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Labour inspections UPSC NOTE

 Recent incident

  • An explosion of a reactor in a chemical factory in the Dombivli Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) area in May 2024 resulted in the loss of lives and injuries to workers and people. 

  • It also caused damage to factories, shops and residencies in the neighbourhood.

Poor inspections

  • In 2021, in Maharashtra, 1,551 of 6,492 hazardous factories were inspected, i.e., a 23.89% inspection rate. 

  • And, 3,158 out of 39,255 registered factories were inspected, i.e., an 8.04% inspection rate. 

  • The situation is no better in two other top industrial States Tamil Nadu & Gujarat

  • The poor inspection rates could also be due to a shortage of personnel and heavy workload of the inspectors among other reasons

  • The data provides that labour market governance through the labour inspection system is weak and does not perform efficiently. 

  • Given the vast universe of inspection, the inspectors may “target” and “harass” several factories/establishments, exhibiting state power and also attempting to secure bribes.

Way forward

  • Reforms of the inspection system are necessary but not of the kind initiated in most States in response to employer criticism. 

  • Self-certification, randomised inspections, online inspections, and third-party certification have been introduced by ruling political parties at the all-India level and in many States. 

  • These changes violate several articles in the ILO’s Labour Inspection Convention (081), 1947.

  • According to the Convention, there must be sufficient qualified and well-provided inspectors and they shall enter the establishments freely and without prior notice at any time to secure due compliance of the labour laws, among others. 

  • Instead of liberalising the inspection system, governments must ensure a strong labour market governance by implementing the provisions of the ILO Convention. 

  • Given the fast-paced changes taking place in technology, and the use of hazardous and chemical substances, the increased need for inspection is felt. 

  • Inspectors can both “inspect” and “facilitate” due compliance of laws by providing suitable advice to employers and unions. 

  • This is recognised by the ILO Convention.


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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Labour inspections UPSC NOTE
Labour inspections UPSC NOTE
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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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