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S.R. Sankaran Chair (Rural Labour)

Centre's Mandate :

S.R. Sankaran Chair (Rural Labour) has been instituted at the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRD&PR), Hyderabad by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), in honour of legendary civil servant Shri S.R. Sankaran.


The objective of the chair is to promote research on issues that would enhance understanding and help in improving the world of work and the life of rural labour. Collaborative research, seminars, workshops and policy dialogues involving institutions, organisations, policy makers and other stakeholders with similar objectives, and placing the results in the larger public domain through working papers, articles in learned journals, books and policy briefs are part of the activities set out for the Chair.


The chair has been conducting research activities in collaborative mode on issues of rural poor, marginalised groups, women workers, labour mobility and housing condition for rural poor. It has been organising national and international seminars and public lectures by inviting eminent social scientists, focusing on burning issues of rural labour.

The chair has been disseminating the ideas of S.R. Sankaran concerning the rural poor and the marginalised through publishing public lectures delivered by eminent scholars, proceedings of the conference/seminar, working papers, policy brief and books. Some of research and other activities are given below:

Research Studies (Completed)

  • 'Changing Perspectives of Women Work and Decline in Labour Force Participation of Rural Females in India,' with an objective to understand the declining work participation among rural female labourers and the probable reasons behind the decline in three States of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • 'Changing Contractual Arrangements of Rural Labour Market in India,' the key objective is to understand the factors including public action contributing for the changes in the nature of labour relations and its implications for labour households in rural India in three States -Haryana, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
  • 'Interlinking of Markets in Tribal Areas and Their Implications on Livelihoods of the Tribal Population,' with an objective to understand the dynamics of development in tribal areas and the role of institutions in two States of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.
  • ‘Migration from Western Odisha to Brick Kilns in Andhra Pradesh’, in collaboration with School of Economics, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad.
  • ‘Housing for Rural Poor in India with special reference to Kerala’, in partnership with Laurie Baker Centre for Habitat Studies, Thiruvananthapuram.
  • ‘Migration of Rural Labour in Hill Regions: A Case of Uttarakhand’, in collaboration with V. V. Giri Institute of Development Studies, Lucknow.
  • 'Comparative Study of Rural-Urban Migration in India and China – with Special Reference to Temporary Circular Rural-Urban Migration', in collaboration with the China Centre for Urban-Rural Studies (CCURDS), East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai in China, and Centre for Development Alternatives (CFDA), Ahmedabad, Institute for Development Alternatives (IDA), Chennai and Hyderabad Urban Lab, Hyderabad, undertaken by the SRSC.
  • 'A Village Study in Telangana,' the key objective is to understand the changing Socio -Economic scenario of rural area in a village in undivided Medak district of Telangana State.


  • National Seminar on “Land Market and the Rural Poor” was held during 18-19 January, 2018. Professor R. Radhakrishna, Chairman, S.R. Sankaran Chair, Advisory Committee, Professor Y.K. Alagh, Chancellor of Central University of Gujarat, and Professor T. Haque, Chairman, Land Policy, NITI Aayog delivered the inaugural lecture, keynote address and valedictory lecture respectively. The seminar was graced by more than 30 delegates consisting of policymakers, civil society personnel and academia including Professors Alakh Narain Sharma, D.N. Reddy, Sucha Singh Gill, Deepak K. Mishra, Judith Heyer, M. Thankaraj and G. Nancharaiah, Ritu Dewan, Vikas Rawal, G. Omkarnath, S.S. Sangwan, Geetha Kutty, Rajkishore Meher and Shri C.R. Bijoy and participated in the deliberations of the seminar.
  • National Seminar on “Changing Perspective of Rural Finance and Financial Inclusion of Rural Poor” was held during 28-29 April, 2017. The seminar was graced by more than 30 delegates including experts, policy makers and civil society organization. The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Arvind Mayaram, IAS (Retired), Chairman, CUTS (Consumer Unity & Trust Society) Institute for Regulation and Competition and ex- Finance Secretary to Government of India. Shri.G.R.Chintala, Chief General Manager, NABARD delivered the inaugural address. Shri.Vijay Mahajan, founder CEO BASIX Social Enterprise Group, Member of the Rangarajan Committee on Financial inclusion and Member of the Raghuram Rajan Committee on Financial Sector Reforms delivered the Valedictory address.
  • National Seminar on “Governance, Resources and Livelihoods of Adivaiss in India: Implementation of PESA and FRA” was held during 18-19 November 2016 at NIRD&PR, Hyderabad. Shri.Ch.Vidyasagar Rao , the Hon’ble Governor of Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu was the chief guest and Mr. Tevita G. Boseiwaqa Tagniavulau, Director General of Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) was the Guest of Honour during the Inaugural Session. About 40 delegates including distinguished scholars, prominent young researchers, civil society organizations and former administrators were presented papers and participated in the national seminar. Prof.K.B.Saxena gave the keynote address and Prof.C.H.Hanumatha Rao; Honorary professor delivered the valedictory lecture. It was presided over by Prof. Amit Bhaduri, Professor in Pavia University, Italy and Emeritus Professor in JNU, New Delhi.
  • National Seminar on ‘Dynamics of Rural Labour Market in India’ was held during 10 - 12 March, 2016 at NIRD&PR, Hyderabad. About 32 presentations by experts and young scholars from different parts of India, from various disciplines were held. Prof. C. H. Hanumantha Rao gave the inaugural address, while keynote and valedictory addresses were delivered by Prof. S. Mahendra Dev of IGIDR, Mumbai and Prof. Y.K. Alagh, respectively.
  • International Conference on ‘Labour and Employment Issues in the Context of Emerging Rural-Urban Continuum’ was held during 12 - 14 March, 2015. Eminent scholars from India and abroad participated. Scholars from China (East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai), Netherlands, Switzerland and UK presented papers. Inaugural address was rendered by Prof. S. R. Hashim. Keynote address was given by Prof. Jan Breman and valedictory address was delivered by Prof. Ashwani Saith.
  • National Seminar on ‘Labour Market and Issues of Adivasis in India’ was held during 22 - 23 January, 2015 at NIeRD&PR, Hyderabad. Inaugural address was given by Prof. C. H. Hanumantha Rao. Keynote address was delivered by Prof. Virginius Xaxa of TISS and valedictory address was given by Prof. Dev Nathan of IHD, New Delhi.

Invited Public Lectures

  • Dr. D.Subbarao, IAS, former Reserve Bank of India Governor, on “RBI – Making a Difference to Everyday Lives” held on 3rd January, 2018.
  • Professor Ritu Dewan, former Director of Department of Economics, University of Mumbai, on “Visibilising Gender& ‘Work’ in Rural India” held on 25th October 2017.
  • Shri. Bezwada Wilson, Ramon Magsaysay Awardee, on “Improving livelihood and working conditions of vulnerable sections of Indian society” held on 15th September, 2017
  • Prof. Vishwanath Pandit, former Professor, Delhi School of Economics and former Vice Chancellor, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning Prasanthi Nilayam, Ananthapur (Dt), Andhra Pradesh, on “Ethics Oriented Economic Policy” held on 13th February, 2017.
  • Prof. V. K. Ramachandran, Professor, Economic Analysis Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Bangalore, on “Aspects of Proletarianisation in Rural India” held on 16th October, 2015.
  • Prof. Amit Bhaduri, Emeritus Professor, CESP, JNU, New Delhi, on “Development by Dispossession” held on 16th April, 2015.
  • Prof. Jan C.Breman on “Social Security for the Working Classes in the Context of Global Economy” held on 21st January, 2013; in collaboration with CESS, Hyderabad.
  • Prof. Roger Jeffery on ‘Trust and the Indian Pharmaceuticals Industry” held on 5th December, 2012.
  • Prof. Barbara Harriss-White on “Innovation in the informal Economy” held on 15th November, 2012.

Panel Discussion/Symposium

  • “Inclusive Growth and Marginalised Groups in India held during October 21, 2016 on the eve of Shri.S.R.Sankaran Birthday. The event was presided over by Dr.W.R.Reddy, Director General, NIRD&PR. The Panelists were Prof.S.Galab, Director at Centre for Economic and Social Studies (CESS), Hyderabad, Prof. Gopinath Reddy, Professor at CESS, Prof. Swarna S.Vepa, Adjunct Professor at CESS, Prof. Indrakanth, RBI Chair Professor, Council for Social Development, Hyderabad and Dr. G.Sreedevi, Assistant Professor, School of Economics, University of Hyderabad.
  • “Emerging Dynamics of Rural Labour Market in India during 57th Indian Society of Labour Conference held on October 12, 2015 at Srinagar.
  • “Changing Pattern of Employment Relations in Rural Labour Market in India” during 56th ISLE Conference held during 18-20 December, 2014 at IHD, Ranchi
  • “Prohibition of Employment of as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Bill “ 22nd October, 2013.
  • A Book Release Function (titled “Marginalisation, Development and Resistance: Essays in Tribute to S.R.Sankaran , Edited by K.B.Saxena and G.Haragopal was held on 22nd October, 2013.
  • “Rural Labour in India: Emerging Issues & Perspectives in collaboration with Indian Society of Labour was held on 19-12-2012 at Varanasi.


  • Working Papers
    • Employment Setback in Rural Odisha: An Empirical Enquiry - Partha Pratim Sahu and Kailash Sarap
    • Erosion of Access to Resource, Poverty and Public Action in the Tribal Belt of Central India – Kailash Sarap
    • Financial Inclusion of the Poor and Marginalised: Why State Supported Bank-Linked SHGs Emerge as a Clear Choice over MFIs? - D. N. Reddy
    • Rural Poor and Access to Land: Andhra Pradesh Experience of Administrative Initiatives in Augmenting Land Resources of Scheduled Castes - D.N. Reddy
    • Rural Labour in India: Emerging Issues and Perspectives: Towards an Agenda for Research - T.S. Papola, Brajesh Jha, A.V. Jose, Padmini Swaminathan, Ajit Ghose, K.P. Kannan, Sucha Singh Gill, Ravi Srivastava, Judith Heyer, Amita Shah, J. Jeyaranjan, and D. N. Reddy.
    • Revisiting the Theme of Women as Workers and Women’s Work: Gender and Location as Significant Markers of Work Status - Padmini Swaminathan
    • Rural Non-farm Employment - Some Issues and Facts - Brajesh Jha
    • Changes in Wages and Earnings of Rural Labourers - A. V. Jose
  • SRSC Public Lecture Series
    • Ethics Oriented Economic Policy – Professor Vishwanath Pandit – April, 2017
    • Development by Dispossession – Professor Amit Bhaduri – April 2015
  • SRSC Conference/Seminar Address Series
    • Rural Labour in India: Processes and Policy Options - C.H. Hanumantha Rao, S. Mahendra Dev and Y. K. Alagh – March 2016
    • Adivasis in India: Issues of Livelihood and Labour Market, Public Action and Market Solutions - C.H. Hanumantha Rao, Virginius Xaxa and Dev Nathan – January, 2015
  • SRSC Conference / Seminar Proceedings/Policy Brief
    • Changing Perspective of Rural Finance and Financial Inclusion of Rural Poor – July 2017
    • Governance, Resources and Livelihoods of Adivasis in India: Implementation of PESA and FRA – March 2017
    • Dynamics of Rural Labour Relations in India – October 2016
    • Labour and Employment Issues in the Context of Emerging Rural - Urban Continuum: Dimension, Processes and Policies – March 2015
    • Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act 2008: Implementation Concerns – A Report – February, 2013
  • National Consultation on Labour Issues:
    • Panel Discussion on “Rethinking Working Class: Challenges in Indian Political Economy” held on 10th November, 2013.
    • Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act 2008: Implementation Concerns: A Report held on February 25-26, 2013.
  • Books
    • 'Adivasis in India: Resources, Livelihoods and Institutions', Bloomsbury, New Delhi, India- 2017
    • Structural Transformation and Dynamics of Labour Mobility,Springer Publisher , New York City- Under publication


Dr S Jyothis

Professor & Head

Education : Ph.D. (Economics) Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore, M.Phil (Economics) University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram
Areas of Specialisation : Wage Employment and Natural Capital (Biodiversity, Fishery, Forestry).
Email : jyothis.nird[at]
Phone : 040-24008463
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