Prof. K.R. Shyam Sundar, XLRI, Jamshedpur organises the release of the books edited by him in Honour of Prof. Lalit K. Deshpande, Former Director, Department of Economics, Mumbai University

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Mumbai: Eminent Labour Economist & Professor, Human Resources Management Area at XLRI – Xavier School of Management, Dr. K.R. Shyam Sundar ‘s two edited books titled – ‘Perspectives on Neoliberalism, Labour and Globalization in India’ and ‘Globalization, Labour Market Institutions, Processes and Policies in India’ were released in Mumbai recently.

The two books, comprising of Essays exploring different perspectives on Labour Studies in Indian Perspective, have been edited by Dr. K.R. Shyam Sundar in honour of his mentor Prof. Lalit K. Deshpande, Former Director, Department of Economics, Mumbai University and published by internationally well-known publisher, Palgrave Macmillan.

At a formal function held at the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR) in Mumbai, the two books were released by Prof. K.P. Kannan (Chairperson, Laurice Baker Centre of Habitat Studies, Thiruvananthapuram) and Prof. Mahendra Dev (Director, IGIDR, Mumbai) in presence of eminent scholars and academicians like Prof. Gopal Guru (Editor, Economic and Political Weekly), Prof. R. Ramakumar (Professor, NABARD Chair Professor, Centre for Study of Developing Economies, School of Development Studies, TISS, Mumbai), Prof. D.N. Reddy (Honorary Professor, the Institute for Human Development, New Delhi), Prof. Praveen Jha (Professor, Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi) and Prof. Supriya RoyChowdhury (Professor, Institute for Economic and Social Change, Bengaluru) among others. Prof. Lalit K. Deshpande, former Conference President of the Indian Society of Labour Economics, a premier academic body in India, was also present on the occasion.

Prof. Alakh N Sharma, Eminent Labour Economists and Editor of the Indian Journal of Labour Economics, praised the book, Perspectives on Neoliberalism, Labour and Globalization in India. She said, “This volume edited by Dr. K. R. Shyam Sundar has contributions from some well-known scholars, both from India and abroad, on various aspects relating to the political economy of labour and industrial and labour relations in the wake of globalization. These articles cover a wide range of issues and will certainly make a good contribution to the study of political economy of labour. It is a befitting tribute to Professor L. K. Deshpande for which Dr. K. R. Shyam Sundar deserves appreciation.”

Prof. Mahendra Dev, Director and Vice-Chancellor, IGIDR showered praise on Globalization, Labour Market Institutions, Processes and Policies in India’. He said, “I compliment Prof. K.R. Shyam Sundar for bringing out essays in honour of such a distinguished labour economist like Prof. L.K. Deshpande. The edited book contains articles contributed by well-known scholars on labour, employment, labour institutions and industrial relations. One can learn a lot on this subject from the articles included in this volume. The introductory chapter by Prof. K.R. Shyam Sundar provides a very good overview of the issues and policies discussed by the contributors. This volume is also timely as the country has been discussing on employment growth and labour market reforms. This book is an important addition to the literature on labour market, labour institutions and industrial relations and will be useful for researchers, policy makers and those interested in labour and employment policies. The volume is a fitting tribute to Prof. L.K. Deshpande who has been a source of inspiration to many of us.”

The event comprised two panel discussions in the backdrop of launch of each of the books where experts analysed the contributions in the two books which in general focused on issues and aspects relating to the impact of globalization on the labour market and the industrial relations system with special reference to India. The panelists and the experts praised the two books for making significant contribution in aiding an understanding of the pitfalls of neoliberal globalization, for making a serious attempt to provide alternatives to it and for providing comprehensive and insightful analyses of labour market institutions and policies in the post-reform period in India. The two books are seen as a fitting tribute to the lifelong scholarship of Prof. Lalit K Deshpande.

Eminent scholars like Prof. Dilip Nachne (Professor Emeritus, IGIDR, Mumbai), Prof. Vikas Chitre (Indian School of Political Economy, Pune), Mr. Rajeev Dubey (Member, ILO Governing Body), Prof. Vibhuti Patel (Professor, Advanced Centre for Women’s Studies, TISS, Mumbai) among others praised the pioneering contribution made by Prof. Lalit K Deshpande in understanding the dynamics of labour market and the labour institutions in India and congratulated Dr. K.R. Shyam Sundar for bringing out the two important books on the study of labour.

The first book released – ‘Perspectives on Neoliberalism, Labour and Globalization in India’ employs a variety of perspectives such as Institutional, Social Democratic, Marxist, Gender and Informal, Biblical and Dalit, to critically examine the impact of neoliberal globalisation on both formal and informal sectors of the labour market and the industrial relations system. The narratives not only interrogate current institutions and paradigms, but also outline future developments.

The second book – ‘Globalization, Labour Market Institutions, Processes and Policies in India’ explores the effects of product market and labour market reforms on firms, labour institutions and labour rights in the economic and industrial relations system in India. India has over the years liberalized its economy through a broad range of reforms concerning the product market and complementing these it has also sought to reform the labour market and the industrial relations system. The book assesses the impact of these reforms on both the formal and informal labour markets in India, critically examines the labour processes and uncovers/describes precarious conditions of labour in various industries and occupations, and analyzes the dynamics involved in the making of industrial, employment and labour policies in contemporary India.

Talking about the books, Prof. K. R. Shyam Sundar said, “The aforementioned two sets of books constitute an organic whole in not only critically analysing through different conceptual lenses the very nature of and dynamics arising out the competitive market economy and their impact on labour institutions, processes and policies in the industrial relations system but also unravelling the disturbingly precarious plight of labour who is seen not so much as human beings worthy of respect and dignity but merely as a factor of production. The two books essentially argue for institutional, managerial and labour policy corrections to strike a golden balance between decent work and competitive policy dynamics and the contributions in the two books assume high significance in the current debate on high unemployment, rising informalization of labour and labour market reforms. The two books released today are my humble homage to the vast and pioneering contribution made by Prof. Lalit Deshpande in the field of labour economics”.