nature of employment patterns and employment relations has been changing over the period in the contemporary development. The employment is characterised by growing informality and various forms of work related insecurities in the developed as well as developing nations. Workers in the developing countries are facing effects of globalisation and international restructuring of the global labour market in forms of sub-contraction, casualisation and contractualisation. Poor models of social protection make employment even more vulnerable to market fluctuation across the globe. Therefore how working class– both in the formal and informal sectors – manage their social security needs including benefits from employers, work safety, wages and also state assured benefits, are the prime focus of this course. In this backdrop, the course highlights the issues such as liberalisation and its impact on employment generation, role of trade union and collective bargaining, labour movement, rural-urban migration, role of education, caste, class and gender in labour market, role of corporate governance, and occupational safety and health. The course has also an intense debate surrounding the impact of labour laws on employment generation.
While classroom learning through participation in the forms of discussions and case studies, presentations, assignments, etc. enable students understanding conceptual and theoretical clarity of the subject; practical inputs are provided through rigorous field work that complements the classroom inputs by showing light on the practical dimension of the course. The insights that emerge from theories and hands-on practical experiences make students conceptually strong and successful in practice of the course.
Considering the need for building experts in academic and professional world, the course provides the training and knowledge related to different methods and data analysis software packages. Data analysis software packages such as SPSS and STATA (quantitative data analysis software), and ATLAS.ti (qualitative data analysis software) will be taught. The course contains the field exposure in terms of internship, field work and writing a dissertation on the labour-related topic.
Key Features of this Programme:
Focus on the perennial problem of unemployment, underemployment and the informal employment in developing economies in general, and the Indian economy in particular;
An in-depth understanding of the conceptual and theoretical understanding of different socio-economic and relevant policy issues pertaining to labour studies,
The course is interdisciplinary in nature that assembles concepts and theories from various disciplines like Economics, History, Law, Political Science and Sociology;
Programme Structure and Curriculum Design:
Given that Labour studies and social protection draws from various disciplines like Economics, History, Law, Political Science and Sociology, the course is interdisciplinary in nature.
Perspective courses provide foundational knowledge on the aspects of labour related issues studies and social protection in India as well as in the West in context of both formal and informal set-ups.
Courses are specifically designed to impart skills and techniques of data analysis, qualitative and quantitative, and apply these in development research and internship.
The field work and internship in the labour studies and social security curriculum is designed to provide a practical grasp of issues relating to labour. Given the geographical location of the north east campus, students will be encouraged to work on various issues pertaining to labour in and around Guwahati in first and third semesters. Students will be placed in various organisations for their internship across India and neighbouring countries in the second semester.
The main objective of field exposure or field practical is to develop a comprehensive understanding of the field reality and its link with the theory. North Eastern Region (NER) has no remarkable industrial growth except traditional tea, oil and wood based industries in Assam; and coal, small and medium industries in Meghalaya. In recent years the “Look East Policy” of Government of India has made North East more important and strategic even in context of industry. Industries in this region have been classified mainly into two broad types: agro-based industries (tea industry, sugar industry, grain mill products industry of rice, oil and flour mills, food processing industry and the textile industry) and forest-based industries (plywood industry, saw-mill industry, paper and paper pulp industry). Studying different industries and its labour standard is core area of this course. There is dearth of studies exploring labour issues and industry in the region too. Therefore, hands-on experiences while visiting different industries shall provide practical understanding of industry and labour standard in that setting.
With low industrial growth and growing population pressure in NER, informal sector becomes manor source of livelihood in the region. There is hardly any study which addresses labour issues in the informal sector in the region. Thus students are expected to conduct study (group or individual) on the informal sector and labour in this sector including informal workers in the industries. The field based study will enable students understanding the phenomenon in the context of current development.
Students are expected to do internship with different organisations. The objective behind internship is to provide a scope for students understand the structure of different organisations, industry, and labour at the grass root level (including trade union) while closely working with them. Field supervisors will be assigned in the organisations and students are expected to share their experiences and findings through presentations.
After successful completion of the course students may opt for higher studies in labour studies related disciplines and issues; or may engage themselves in various government departments which are dealing with labour issues (such as, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Institute of Applied Manpower Research, Planning Commission and etc.), and research institutions, university departments; or as experts in various national and international non-governmental organisations, law firms and corporate sector.
Core LSSS Faculty
Prof. Virginius Xaxa, M.A. (Pune University), Ph.D (IIT Kanpur)
Dr. Debdulal Saha, M.A. (NBU), Ph.D. (TISS Mumbai), Post-Doctoral (Germany)
Dr. Rajdeep Singha, M.Sc. (VU), Ph.D. (ISEC Bangalore), Post-Doctoral (IIMB)
Dr. Shivani Chauhan Barooah, MSW, M.Phil, Ph.D (University of Delhi)
Associated Faculty Members
Dr. Jagannath Ambagudia, M.A., Ph.D. (JNU)
Dr. Prashant Kesharvani, M.A. (University of Allahabad), Ph.D. (JNU)
Dr. Ram Kumar Debbarma, M.A., Ph.D. (University of Hyderabad)
Dr. Sanjay Barbora, M.A. (DU), Ph.D. (NEHU)
Dr. V Sawmveli, M.A., Ph.D (University of Hyderabad)
Dr. Debdulal Saha
E-Mail: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Distribution of Credit Hours:
Core Courses (LSSP)
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