CALL FOR PAPERS for National Seminar

CALL FOR PAPERS for National Seminar

The Unorganised Sector in India: Extending the Debate to Mining and Quarrying

Dates: Saturday-Sunday, 27-28th July, 2013
Venue: Institute of Development Studies (IDS), 8B, Jhalana Institutional Area, Jaipur 302 004 (India)
Mine Labour Protection Campaign Trust, Santulan, and the Australian National University have come together to organise a two-day national seminar: ‘The Unorganised Sector in India: Extending the Debate to Mining and Quarrying’ to be held at the Institute of Development Studies, Jaipur on 27-28th July, 2013. The purpose of the seminar is to discuss the issues and challenges around the unorganised sector in India and extend the debates to unorganised mining and quarrying activities. A brief description is given below.
The unorganised sector has begun to receive intense attention in contemporary discussions on the political economy of India, following the report of the National Commission on the Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector (NCEUS), and the Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008.

This seminar aims to extend the debate to one small and lesser-known aspect of the informal/unorganised sector, mining and quarrying, and draws attention to the complex labour, environmental and governance issues of this sector. A diverse range of informal, artisanal and small-scale modes of mineral extraction practices exist in India. Globally, over 20 million people in the world depend on this kind of mineral resource extraction for their living. Estimates vary depending on the precise meaning and definition of what might comprise informal/unorganised mining and quarrying. Just by virtue of the numbers involved, such mining and quarrying is significant, but the enormous amounts of mineral resources they produce are also significant.

By ‘unorganised mining and quarrying’, we imply those mining-related activities that are taken up non-corporatised public and private sector establishments. They include a wide spectrum of mining activities in India; for example, if licensed and mechanised small-scale mining and quarrying comprise one end of the spectrum, purely artisanal and unmechanised subsistence panning, digging and mining (for example, panning for gold) comprise the other end of the spectrum. Within the two extremes, innumerable patterns of production and labour systems and technology use exist. Located at the margins of the mainstream mining economy, these mines and quarries present a different set of issues than corporatized or industrialised mining. Scholars of Indian economy (Barbara Harriss-White, 2003) have used the term ‘unorganised sector’ synonymously to informal economy The current thinking on the unorganised sector (for example, by the ILO, but also scholars like Keith Hart, 2007) is to see it as a means towards a more equitable income distribution, as a source of incomes and livelihoods particularly for the burgeoning urban populations of developing countries. Some authors, however, still associate the sector with the ‘hidden’, ‘underground’ and ‘black’ economy arising out of poor governance, and that needs to be regulated more tightly by the state. One must, however, admit that the people digging up the earth comprise a reservoir of the poorest and the most exploited, the ‘precarious labourers’, and illuminate the political economy of agrarian transition, mineral-based livelihoods, informality and meanings of destitution and poverty. For rapidly growing India, the informal/unorganised mining and quarrying sector is significant because of the sheer size and complexity of governance, labour and environmental issues.

We are expecting prominent scholars studying the unorganised sector in India, national and international policy-makers and civil society activists to deliver key lectures.

The broad themes of the seminar may be grouped as, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:
1. To regulate or regularize? Governanceof unorganized mines and quarries, and possible alternatives
2. Industrial proletariats in non-industrial settings (or vice-versa)? Production systems and relations
3. Unorganized mining and labour control: contradictions and convergence in policies
4. Where are the trade unions? Politics of labour organization in unorganized mining
5. Gender and caste in unorganized mining and quarrying
6. Occupational health and safety issues in unorganized mines and quarries
7. Poverty or tradition? Children working in mines and quarries
8. Laws for (and compliance to) the environment for unorganized mines and quarries

Those interested in participating in the seminar may choose to share theoretical formulations or empirical work on the unorganised mining and quarrying. It is likely that some selected papers from those presented at the Seminar will be published later in an edited volume. Abstracts of about 500 words should be sent to the organisers along with a brief (not more than 100 words) biographical outline by May 30, 2013. Abstracts should be in sent in a doc file as attachment to emails and should include the title of the abstract, author’s name, designation, affiliating institution/organization, mailing address, contact no., E-mail ID, and text. A Committee will review the abstracts and papers. Information regarding acceptance and presentation will be communicated to the authors by June 20, 2013.
Full papers of publishable standard – The length of full paper including tables, diagrams, illustrations, references etc. should be about 5000 to 6000 words. The full paper should be typed in MS-Word in Times New Roman with font size 12. Bibliographical references should be arranged alphabetically and given at the end of the text preferably in the APA format – must be submitted by July 10, 2013.

Participants must seek funding for travel from their parent institutions. Boarding and Lodging for paper presenters will be covered by the organisers.

Prospective Participants: Social Work Practitioners, Activists, NGO Representatives, Trade Union representatives, and Representatives of funding organizations, Government officials, and Social Work and Social Science Educators and Researchers.

Registration fees for paper presenters:
Students: INR 500/-
Others: INR 1,000/-
Mode of payment: Demand draft or Cheque drawn in favour of Mine Labour Protection Campaign Trust payable at Jodhpur.

Key Dates
Submission of Abstracts: May 30, 2013
Notification of Acceptance: June 20, 2013
Submission of Full Papers: July 10, 2013

Contacts
Dr. Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt or Dr. Bipin Jojo

Email Abstract to: informalmining@gmail.com