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  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Oct 19 2021
  • Time: 8:30 am - 10:30 am

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Oct 19 2021


6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Urban Employment Guarantee in India: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

The last few years have seen a lot of discussion and debate, as well as policy experiments on urban employment programmes in India. In Basole et al (2019) a possible design for an employment guarantee programme was presented for small towns, intended to reduce underemployment and precarity in the informal sector while investing in local infrastructure, reversing ecological damage and improving resilience to climate change. The ensuing months prior to the Covid-19 pandemic saw a vigorous debate on the feasibility as well as desirability of such a programme. The pandemic has dramatically altered the landscape in which this debate is happening. The lack of an urban safety net for informal workers resulted in large-scale reverse migration leading in extreme cases to tragic and avoidable instances of severe distress and death. In response, several states have already launched or are considering urban employment schemes (as of date – Kerala, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Tamil Nadu). Lack of fiscal resources prevents such scheme form being true guarantees. This webinar will present the  2019 proposal in brief and then discuss the need for such a programme at the national level.