This course on Land, Labour and Migration is designed to orient the participants with the land reforms policy and practice in contemporary India. The course will help us to analyse the dynamics of labour market inequality in India. It will provide an understanding of the context, overview and implications of codification of the labour laws in India. It will help to understand the inequalities prevalent in the world of work and the challenges faced by women in the labour market. The course will provide a critical appraisal on labour migration and governance in India



Land reforms constitute one of the major institutional reforms for ushering in egalitarian growth. Land reforms can be defined as the redistribution of rights and interests in land in favour of the landles and the poor cultivators. The main components of the land reforms administered by the government are: abolition of zamindari/jagirdaris and other intermediaries; regulation of tenancy; consolidation of landholdings; and distribution of ceiling surplus land to the landless and marginal holders. In the 1950s and 1960s, the intermediaries and zamindaries were abolished in several states. The interests of the growing middle peasantry were in conflict with the marginal landholders and the landless poor. Further, the undue delays in legislative and legal procedures also diluted the spirit of land reforms and in the process the land reforms movement received a major setback. This module will focus on the facets of land reforms in the Indian States and Union Territories which have often been neglect in the development thoughts in the India.


Labour market includes and excludes workforce based on productivity against wages. The labour market in India is chracterised by wage based inequalities, informalisation, migration, gender based labour segmentation and social discrimination. The second part of the module is devoted to the patterns of labour market inequalities and polices in India. While doing so, this module will explore various dimensions of labour market inequalities in terms of productivity and wage inequalities, labour market access in both organized and unorganized sectors.


Labour law seeks to cater to the needs of the industry and the workers. In the context of India, as per the scheme of the Indian Constitution, labour being in the ‘Concurrent list’ which means this exercise can be carried out both by the Central as well as various state governments. Accordingly, a number of amendments have been carried out by the parliaments and State Legislatures. In addition, a number of incremental labour reforms have also been made by way of issuing notifications. However, recognizing the long-felt need of the industry and the workers belonging to various sectors and sub-sectors of the economy, the present government has initiated a comprehensive process of labour law reforms by undertaking the exercise of codification of large number of existing labour legislations in four major Labour Codes. These codes seek to amalgamate, simplify and rationalize the core features of various central labour legislations. Thus, the module will provide an understanding of the need and context, overview and implications of codification of the labour laws in India


Migration is increasingly a key livelihood strategy for households across the country. An important voice in the debate on circular migration has been that of Jan Breman, a sociologist who saw labour migration as the only survival option for people who were alienated from their land in the transition to capitalism. He found that on account of slow growth and stagnation in job creation in agriculture, rural workers were moving towards the urban economy. Much of what he talked about in his book –seasonal migrants and footloose labour- has become extremely relevant today in the context of understanding the mobility of India’s workforce.



Session 1: Land Reforms Policy and Practice in India

  • Land Reforms Policy and Implementation
  • Abolition of Intermediary Tenures
  • Tenancy Reforms
  • Ceiling on Agricultural landholdings
  • Bhoodan Land
  • Distribution of Government Waste Land
  • Consolidation of Landholdings
  • Updating Land Records
  • Landholdings Status of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
  • Land Rights of Women
  • Implementation of Some Innovative Land Redistribution Schemes: A Case Study
  • Conclusions and Future Policy Direction


Session 2: Digital India-Land Records Modernisation Programme (DI-LRM): A Public Policy Analysis

  • Historical backdrop towards Computerization of Land Records in India
  • Strengthening of Revenue Administration and Updating of Land Records (SRA & ULR) (1987-88)
  • Computerisation of Land Records (CLR) (1988-89)
  • National Land Records Modernisation Programme (NLRMP)/ Digital India-Land Records Modernisation Programme (DI-LRMP) 2008/2016
  • Components of DI-LRMP
  • Progress of Implementation of the DI-LRMP- Physical and Financial Progress
  • Issues in the Process of Implementation of the DI-LRMP
  • Steps initiated for improvement in the implementation of the DILRMP Scheme
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendation

Session 3: Land Alienation, Displacement and Migration

  • Land and Social Hierarchy
  • Tribal India – Land and People
  • Constitutional Provisions
  • Right to Land
  • Tribal Land Alienation
  • Process of Involuntary Displacement
  • Forced Migration for Economic Survival
  • Extent of Displacement
  • Development induced Displacement
  • Alienation of Tribal Land by Non-tribals
  • Impact of Migration on Tribal Communities
  • Resettlement of the Displaced
  • The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006
  • Conclusion


Session 4: Dynamics of Labour Market Inequality in India

  • Labour Market Inequalities: Productivity vs Wages
  • Informalisation
  • Wage Gap between Workers in the Formal Sector
  • Pattern of Labour Migration and Labour Market Inequality
  • Segmentation and Social Discrimination
  • Policy Implication
  • Conclusion


Session 5:  Labour Law Reforms in India

  • Labour Law related Constitutional Provisions and Regulations
  • Codification of Labour Laws in India
  • The Code on Wages, 2019
  • The Industrial Relations Code, 2019 (Draft)
  • The Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2019 (Draft
  • The Social Security Code, 2019 (Draft)
  • Enforcement Mechanism under various Labour Codes
  • Issues in Labour Law Reforms
  • Conclusion


Session 6: Dynamics of Migration: Concepts and Theories

  • Migration Theories
  • Relationship between Circular Migration and Development
  • Locating Migration within Livelihood Framework
  • Dominant Theories of Circular Migration in India
  • Migration, Social Structure, and Policy
  • Migration, Remittances and Inequality
  • Distress Migration and Urban Decay
  • Undocumented and Invisible
  • Contemporary Forms of Circular Migration
  • Coping and Accumulative Migration
  • Creating a Migrant-Friendly Policy Environment
  • Conclusion


Session 7: Internal Labour Migration in India: Trends and Patterns

  • Migration and Urban Growth
  • Rural to Rural Migration
  • Inter-state Migration
  • Forced Population Displacement
  • Migration and Social Conflict
  • Conclusion


Session 8: Migration and Gender in India

  • Male and Female Migration
  • Patterns and Determinants of Female Migration
  • Interconnection of Migration, Gender and Caste
  • Spatial Pattern of Migration
  • Gendered Patterns of labour Migration
  • Reasons for Migration
  • Educational status of Female Migrants
  • Economic Participation Rate of Female Migrants
  • Determinants of Female Migration
  • Economic Factors
  • Socio-Cultural and Demographic factors
  • Conclusion


Session 9: Labour Migration in India: Trends and Characteristics

  • Labour migration: trends and patterns across regions
  • Economic and religious characteristics of Labour Migrants
  • Migration and Education Attainment
  • Migration and Labour Market Outcomes
  • Industrial Distribution of Migrant and Non-Migrant Workers
  • Migrant Wage Earnings
  • Conclusion


Session 10: Migration and Reverse Migration amidst COVID-19: Emerging Issues and Challenges

  • Source and Destination Streams in different Regions of India
  • Old and New Forms of Subjugation
  • Agrarian Crisis and Migration
  • Effects of the Lockdown
  • Loss of jobs and reverse migration
  • Impact of COVID-19 on the Indigenous People in India
  • Impacts on traditional livelihood of indigenous peoples
  • Migration Policies
  • Migration Commission
  • Conclusion

Faculty Contact

  1. Dr. Gadadhara Mohapatra