ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Reliability of Our Statistical System  

In this brief rejoinder to G Raveendran’s article “Good and Bad Statistics” (EPW, 16 September 2023), the authors argue that there is no empirical or theoretical ground for treating rates and ratios from the National Sample Survey as more reliable, under the assumption of similar underestimation in the numerator as well as the denominator.

Good and Bad Statistics

There has been a public debate on the quality of offi cial statistics being produced by the Indian statistical system. The debate was initiated by persons holding high positions in the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister and claimed that the existing survey mechanisms were archaic and not adapted for rapid changes, and thus grossly underestimated India’s progress. It also made an assessment that India’s offi cial statistics are excellent on the administrative side and mediocre on censuses and surveys. This article examines the basis on which the above statements were made and proves its fallacy.

Forging Uncharted Horizons: Navigating the Risks of AI

With its problem-solving capabilities, Artificial Intelligence (AI) could very well be the unrivalled solution to the most intractable problems of our time. However, AI might not just yet be the icing on the cake we were looking for- there are significant constraints to be considered that prevent it from being a perfect solution to all possible problems, and the debate on ethics of Artificial Intelligence remains ridden with complexities.

Platformisation, Infrastructuring, and Datafication

The existing research on smart cities in India is situated either in the discursive understanding of the Indian idea of smart or analysis of selected cities’ experiments. Breaking from this dichotomy, it is argued that rolling out of smart cities should be read along a longer history of neo-liberal municipal reforms, which has led to institutional rescaling through the special purpose vehicles and entrenched networks of consultants that drive contemporary urban interventions.

Information and Communication Technology and Female Labour Market Participation

Does information and communication technology adoption lead to any broad differences in women’s labour force participation behaviour in India? We use the India Human Development Survey to examine employment decisions of women and find that its adoption leads to improvement in employment measures only for urban women.

On the Adequacy of the Quarterly Periodic Labour Force Survey

This article examines the difference between the estimates of unemployment rate and worker population ratio in urban areas in the Periodic Labour Force Surveys for the quarters ending March and June 2021. It further investigates the sample size needed if the survey is to be equipped to detect the quarterly changes of specifi ed magnitudes in the respective population parameter.

Emerging Pattern and Trend of Migration in Megacities

Rural-to-urban migration, particularly between states, towards megacities continues to contribute to their overall growth, although the trajectory of migration is shifting towards smaller cities.

The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Formal Sector Crisis in IT and ITeS

The information technology and information technology-enabled services sector in India have largely been opaque, with little known about its social profile, work conditions, and office culture. The sector hides its everyday workings behind massive revenue figures and the number of jobs in the organised sector it has created. What slips through the cracks is the precarious nature of these permanent jobs and the shocking ineffectiveness of employee protections. These vulnerabilities, built into the employment and work culture of the sector, acquired a nightmarish quality during the COVID-19 pandemic. With most IT companies being forced to shift their employees to work-from-home formats, it is crucial to study how these vulnerabilities have affected the latter. This paper draws upon media reports, a short online survey, and telephonic interviews to highlight the working conditions in the IT and ITeS sector, the experience of working from home, and the overall state of its permanent employment.

 
 

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