Introduction: Towards an Understanding of Informality and Precarity and of Some Institutional Developments and Challenges in Labour Markets and Industrial Relations in a Globalizing India

  • K. R. Shyam SundarEmail author


India has taken definitive and giant strides away from command economy to a market economy during the last three decades, and these reform processes reflect the principles and precepts underlying the neoliberal model of liberalization, privatization and globalization (LPG). The neoliberal reform agenda has effectively meant state retrenchment and several significant changes, especially in terms of fiscal conservatism and a dominant role for the private sector which have implications for the industrial relations system (IRS) and the labour market. Employers, the international financial institutions and the pro-reform academics have exerted pressure on the governments (at both central and state) to reform labour laws and labour market governance. Reforms concerning the IRS and the labour market have been occurring in India in a variety of ways. While much of the post-reform period has witnessed impressive economic growth rates, the labour market and industrial relations outcomes have been adverse, viz. jobless growth, precarity, informality, labour protests, and so on. Then, it becomes important to understand and analyse precarity and informality, the role of labour institutions and policy dynamics surrounding the reforms, which the chapters in the volume do. This chapter provides a background to the contributions and basically argues that whichever way one looks at the functioning of IRS, there have been significant governance deficits and failures of the institutions.


Globalization Labour institutions Labour law reforms India Informality Precarity 


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Professor, HRM AreaXLRI, Xavier School of ManagementJamshedpurIndia

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