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Now, IIT-Kharagpur offers a 'Make in India' course

By Somesh Jha
May 17, 2015 11:24 IST
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A course on 'land acquisition, rehabilitation and environmental clearance of projects' is also being offered by the institute.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ campaign has found a taker in Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kharagpur.

During July 11-17, the institute will offer a course on ‘industrial relations and Make in India: emerging trends’.

The course will focus on changes to the Industrial Disputes Act to make the PM’s pet campaign a success.

This comes at a time when the Union government is trying to convince opposing voices, particularly those of trade unions, that its move to amend key labour laws is critical to boosting the ‘Make in India’ campaign.

Amid the government making efforts to break the deadlock over the proposed land acquisition Bill, IIT-Kharagpur has also offered a week-long course on ‘land acquisition, rehabilitation and environmental clearance of projects’, which will discuss the new Bill.

This course will be offered during September 15-19. “To translate the slogan into action, there is a need to revisit the regulatory framework linked to industrial relations in the country.

The regulatory framework dealing with the relationship between employer and employee has a vital role in materialising the agenda of the government,” read a summary of the labour-related course.

The institute’s move to introduce these courses comes in the wake of the Centre’s recent labour law proposals to ease retrenchment policies in factories.

“As labour laws are so much in discussion nowadays, we thought there was a need to teach how we need to re-orient these to make the government’s agenda successful.

The government’s campaign requires focused teaching on labour law issues,” said a course coordinator at the institute, on condition of anonymity.

One of the objectives of the course is to understand the agenda of ‘Make in India’ from the perspective of industrial relations, it has been said.

Recently, the National Democratic Alliance government had proposed to allow companies hiring up to 300 workers to retrench staff without seeking official sanction.

Currently, facilities with up to 100 workers are allowed to do so. While industry has cheered the proposal, trade unions have registered their protest against the move.

The course at IIT-Kharagpur is open to students (from other institutes as well), academics and industry players and is free for the faculty of All India Council for Technical Education-approved institutes; industry players will have to pay Rs 10,000, academics Rs 6,000 and students Rs 3,000. On successful completion of the programme, each participant will be awarded a certificate.

The course module will “explore” the impact of labour laws on industrial relations, “educate participants on how to restore industrial harmony through industrial democracy”, and talk about the changing nature of trade unions and preventive measures for industrial disputes.

“Though we have taken up the subject in the past, too, the current scheme of changes will be brought into perspective this time,” said Jayanta Bhattacharya, professor of mining and environmental engineering at IIT-Kharagpur.

He added the institute would invite people from public services and industry to share their experiences on the issue.

For a sector-wise perspective, IIT-Kharagpur had already invited applications from across sectors such as banks, railways, aviation and roads, he said.

The course will be held from September 15-19. The controversial land acquisition Bill, which seeks to dilute the provision of consent and social impact assessment in some categories, was referred to a joint Parliamentary committee recently.

Image: IIT Kharagpur.

Photograph: Rediff archives

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Somesh Jha
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