Conferences , Workshops & Symposiums
Panel Discussion on “Challenge of Employment and Make in India” was organised during the Global Conference on "Prosperity, Equality and Sustainability: Perspectives and Policies for a Better World", 1-3 june 2016, New Delhi
A special Panel Discussion on “Challenge of Employment and Make in India” was organised during the Global Conference on "Prosperity, Equality and Sustainability: Perspectives and Policies for a Better World" organized by the Institute for Human Development (IHD), New Delhi, jointly with the World Bank, supported by the Poverty and Social Impact Analysis – Multi-Donor Trust Fund (PSIA MDTF) at the World Bank during 1-3 June 2016. The session was chaired by Mr. Amitabh Kant, Chief Executive Officer, NITI Aayog, Government of India. The panellists in the session were: Professor Jeemol unni, Director, IRMA, Gujarat; Professor Kunal Sen, Manchester University; Dr. Duncan Campbell, Visiting Faculty at Cornell University.
Theme presentation by Professor Ajit Ghose http://www.ihdindia.org/pesconference/pdf/Ajit-ghos.pdf
3rd Training Programme for Young South Asian Scholars, 27 October – 7 November 2015
The 3rd SARNET Labour Economics Training was organized by the Institute for Human Development and the International Labour Organization (ILO) as part of the South Asia Research Network on Employment and Social Protection (SARNET) initiative, which is a collaboration of IHD and ILO with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia-Pacific (ESCAP) with support from International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada. It was organised during 27 October- 7 November 2015. As many as 135 applications were received, and out of them 40 trainees from 10 countries were invited to participate in the training programme.
The training programme covered various topics including the theory of labour markets; research methodologies; growth, structural transformation and employment; labour market institutions and policies; earnings, inequality and labour market segmentation; and emerging issues for labour economics research in South Asia.
The two weeks training programme was based on lectures by leading international and Indian experts. Well known Indian and international experts, namely; Iyanatul Islam, ILO; Rizwanul Islam, former ILO Special Adviser; Sher Verick, ILO; Selim Raihan, University of Dhaka; Sandip Sarkar, IHD; Balwant Singh Mehta, IHD; Arup Mitra, IEG; G.C. Manna, CSO, MoSPI; Vinay Srivastava, Delhi University; E. Madheswaran, CESP, Bangalore; Prakash Singh, IEG; Ashwini Deshpande, Delhi University; S. K. Sasikumar, VVGNLI; B.N. Goldar, IEG; Sumit Mazumdar, IHD; and Jeemol Unni, IRMA delivered lectures during this programme.
The lectures were supplemented by group and practical activities. In addition, guest lectures and a policy panel session provided an opportunity for participants to interact with other experts, including those responsible for policy formulation and implementation. The trainees participated actively during the sessions. The participants were divided into groups and were required to prepare a presentation on a research proposal, which was reviewed by a panel of experts. The practical exercise drew a very encouraging response.
List of Trainees
Second - Competitive Call for Papers: 'Education, Skills and Social Protection’ by Young South Asian Scholars; 26 October 2015
South Asia faces a complex set of economic, social and political issues that constrain growth and the creation of good jobs. It is widely acknowledged that the lack of access to education and skills as well as a minimum level of social protection are among the most important constraints in achieving inclusive growth with decent employment in the region. As such, SARNET issued its Second Competitive Call for Papers on ‘Education, Skills and Social Protection in Emerging Labour Markets: Issues and Perspectives for Inclusive Growth in South Asia’. Young scholars (below the age of 40 years) of South Asian nationality (working either in the region or outside) were invited to submit proposals for empirical papers, covering any or all of the major South Asian economies, including Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, on the themes Education and Skills and Social Protection.
Young scholars (below the age of 40 years) of South Asian nationality (working either in the region or outside) were invited to submit proposals for empirical papers, covering any or all of the major South Asian economies, including Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Around 100 Proposals were received in response to the Call. 11 selected paper writers were invited to present their papers in a Symposium held 26 October 2015 at New Delhi
The topics and issues under the theme Education and skills included: Education and Skills :challenges of education and skills deficits and issues of so-called ‘skills mismatch’; policies to promote better education and skills outcomes; access and exclusion issues related to skill development and training; skill systems in different South Asian countries and best practices; empirical evidence regarding impact of Vocational Education & Training (VET) on employability and quality of jobs; Public-private partnerships in VET/role of private sector in VET provision and Financing VET—cross-country comparisons and lessons. The papers on Social protection mainly dealt with different approaches to social protection (insurance vs. assistance, promotional vs. protective, basic social protection floor); challenges and issues in providing minimum level of social protection, adequate for a decent living; resources for financing a minimum level of social protection; different models of social protection in the context of high segmentation and differences in labour markets in South Asia; and appropriate institutional and governance structure for effective implementation of social protection policies
South Asia Regional Conference on “Meeting the Challenges of Employment and Inclusive Growth in South Asia”, 24-25 October 2015
The SARNET International Conference on “Meeting the Challenges of Employment and Inclusive Growth in South Asia” was held during 24-25 October 2015 at New Delhi. The Conference was organized by South Asia Research Network on Employment and Social Protection for Inclusive Growth (SARNET), which has been conceived and is being implemented by the Institute for Human Development (IHD), New Delhi in collaboration with UN-ESCAP and ILO, with support from IDRC and some important National Research Institutes in the various South Asian countries. The central output of the programme is the “South Asia Labour and Employment Report: Towards Inclusive Growth”.
The main objective of the workshop was to present and discuss the chapters of South Asia Labour Employment Report 2016 and India Employment Report 2016. Around 75 scholars from South Asia including eminent experts, civil-society representatives, policy-makers and development practitioners participated and shared their views on the report.
There were 10 sessions in the workshop. Out of 10 sessions, 8 sessions were for South Asia Labour Employment Report and 2 sessions were for India Employment Report. The debate and deliberations were substantially centered on ‘Demographic and Labour Market Trends in South Asia’, ‘Migration in South Asia: Trends and Policy Concerns’, ‘Growth, Employment and the Uncertain Path of Structural Transformation’, ‘Informal Sector in South Asia’, ‘Level of Income and Earnings and Inequality in South Asia’, ‘Gender Relations and Labour Markets’, ‘Macro Economic Policy, Growth and Employment in South Asia: Some Perspectives’, ‘Labour Market Regulations’, ‘Education and Skills’, ‘Social Protection’, ‘SARNET Data Bank’, ‘Challenges of Employment in India’, and ‘Manufacturing-led Growth in India: Issues and Perspectives’.
A panel discussion was organized on “Key Findings and Future Priorities for Research and Policy”. The panellists were Prof Alakh N Sharma, Prof. Gerry Rodgers, Prof. Abhijit Sen, Prof. Aliya Khan, Prof. Maitreyi Bordia Das, Rizwanul Islam, Pushp Raj Rajkarnikar and Sher Verick. The panelists mainly discussed about the value-addition of the South Asian Development reports; the shortcomings of the methods of comparing the different South Asian countries; the need of more research on the inclusiveness of growth, poverty, inequality and macroeconomic policy regimes; and how policy-makers could be made a part of the conversations which still are mainly confined to the academicians. This session was followed by the presentation of the draft India Employment Report 2016. The two reports will be revised based on the deliberations and suggestions made in the conference.
Panel Discussion on Highlights of Draft India Employment Report (IER) - 2016 Organised by: South Asia Research Network on Employment and Social Protection for Inclusive Growth (SARNET) (A Research and Network Programme promoted by IHD in collaboration with ILO and ESCAP with support from IDRC, Canada), 9 October 2015, Srinagar
The session was chaired by Professor Abhijit Sen Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Former Member Planning Commission . The welcome and introductory remarks were made by Professor Alakh N. Sharma, Director, IHD; Programme Director, SARNET and Editor, Indian Journal of Labour Economics and were followed by a presentation of some key points of the draft report by Professor Ajit K. Ghose Visiting Professor, IHD, New Delhi . Ghose began by laying down the employment challenge facing the country at the current juncture where an estimated 15 million new productive jobs were required every year out of which 8 million jobs would be needed for persons with upto primary education given estimated labor force and workforce projections. Given this overall challenge , he proceeded to draw out the issues involved therein under selected themes which would be covered in the report.
The presentation of these broad facts and analyses was followed by engaging with two broad questions that arose in confronting the employment challenge given the existence of these conditions. The first involved the case for a rapid manufacturing-led growth in overcoming this challenge. The employment challenge was one of shifting a large and growing mass of low-skilled labour from poor to better (more productive and remunerative) jobs. This raised some basic questions - Will manufacturing-led growth produce faster growth of jobs than services-led growth? Will the former create more jobs for the low-skilled than the latter? At the same time the question also remained whether a rapid services-led growth was sustainable given the current juncture. Though growth remains services-led, it decelerated recently. He then concluded by proposing that it was a rapid manufacturing-led growth that would restore the balance between production and absorption and will keep trade deficit at sustainable level.
In response to the presentation , a range of eminent panelists discussed the results and the issues involved therein . To begin with Professor S. Mahendra Dev, Panelists Director (Vice Chancellor), Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai highlighted some of the issues that came out in the presentation where employment conditions and labour inequality had improved but female labor force participation (FLPR) had fallen . And while he agreed that the potential of manufacturing had to be explored , many demand and supply side constraints to manufacturing growth remained including debates on its export potential itself. Dr. Sher Singh Verick Deputy Director ILO Decent Work Team South Asia, New Delhi in his comments remarked that Ghose’s presentation marked a difference from the conventional outlook on ‘jobless growth ‘ and was forward looking in its approach. However he wondered if it would be possible to look at the formal informal divide not as a two sector model but a multi sector model and the proposition that wages were exogeneous needed to be examined more carefully. Professor Achin Chakraborty Professor of Economics and Director Institute of Development Studies, Kolkata in his response raised the conundrum of the inverse relationship between employment intensity and productivity in understanding the growth employment relationship which needed to be examined in understanding tradeoffs between quantity and quality of job creation through a manufacturing led growth regime . Professor D.N. Reddy Visiting Professor, Institute for Human Development New Delhi noted that the present report was substantially different in that it presented facts in a specific way and was substantively evaluative in nature. Professor Selim Raihan Professor, Department of Economics University of Dhaka commented on the manner in which the report was based on the structural changes in economy and employment and the stories that merged and overlapped as a result. Dr. K.V. Ramaswamy Professor, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai in his remarks addressed the need to explore the factors behind the emergence of both the good and bad drivers of the current growth trajectory . Dr. B.N. Goldar Professor, Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi began by stating that the report made some provocative assertions such as the absence of anything like jobless or job rich growth in understanding the current growth trajectory and challenged the concept of labor market equilibrium and whether it could be considered endogeneous. It suggested that while one could think of equilibrium , it needs not necessarily be a labor market equilibrium . This also brought out several trade-offs to be considered such as the tradeoff between wage growth/growth of formal jobs and faster employment growth which needed to be explored further. Finally, the chair, Abhijit Sen, also made some remarks towards the end while summarizing the discussion. He raised the important issue of the discrepancy between census data and NSS data in determining whether the nature and extent of decline in FLPR.
SARNET at 56th Annual Conference of Indian Society of Labour Economics-International Symposium on
‘Women, Work and Structural Transformation In South Asia’, 17 December 2014, Ranchi
The Symposium was organised by Institute for Human Development, New Delhi; International Labour Organization (ILO), New Delhi; UN-ESCAP SSWA Office, and International Develop-ment Research Centre (IDRC),Canada in collaboration with Ranchi University under the auspices of South Asia Research Network on Employment and Social Protection on Inclusive Growth (SARNET)- The Symposium was chaired by Professor Nirmala Banerjee, Former Professor, Centre for Social Sciences, Kolkata. The Welcome and opening remarks were given by Professor Alakh N. Sharma, Director, Institute for Human Development, New Delhi Dr. Sher Singh Verick, Senior Employment Specialist, ILO, New Delhi and Professor L. N. Bhagat, Vice Chancellor, Ranchi University. The country perspectives on the theme were presented by Dr. Simeen Mahmud, BRAC University, Centre for Gender and Social Transformation, BRAC Development Institute, Bhaka(perspective from Bangladesh); Dr. Bandita Sijapati, Adjunct Professor,Nepa School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Kathmandu( perspective from Nepal); Dr. K. P. Kannan, Chairman, Laurie Baker Centre for Habitat Studies and Former Director, Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram (perspective from India);and Dr. Ramani Gunatilaka, Visiting Faculty, Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Colombo and Independent Consultant (perspective from Sri Lanka). The panelists in the session included leading economists like Dr. Wahiduddin Mahmud, Chairman, Economic Research Group, Dhaka; Member of UN Committee on Development Policy; Chairman, South Asia Network of Economic Research Institute, Dhaka; and Former Professor, Dept. of Economics, Dhaka University; Dr. Sher Verick, Senior Employment Specialist, ILO Decent Work Team for South Asia; Professor Nisha Srivastava, Professor, Dept. of Economics, University of Allahabad and Proressor Ritu Dewan, Director, Department of Economics University of Mumbai.
This Symposium on the whole highlighted that women did not gain from the neo-liberal growth and structural transformation that is witnessed in South Aisan countries. Dr. Sher Singh Verick explored the importance and implications of structural transformation for women and work in South Asia in general and with a focus on Indian situation based on evidence in the last decade. He presented evidence that suggests a decline in Female Labour Force Participation Rates on the whole for Asian countries. He pointed out that the pattern of growth in different sectors has specific implications for women's participation in work. Further, "there are many demand and supply-side factors driving participation and work status of women, he added. Prof. Kannan presented both an overall scenario of women's employment and disaggregated narrative for different socio-religious sections of women within India. He emphasised that, while on the whole women lost out in the neo-liberal growth context, it is the most vulnerable groups that experienced significant marginalisation and on the other extreme, the wealthier caste/class women with better education gained in the emerging markets like IT, Banking etc. Ramani Gunatilaka elaborated on the disappointing outcomes from neo-liberal growth for Sri Lankhan women despite their better initial standing compared to other South Asian countries. This, she pointed out, was because the emerging sectors did not benefit women which is reflected in their "weak representation" in these sectors.
International Conference on
Meeting the Challenges of Employment and Social Protection in South Asia
14-16 December 2014, New Delhi
As part of country-based and comparative research, a South Asian network of researchers and institutions is being created under SANET. The countries involved in SARNET are Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. SARNET organised a Regional Conference on “Employment and Social Protection in South Asia” during 14-16 December 2014 at New Delhi. The main objective of the Conference was to discuss ways to make growth in South Asia more inclusive.
The agenda of the Conference included: Introduction to SARNET; Presentation of Country Papers on Employment; Presentation of Country Papers on Social Protection; Panel Discussion on “Regional Cooperation in South Asia”; Discussion on Concept Note and Outline of South Asia Labour and Employment Report.
About 100 leading experts, scholars and development practitioners, from the member countries and other South Asian Countries like Bhutan, Maldives and Afghanistan participated in this high-profile event. The relationship between job creation and inclusive growth and the importance of social security policy of the country were broadly discussed during the three days Conference.
2nd SARNET Training Programme for Young South Asian Scholars on
Labour Economics: Theories, Methodologies and Research Issues
2 -13 December, 2014, New Delhi
The 2nd SARNET Labour Economics Training was organized by the Institute for Human Development and the International Labour Organization (ILO) as part of the South Asia Research Network on Employment and Social Protection (SARNET) initiative, which is a collaboration of IHD, ILO with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia-Pacific (ESCAP) with support from International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada.
As many as 112 applications were received in response to the call for the training programme from across the South Asian countries namely; Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Maldives and from across states in India. 30 trainees including participants from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Myanmar other than India were selected for the training programme.
The main objectives of the Training programe were: to provide participants with an in-depth understanding of the latest theories of labour markets, econometric techniques and research methodologies, and key issues in the field of labour economics; to promote research on labour economics in South Asia; and to foster partnerships among young academics across the region. The course covered topics such as Theory of labour markets; Research methodologies; Growth, structural transformation and employment; Labour market institutions and policies; Earnings, inequality and labour market segmentation; and Emerging issues for labour economics research in South Asia.
The 11-day course was based on lectures by leading Indian and international experts, namely; Duncan Campbell, ILO, Sher Verick, ILO,J. Krishnamurty, IHD and former Senior Economist, ILO, E. Madheswaran, CESP, Bangalore Badri. N. Rath, IIT-Hyderabad, Sandip Sarkar, IHD and Balwant Singh Mehta, IHD, G.C. Manna, CSO, Ministry of Statistics and Programnme Implementation, Government of India, Anushree Sinha, NCAER, New Delhi, Arup Mitra, Institute of Economic Growth, Rizwanul Islam, former ILO Special Adviser, Iyanatul Islam, ILO, Selim Raihan, University of Dhaka, and Balwant Singh Mehta, IHD and Akhilesh K. Sharma, IHD who took the stata tutorial. A special lecture on Global Value Chains and Labour titled ‘The Who, Why and When of Decent Work (and who gets paid what…?) was delivered by Professor Raphael Kaplinsky, Development Policy and Practice, The Open University, University in Milton Keynes, England during the training programme.
The lectures were supplemented by group and practical activities. In addition, guest lectures and a policy panel session provided an opportunity for participants to interact with other experts, including those responsible for policy formulation and implementation. The trainees participated actively during the sessions. As a group activity participants were divided into groups and were required to prepare a presentation on a research proposal, which was reviewed by a panel of experts. The practical exercise drew a very encouraging response.
The course was coordinated by Dr. Sher Verick of ILO. The facilitation and the logistical support were provided by team from IHD.
SARNET Panel Discussion: Manufacturing in South Asia – The Way Forward, 17 December 2013 at 55th ISLE Conference Event
In the morning of 17 December during 55th ISLE a panel discussion on Manufacturing in South Asia – The Way Forward was organised jointly by ILO, IHD with support from IDRC, Canada. The chairperson for the session was Dr. Sher Singh Verik, Senior Employment Specialist, ILO-DWT. The country presentations in this session were made by Dr. Selim Raihan of University of Dhaka, Bagladesh (perspectives from Bangladesh), The country presentation on Sri Lanka was made by Dr. Sunil Kandambige Chandrasiri of University of Colombo and the Indian perspective on the me was presented by Professor Dev Nathan of IHD. The Discussants for the session were Dr. Rana Hasan, chief economist , Asian Development Bank and Professor T. S. Papola of ISID.
SARNET Symposium on “Youth Bulge in South Asia: Meeting the Employment Challenge, 15 December 2013 at 55th ISLE Pre-Conference Event
Prior to the formal commencement of the 55th ISLE conference, a pre- Conference SARNET symposium was organised on 15 December 2013. The Symposium was organised by IHD, ILO, UN-ESCAP SSWA with support from IDRC, Canada. The Symposium was chaired by Dr. Nagesh Kumar, Director UN ESCAP, SSWA office, New Delhi who emphasised the importance of various issues ranging from skills deficit in the global economy, employment and investment in education, health and capacity building. In his opening remarks Prof. Alakh N. Sharma , Director, IHD, elaborated upon the incidence of unemployment among youth in general and among educated youth in particular. Dr. Edgard Rodriguez, Senior Programme Specialist, Supporting Inclusive Growth, IDRC set the tone of discussion by talking about differences in labour market across South Asian region and meeting the challenge of integrating youth in the labour market of the region.
Various eminent scholars and economists from South Asia made their country presentation on the the theme of the Symposium. A global perspective on Youth employment was presented by Dr. Sher Singh Verick, Senior Employment Specialist, ILO, DWT, South Asia. Dr. Dilliraj Khanal of Institute of Policy Research and Development, Nepal talked about the meeting the employment challenges focussing on Youth labour market. Dr. Asasd Sayed of Collective for Social Science Karachi questioned whether the Youth Bulge in Pakistan was a dividend or curse? The Sri Lankan Perspective on the theme was presented by Dr. Ganaga Tilakaratna, Institute of Policy Studies, Colombo who stressed on improvement in quality of tertiary education, skills and training and argued that these improvements are essential to understand the situation of Youth labour market. Visiting Professor, IHD, Dr. J. Krishnamurty suggested for investment in education programmes specifically designed for youth a with new innovative tools like training vouchers and value chains. The presentations were followed by an open discussion.
Competitive Call for Papers by Young South Asian Scholars: Symposium on Labour Markets, Employment and Inclusive Growth in South Asia; 14 Dec, 2013
SARNET issued the first competitive call for papers on ‘Labour Markets, Employment and Inclusive Growth in South Asia’ for Young South Asian scholars (below the age of 35 years) of nationality (working either in the region or outside).
The topics and issues included, Pace and pattern of employment creation in South Asia during the last few decades and the kind of linkages that can be seen with growth performance; Reasons for a high level of informalization of jobs in South Asia; Policies and institutions needed to promote formalization; Constraints to manufacturing growth in South Asia; The dynamics of the emerging patterns of labour market inequality and social exclusion in South Asia and Changes required in labour market institutions to generate high quality jobs that lead to growth for the promotion of inclusive development.
Young South Asian scholars were invited to submit proposals for empirical papers, covering any or all of the major South Asian economies, including Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. A total number of 134 proposals were received. The proposals and submitted papers were reviewed by a committee of international experts and 10 top quality papers were selected. The selected candidates presented the papers in the symposium on ‘Labour Markets, Employment and Inclusive Growth in South Asia’ on 14 Dec, 2013 and labour economics awards were announced for the best papers. The papers are now being revised by respective authors for final publication. SARNET reserves the right to publish accepted papers in some reputed journals and/or in a book.
Training programme for Young South Asian Scholars on ‘Contemporary Issues in Labour Economics’, 2-13 Dec 2013, New Delhi
A two-week long training programme for Young South Asian Scholars on ‘ Contemporary Issues in Labour Economics ‘ was organized from 2-13 Dec 2013, New Delhi by IHD in association with ILO with support from IDRC, Canada. The programme organized under SARNET had participants from the South Asian countries of Bangladesh, Pakistan, Srilanka and India.
It covered a wide range of labour market issues including macro-economics of employment; population and labour force; markets and wage determination; labour market institutions; inequality and labour market discrimination and labour market policies. The programme was inaugurated by Prof S R Hashim, Chairman/ President, IASSI, and Prof Alakh N Sharma, Director, IHD delivered the welcome address. A set of internationally-renowned experts in labour economics like Prof. Ajit Ghosh, Dr. Iyanatul Islam, Dr. Gerry Rodgers, Dr. Kamala Sankaran, Dr. Sher Verick , Prof. T.S Papola and others conducted the training. Prof. J Krishnamurty, Visiting Professor, IHD was the lead resource person for the training.
Inception Workshop for the Project: ‘Toward Inclusive Growth: Employment and Social Protection in South Asia’; 21-22 May 2013; IIC, New Delhi.
A two day Inception Workshop was organized by IHD on 21-22 May 2013 in collaboration with UN ESCAP, ILO with support from IDRC at the India International Centre, New Delhi for the project ‘Toward Inclusive Growth: Employment and Social Protection in South Asia’. The participating countries were Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the host country India. The objective of the workshop was to discuss the scope and modalities of the project, talk about the research issues of each participating country, identify research gaps in relation to the above theme, and come to a common understanding about the structure of the report and the activities to be done within the project period of three years. Spread over two days, representatives of the participating countries discussed the labour market situation and social protection issues in their countries, research issues and sub themes that could be taken up for study within the project and modalities of functioning of all participating countries of the network. It was decided that a data warehouse would be set up for the project and a portal would be designed where all data and necessary information would be available.
Launch of SARNET Project and Panel Discussion on "Challenges of an Employment and Social Protection Agenda for Inclusive Growth in South Asia";21 May 2013; IIC, New Delhi.
SARNET project was formally launched in a panel discussion organized by Institute for Human Development on 21 May 2013 in collaboration with UN ESCAP, ILO with support from IDRC at the India International Centre, New Delhi. In the Panel discussion experts and eminent economists discussed the high rates of growth and growing openness in South Asia that have raised expectations of better livelihoods and employment conditions. However, economic growth has not brought about the expected corresponding improvement in employment conditions, with a very large proportion of the work force remaining in poor-quality, low productivity employment in the informal part of the economy. A large majority of workers face insecurity of livelihood and vulnerability to contingencies, which reflects both the poor quality of the jobs they have and the absence of any institutionalized social security system. Deliberations on the variations in this situation in the different economies of South Asia also took place.The session was chaired by Prof. G.K. Chadha, President, South Asian University, New Delhi. Opening remarks were given by Professor Alakh N. Sharma, Director, Institute for Human Development (IHD), New Delhi , Dr. Nagesh Kumar, Chief Economist and Director, UNESCAP, New Delhi, Ms. Tine Staermose, Director, International Labour Organization (ILO), New Delhi and Dr. Anindya Chatterjee, Regional Director, Asia Regional Office, IDRC. Dr. Dilli Raj Khanal, Institute of Policy Research and Development (IPRAD), Kathmandu, Dr. Asad Sayeed, Senior Researcher, Collective for Social Science Research, Karachi, Dr. Rushidan Islam Rahman, Research Director, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, Dhaka and Dr. Ganga Tilakaratna, Research Fellow and Head of Poverty and Social Welfare Policy Research, Institute of Policy Research, Colombo were the panelists.