316 million Indian workers get below $ 0.49 (Rs. 20) a day

  • 394.9 million workers (86 per cent of the working population) belong to the unorganized sector
  • 316 million workers live on less than Rs. 20, or $ 0.49, a day.
  • 88 per cent of the Scheduled Tribes and the Scheduled Castes, 80 per cent of the Other Backward Classes and 85 per cent of Muslims belong to this category of people living on less than Rs. 20 a day.
  • 90 per cent of agricultural labor households are landless or have less than one hectare of holding*
  • agriculture is getting feminized with 73 per cent women being associated with it compared to 52 per cent men.

NEW DELHI: An overwhelming 79 per cent of workers in the unorganised sector live with an income of less than Rs. 20 a day, according to the National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector (NCEUS).

A report on “Conditions of Work and Promotion of Livelihoods in Unorganised Sector,” released by the Commission here on Thursday, says over 394.9 million workers (86 per cent of the working population) belong to the unorganised sector and work under “utterly deplorable” conditions with “extremely few livelihood options.”
“Poor, vulnerable”

The report says that 88 per cent of the Scheduled Tribes and the Scheduled Castes, 80 per cent of the Other Backward Classes and 85 per cent of Muslims belong to the category of “poor and vulnerable,” who earn less than Rs. 20 a day.

In 2004-05, a total of 836 million (77 per cent) had an income below Rs. 20 a day.

Landless

Households of the small and marginal farmers account for 84 per cent and are forced to spend more than they earn and are under debt, while 90 per cent of agricultural labour households are landless or have less than one hectare of holding.

The conditions in the non-agricultural sectors are no better with 21 to 46 per cent of men and 57 to 83 per cent of women being employed as casual workers, who get less than minimum wages.

As per the survey, the latest trends indicate that agriculture is getting feminised with 73 per cent women being associated with it compared to 52 per cent men.

The NCEUS attributes the plight of the unorganised workers to a lack of comprehensive and appropriate legislation and the absence of targeted programmes.

Inadequate

Where laws exist, the Commission finds their implementation inadequate. Also, they are seldom focussed on unorganised workers.

Releasing the report, NCEUS Chairman Arjun Sengupta said the panel had recommended a Rs. 45,000-crore action plan for the overall improvement of the unorganised sector.

Aug 10, 2007, Hindu

LEFTYPROF

Only 17out of 474 Indian civil service winners are Muslims

New Delhi: A total of 17 Muslims have cleared the written and interview process of the Civil Services Exam of 2006. The top Muslim candidate Shamim Abidi appears on rank 16.

The written exam was help in October-November of 2006 and interview held in April-May of this year. The List of 474 candidates was released by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) today. The successful candidates are recommended for appointment to Indian Adminstrative Service, Indian Foreign Service, Indian Police Service and Central Services.

The list of 474 candidates include 214 General (including 13 Physically Challenged candidates), 144 Other Backward Classes (including 03 Physically challenged candidates), 80 Scheduled Castes (including 02 Physically challenged candidates) and 36 Scheduled Tribes candidates.

17 Muslims among the list of 474 successful candidates give Muslims a representation of 3.59% which considering their lower number in higher studies is quite remarkable and indication of hard work put on by Muslim students. Another welcome trend this year is an increase in number of Muslim girls clearing the Civil Services Exam.

Appointment to various services is based on available vacancies and merit ranking of candidates. The number of vacancies reported by the Government for the Indian Administrative Service is 89 (45 General, 24 Other Backward Classes, 13 Scheduled Castes and 07 Scheduled Tribes); for the Indian Foreign Service is 20 (10 General, 05 Other Backward Classes and 05 Scheduled Castes); for the Indian Police Service is 103 (51 General, 28 Other Backward Classes, 16 Scheduled Castes and 08 Scheduled Tribes); for the Central Services Group ‘A’ is 294 (152 General, 80 Other Backward Classes, 43 Scheduled Castes and 19 Scheduled Tribes) and for Central Services Group ‘B’ is 27 (15 General, 07 Other Backward Classes, 03 Scheduled Caste and 02 Scheduled Tribe). This includes 18 vacancies for Physically Challenged candidates in the Indian Administrative Service and Central Services Group-“A”& “B”.

17 Muslims selected for Civil Services, By TwoCircles.net staff reporter, Thursday, 17 May 2007

More than 50 pc Muslim women backward in West Bengal : survey

If being born as a girl child is not the bottom-line, as revealed by the nation-wide survey on child abuse, perhaps being born as a Muslim girl in West Bengal is, so points out the National Family Health Survey II.

Be it education, media exposure (watching TV, cinema), health family planning or even in basic decision-making like whether a woman should visit her parents, go to market, or take care of her health, it is the Hindu women, who stalk much higher than their Muslim counterparts.

The National Family Health Survey II has pointed out a glaring gap of more than 50% backwardness among Muslim women, when compared with their Hindu counterparts, in key areas as education and health awareness.

For instance, the survey points out about 56.8 % of Muslim women has no media exposure as against 32.7 % of Hindu women.

Under media exposure, the survey shows that while 6.5% of Muslim women bother to read newspaper as against 17.8% of Hindu women, only 22.3% is interested in watching TV and 30% in listening radio as against 47.2% of Hindu women watching TV and 45% listening radios.

While educational backwardness, illiteracy are reasons of lack of information, TV watching or going to cinema are generally not encouraged because of religious reasons. Principal secretary of Social Welfare department, S.N. Haque, when asked on this said that even till recent times many affluent families would go without TV sets because pictures of women and men and the kind of clothes they wear, being aired, are prohibited in Islam. They are considered “najayez” in our religion.

Islam prefers women being covered up and being properly dressed with minimum exposure of skin. Even men are not allowed to go about in public in anything short of knee-length.

On newspaper reading habit, Haque said that since literacy rate of Muslim women is 20% less than that of Hindu women, reading newspaper is yet to catch up. Even very few Muslim homes keep daily newspaper. Men are in the habit of reading newspapers from local tea-stalls or stationery shop. “It is considered as an unnecessary expenses,” said Mr Haque.

What is worse, GK about anything, for example AIDS, is disastrously low. While only 10.3% of Muslim women have heard about AIDS, 31.2% of Hindu women are aware and updated on AIDS. Again while 47.8% of Hindu women is clueless about avoiding AIDS, nearly double the number of Muslim women (73.8%) is unaware how AIDS could be avoided. The state government has sampled a number causes behind educational backwardness: economic constraints, lack of school facilities in the locality, prejudice regarding education of women.

In health sector, knowledge about immunization, medication is poor among Muslim women. While there are cases of 24.5% fully immunized Muslim infants, the percentage is more than double (52.0%) in case of Hindu infants. Again, Muslim children, receiving one dose of Vitamin A, account to only 27.5% against 50.5% Hindu children, who are administered the dose.

In fact, while 80% of child deliveries among Muslims is not attended by doctors or trained health workers, only 40% of deliveries in Hindu families happens without supervision of any trained-on hands.

While cases of reproductive health problems, mal-nourishment are higher among Muslim women, the percentage of Muslim women suffering from anemia is much less, because consumption of red-meat among them is quite high.

Incidentally, though only 37.6% of Muslim women use modern contraceptive methods as against 50.2% Hindu women, the Muslim women are more open to discussing family planning with their husbands than their Hindu counterparts. Nearly 20.3% women can freely talk with their husband on family planning, whereas Hindu women would rather discus it with mother, sister, friends, neighbours and even daughters.

1. Reads newspaper at least once a week
Muslim–6.5%    Hindu—17.8%

2. Not exposed to media
Muslim–56.8%….Hindu—32.7

3. Percentage involved in decision making on own health care

Muslim–42%—Hindu—46%
4.Access to money

Muslim–42.5% …Hindu–54.0%

5. Knowledge about AIDS

Muslims–10.3%….Hindus–31.2%

Romita Datta, Hindustan Times  Kolkata, April 12, 2007

http://www.nfhsindia.org/westbeng.html

Employment and Unemployment Situation among Religious Groups in India from NSS

This report is based on the seventh quinquennial survey on employment and unemployment conducted in the 61st round of NSS from July, 2004 to June, 2005. The survey was spread over 7,999 villages and 4,602 urban blocks covering 1,24,680 households (79,306 in rural areas and 45,374 in urban areas) and enumerating 6,02,833 persons (3,98,025 in rural areas and 2,04,808 in urban areas).In this survey information on religion followed by each household was collected as part of the household characteristics. The reported religion of head of the household was considered as the religion of all the household members irrespective of the actual religion followed by individual members. Seven main religions were identified in the survey. They were Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism and Zoroastrianism. Among these the followers of Hinduism, Islam and Christianity formed the three major religious groups. Some of the key findings are stated below: * In rural areas, about 84 per cent per cent of households having 83 per cent of population followed Hinduism whereas 10 per cent of households followed Islam with about 12 per cent of population. Further, about 2 per cent of households and population followed Christianity. In urban areas, the percentage of households and population were about 80 and 77 respectively for Hinduism, 13 and 16 for Islam and 3 and 3 for Christianity. Even after excluding the state of Jammu and Kashmir, having different geographical coverage in different NSS rounds, the proportion of persons by major religious groups remained more or less same.

* The sex ratio was the highest among the Christians (994 in rural and 1000 in urban areas) followed by the Muslims (968 in rural; 932 in urban) and the Hindus (961 in rural; 912 in urban).

* In the rural areas, ‘self-employment’ was the mainstay for all the religious groups. About 37 per cent of Hindu households were dependent on ‘self-employment in agriculture’. The corresponding proportion was 35 per cent for the Christians and 26 per cent for the Muslims. The proportions of households depending on ‘self-employment in nonagriculture’ were 14 per cent for the Hindus, 28 per cent for the Muslims and 15 per cent for the Christians. In the cas*e of ‘rural labour’ households, the proportions varied from 32 per cent (Muslims) to 37 per cent (Hindus). In urban India, the proportion of Hindu households depending on ‘self-employment’, ‘regular wage/salary’ and ‘casual labour’ were 36 per cent, 43 per cent and 12 per cent respectively, whereas the corresponding shares for the Muslims were 49 per cent, 30 per cent and 14 per cent respectively and for the Christians 27 per cent, 47 per cent and 11 per cent respectively.

* In rural India, proportion of households in the lowest three monthly per capita expenditure (mpce) classes combined (viz. less than Rs.320 for a month) was highest among Hindus (14 per cent), followed by Muslims (12 per cent) and Christians (8 per cent). In urban India, the proportion of Households in the lowest three mpce classes combined (viz. less than Rs.485 for a month) was the highest among the Muslims (25 per cent) followed by the Hindus (12 per cent) and Christians (8 per cent) On the other hand, in the urban area, proportion of households in the highest three classes of mpce combined (viz. more than Rs.1380 for a month) was 38 per cent for Christians, 28 per cent for Hindus and 13 per cent for Muslims. In rural areas, proportion of households in the highest three classes of mpce combined (viz. more than Rs.690 for a month) was 47 per cent for Christians, 24 per cent for Hindus, and 20 per cent for Muslims.

* The Christians had the lowest illiteracy rate both for rural (20 per cent for males and 31 per cent for females) and urban areas (6 per cent for males and 11 per cent for females). Except for rural females, the proportion of literates among the Hindus was higher than that among the Muslims. Among the rural females, the illiteracy rates were almost equal among the Hindus and the Muslims (59 per cent). The corresponding rate was as low as 31 per cent among the Christians.

* In the rural areas, Worker Population Ratio (WPR) among the males was highest among Christians (56 per cent) followed by Hindus (55 per cent). The corresponding figure for Muslims was lower (50 per cent). As in the case of males, WPR for females for Christians (36 per cent) and Hindus (34 per cent) was much higher than that for Muslims (18 per cent). In urban India, the WPR among the males was the highest among Hindus (56 per cent) followed by Muslims (53 per cent) and the Christians (51 per cent). The WPR for Christian women (24 per cent) was much higher than those among Hindu (17 per cent) and Muslim women (12 per cent).

* For the rural males in the age group 15 years and above, WPR in the educational level secondary and above was the highest among the Hindus (76 per cent) followed by the Christians (72 per cent) and the Muslims (67 per cent). However in urban areas, it was equal (71 per cent) among Muslims and Hindus and lower (64 per cent) among Christians. For the rural females in the same age group with same education level, however, the rates were highest among the Christians (37 per cent) followed by Hindus (30 per cent) and Muslims (18 per cent). Similar pattern was also observed among urban females in the same age group.

* More than half of the workers in the rural areas were self-employed, the proportion being the highest among the Muslim workers both males (60 per cent) and females (75 per cent). In the urban areas also, the same pattern is observed. The proportion of regular wage/salaried workers was highest among Christians in both rural and urban areas among both males and females. The proportion of casual labourers was highest among Hindus for females in both rural (34 per cent) and urban (18 per cent) areas.

* In rural areas, the unemployment rates (URs) were higher among the Christians (4.4 per cent) as compared to those among the Hindus (1.5 per cent) or the Muslims (2.3 per cent). In the urban areas also same pattern was observed. However, the URs in urban areas were more or less same for Hindu and Muslims (4 per cent). Further URs for females were generally higher in all major religious groups as compared to males in both rural and urban areas. The UR was highest (14 per cent) among the urban Christian women.

Malaysia to sign labour MoU with India

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006

New Delhi – India and Malaysia are to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on labour in October following which a Malaysian government agency will recruit blue-collared Indian workers directly, Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi said.

Ravi, who visited Malaysia last week, said a delegation led by Malaysian Human Resources Minister Fong Chan Onn will visit India in October and sign the MoU.

‘Once the agreement is made, the Malaysian government will directly recruit the Indian workers and distribute them to their companies, which need such workers,’ Ravi told IANS.

‘This agreement on labour will basically avoid the hassles and troubles created by the recruitment agencies. It would be the responsibility of the Malaysian government to ensure the safety of the workers and good wages for them there,’ he added.

Ravi said the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), the Malaysian governmental agency, would recruit the workers – mainly for the construction companies in the country – and distribute them.

‘The officials from the CIDB will visit India to train the workers,’ the minister said, adding that the Indian government would identify the agency that would recruit people from here.

‘The agreement will ensure good wages, good living conditions and better medical facilities for the workers. The government will be responsible for these. That makes a lot of difference,’ Ravi explained.

He admitted that there have been serious complaints against recruitment agencies that they did not ensure good wages and living conditions for workers going abroad.

Indian workers form the third largest foreign work force in Malaysia, with 140,000 of them eking out a living there. Ethnic Indians comprise seven percent of Malaysia’s population of around 24 million.