B.A. (Hons), M.A (Econ). Ph.D., Hon. D.Sc Europe).

distinguished Indian Economist


  • Overview
  • Preface
  • Index
  • Review
  • Extracts

Unemployment in India has grown steadily in its magnitude and the major concern of the planners has been to find solutions to this malady. Removal of poverty has thus also been a major concern.

This publication presents the survey results of a block and estimates the present and the future unemployment situation. It is an attempt to present a micro plan for full employment. The study is presented in five chapters and the first two deal with the design of the study and the economic background of the block. The next three chapters present the details of the employment situation—current and future—and a plan for future is presented based on the actual survey results and resource endowment of the area.

At a time when block planning has been introduced in the context of integrated rural development programme which is extended to all the blocks in the country, a publication of this type dealing with the various facets of the problem of employment is thus timely.

In spite of the measures taken up during the planned development of the economy, the problem of unemployment has grown in its dimension. Unemployment has always been a complex and elusive phenomenon. It is a cause of poverty and often also a result. Probably, it is the greatest single factor in breeding social unrest. The problem has been aggravated by the rapid growth in population, disappearance of the rural industries and inadequate development of non-agricultural sector. The First Five Year Plan did not make any appreciable difference to the employment situation. The objective of employment was placed in a better perspective during the Second Plan. The Third Five Year Plan viewed the problem from a long-term perspective. It was only during the Fourth Plan that measures were introduced to alleviate the sufferings of the rural people and a number of special programmes were introduced towards the achievement of "Growth with Social Justice". These were continued in the subsequent plan periods. The main objective was to provide full employment opportunities to the weaker sections of the society. Efforts made during the plans have not touched the fringe of the problem.

The Sixth Five Year Plan has laid stress on the removal of poverty and solving the problem of unemployment. This is, in fact, the over-riding objective of the Plan. The emphasis on employment-oriented schemes should be on providing gainful employment to the unemployed and under-employed. Block level planning has been introduced in the context of the Government of India's extention of the integrated rural development programme to all the 5004 blocks in the country from 2nd October 1980. Household surveys are being carried out and this is with a view to suggest family-oriented programmes. It is contemplated to cover at least 600 families in a block per year. This would help the people as the programmes will be taken up considering the needs of the area.

The integrated rural development programme was started in the country during 1976-77 in 20 districts and Tumkur was selected for this purpose in Karnataka by the Government of India. As part of an action plan sanctioned by the Central Sanctioning Committee, a detailed household survey of Chiknayakanhalli block was sanctioned. This, it was felt, would be helpful in the preparation of a micro-plan for full employment and set a model for other blocks. Thus, at the instance of the Central Sanctioning Committee in the Ministry of Rural Reconstruction, this study was taken up to assess the magnitude of unemployment in the block and to suggest a programme of action to achieve a better employment status in the block, if not a full employment stage which is a long-term problem. With the growth of population and resource constraint, in a five year period, one could think of a reasonably better employment status in a block which could certainly be a starting point for attainment of full employment. The plan package contained in this study shows that full employment at the end of the fifth year in a block like this is possible provided a particular scale of investment is available. The study has endeavoured to identify the present employment status, measure the magnitude at the end of the fifth year and provide a micro-plan to get over the situation. The study has thus attempted to assess the extent of unemployment in the area, the resource endowment and potentialities of the block and to suggest employment generating schemes based on the resources, technical and economic feasibilities and to suggest economically viable programmes.

The survey covers the entire Chiknayakanhalli taluk and the information is collected by personal interview method. Questionnaire-cum-interview method is adopted in the collection of information. The information has been collected in three schedules. The first schedule was a general one which helped to collect the general information about the villages. The second was the household schedule wherein the detailed information regarding the household was collected. The last schedule was designed to elicit the opinion of officials and non-officials. Ten percent of the households were interviewed.

The study report is presented in five chapters and the first chapter introduces the methodology and design. The second chapter identifies the resources and infrastructure. The next three chapters contain the actual survey results. The third chapter gives an overview of the survey results, the fourth estimates the extent of unemployment by 1985 and the last presents a plan to achieve full employment by 1985 based on the survey results.

The study points out that the employment policy should aim at creating more opportunities per unit of output and investment and such a type requires employment-intensive sectoral planning, development of infrastructure facilities and increasing the production. The problem of unemployment and poverty can be tackled simultaneously only through an increase in productivity. The respondents favoured government service and other services and they urged to make provision for financial help so that the unemployed persons could take up economic programmes of their choice. An integrated policy has to be devised to solve the problem of unemployment. While planning for full employment, the first objective should be directed towards the weaker sections. Family-oriented programmes will have to be thought of. The programmes should ensure continuous and regular employment to the hard core of the unemployed in the rural areas. The necessary infrastructure will have to be created and this would provide continuous employment for the most vulnerable section of the unemployed. The resources will have to be utilised to the maximum extent. Efforts have to be made to improve the land base. The waste land should be developed and distributed among the landless agricultural labourers. The minor irrigation programme would benefit small farmers and would also increase the employment opportunities. The programmes proposed would ensure more efficient utilisation of human as well as land resources. A massive construction programme has to be taken up. There is a lot of scope for industrialisation.

The study has been conducted with certain limitations. The sampling design was to select 10 percent of the households keeping the list of households as maintained in the village panchayat or with village accountant or with village level workers. Since this list was not readily available with any of these agencies, the list of households as in electoral roll was adopted as a frame ultimately. Care has been taken to avoid all kinds of bias.

The entire taluk is of a rural nature and the percentage of illiteracy is more. Some of the respondents were not in a position to express their views clearly in terms of figures, particularly regarding the expenditure of each crop grown by them and the duration of their unemployment. Even though care has been taken to elicit correct picture of income and expenditure of households, the general tendency of respondents was to give exaggerated version of expenditure. Some informants also could not give suggestions for the future plan. In this context, we had to heavily depend on information elicited from knowledgeable persons of the block.

I am grateful to Shri G.V.K. Rao, the then Secretary to Government of India, and later Member, Planning Commission and Shri R.N. Azad, the then Joint Secretary, Department of Rural Development, Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, Government of India, and now with the Commonwealth Secretariat, London, for having entrusted this study to me. I am also grateful to the Government of Karnataka for having accorded permission to take up this study. I acknowledge the assistance rendered by the district and taluk level officers and, in particular, the Block Development Officer, Tahsildar and the Assistant Education Officer of Chiknayakanhalli Taluk. The Assistant Education Officer took special interest in the study and made available the assistance of primary school teachers for carrying out the field work. Some of my staff have assisted me in the study.

It is hoped that this study would help the planners and administrators in tackling the unemployment problem in the country. Since this is a detailed survey of the unemployed at the block level, it is hoped that it would set an example in conducting household surveys in the context of the integrated rural development programme now extended to the whole country from 2nd October 1980, Gandhiji's birthday.


PREFACE                                                                                                           vii
I. INTRODUCTION, METHODOLOGY AND DESIGN                                            1-23
Introduction—The objectives of the survey—Scope of the survey—Coverage—Method
of collection of data—Nature of the data collected—Reference period—Sampling
design—Schedules used for collection of information—Agency for collection of
data—Tabulation and analysis of the data—Important concepts and definitions
used—Capsule summary.
II. RESOURCES AND INFRASTRUCTURE                                                      24—31
SITUATION                                                                                                 32-140
I. Results based on the totals—General particulars of the selected households-
Population covered by the survey—Marital status of the population covered by the survey—Review of overall proportion of dependents and adults in the selected households—Employed persons in the selected households—Main occupation of the employed persons—Number of persons engaged in subsidiary occupations- Persons engaged as artisans among employed—Education level—Employed and unemployed persons among the adults—Land possessed by the selected households  —Extent of important crops grown—-Livestock position—Monthly per capita in come—Distribution of the households on the basis of annual income from employ  ed persons from main occupation—Distribution of selected households as per average annual income from employed persons from subsidiary occupation—Distri bution of selected households according to monthly per capita expenditure—Distribution of employed persons according to duration of work—Suggestions made by  the households for creating employment opportunity. II. Main characteristics—Average size of the households—Population covered by the survey—Average percentage of adults—Proportion of employed persons to the total population—Proportion of employed persons to the adult population—Proportion of unemployed persons to the total population—Components of unemployed persons to the total population—Proportion of unemployed persons to adult population—Total land-man ratio—The garden land-man ratio -Average number of livestock per household—Proportion of literates and educated persons. III. Supplementary characteristics—Percentage ofScheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes population—Proportion of artisans in the toial population—Proportion of artisans in adult population—The proportion of artisans to employed persons-
Proportion of agricultural labourers engaged in agriculture as main occupation—
Proportion of persons engaged in agricultural labour as subsidiary occupation-
Proportion of persons engaged in cultivation as subsidiary occupation—Proportion of cultivators engaged in cultivation as main work—Proportion of persons engaged in business as main occupation—Proportion of persons engaged in business as subsidiary occupation—Proportion of persons engaged in government service as main occupation—Proportion of persons engaged in other works as main occupation- Proportion of persons engaged in other works as subsidiary occupation—Proportion of persons engaged in subsidiary occupation to main occupation—Proportion of educated unemployed to the total population—Proportion of persons registered in Employment Exchanges to the total educated unemployed—Proportion of persons applied for job to the educated unemployed. IV. The target groups—Households covered— ouseholds of SCs and STs of the special groups—Household types—Population covered and the household size—Sex ratio- Marital status—Proportion of adults and dependents among the target groups—Extent of employment and unemployment—Proportion of employed and unemployed persons to adults—Suggestions for creating employment—Education level of the target groups—Land possessed by the target groups—Crops grown by the small and marginal farmers—Livestock possessed by the target group—Main and subsidiary occupation of the target group—Household annual income—Distribution of selected households according to monthly per capita income of households—Distribution of selected households according to per capita monthly expenditure—Duration of work  by the target groups.
IV. ESTIMATION OF MANPOWER FOR FUTURE PLAN                                141—169
Employed persons out of the total population—Fully employed persons—Total
unemployed persons out of the total population—Unemployed persons out of the total population—Unemployed according to duration of work—Severely unemployed persons—Under-employed persons—Moderately unemployed persons—Educated unemployed persons out of the total population—Estimates for target groups-Small farmers population—Employed persons among the small farmers—Fully employed among the small farmers—Total unemployed persons among the small farmers— Unemployed persons among the small farmers according to duration of work— Severely under-employed among small farmers—Under-employed small farmers— Moderately employed small farmers— arginal farmers' population-Employed marginal farmers—Fully employed marginal farmers—Total unemployed marginal farmers-Unemployed marginal farmers—Unemployed marginal farmers according to duration of work—Severely underemployed marginal farmers—Underemployed marginal farmers— oderately underemployed marginal farmers—Population of agricultural labourers— mployed agricultural labourers—Fully employed agricultural labourers—Total unemployed agricultural labourers—Unemployed agricultural labourers—Unemployed agricultural labourers according to duration of work— Severely under-employed agricultural labourers—Underemployed agricultural labourers—Moderately employed agricultural labourers—Population of artisans- Employed artisans—Fully employed artisans—Total unemployed artisans—Unemployed artisans—Unemployed artisans on the basis of duration of work—Severely under-employed artisans—Under-employed artisans—Moderately employed artisans.
V. PLAN FOR FULL EMPLOYMENT                                                             170—187
Scope—Definitions—Total target groups—Total target group: Small farmers-Total target group .-Marginal farmers—Total target grougs: Agricultural labourers—Total employment need (in man-days)—Total employment need of the small farmers— Total employment need of the marginal farmers—Total employment need of the agricultural labourers—The plan—Employment from sectors.

Employment and Rural Development

The book under review presents the results of a study carried out by the author of the employment aspects of a block, Chikk-nayakanahalli in Tumkur district of Karnataka, under the integrated rural development programme.

The various nuances of unemployment, 'disguised', 'under' etc. are explained in the vein of Majumdar-Divan-Bharadwaj- Lewis-Fei. Pages 10/12 clarify the time and other dimensions of unemployment and 300 days are taken as the maximum for the supply curve of labour in a year, 240 days constitute a fully employed labour; one who works between 60 and 240 is an underemployed human being.

There are also further subcategories. The unemployed are those who wish to enter the labour market but are constrained because of exogenous factors— layoff, lack of demand for labour etc., 'Invisible' or 'disguised' unemployment is difficult to measure. Visible underemployment refers to "persons who are in employment of less than normal duration and who are seeking or who would accept additional work".

A random stratified universe is taken and various proportions are estimated, by the interview method—unemployed to total population, unemployed to adult population etc The percentage of unemployed to adult population is 62.74 and to total population, 35.82. The Lorenz curve technique is utilized for each 'hobli' to arrive at the status of income and expenditure. The skewed pattern of expenditure/income is revealed in the following observation:"44.45 per cent of the expenditure is shared by little more than one per cent of the households...."(Page71) The low proportions of artisans and female labour in the labour force have been highlighted. The female participating percentage is only 7.00. In the light of 'intensive' employment discussions, this phenomenon makes disturbing reading. The tables give a wealth of details on per capita income, occupations, literacy and the like. Details are also available on agricultural labourers, small farmers, marginal farmers and vulnerable sections of society.

Tables 15/20 on the status of marginal farmers pointedly reveal their subsistence level. A small proportion work in government and are in business. A large proportion (389 and 1480 Table 17 page 238) works as agricultural labourers hiring out their services to supplement income. Only 2 households have a per capita income of Rs. 200 and above per month. The bulk were employed for 180-300 days annually.

Out of 1870 labourers, 823 were economically active. Only 10 had education upto S. S. L. C. level and the bulk had a per capita expenditure level of Rs. 0-50 per month. Even if in-kind payments are taken into account, the poverty syndrome is starkly illumined. Tables 21/25 highlight these figures. Similar abject poverty prevails among the artisans—Tables 27/32.

A series of suggestions have been made to promote employment— livestock, dairy farming, cottage industries etc. This will, however, need Rs. 32 crores, a stupendous task for resourceraising for one taluk alone. Employment estimates upto 1985 in respect of manpower are studied separately in a chapter.

This is a pioneering in-depth study of the topic, not effected before in India and taking advantage of sophisticated statistical techniques. It is useful both for the planner and policy-maker. As a study in applied economics, it constitutes a benchmark and deserves a place in every bookshelf. In the reviewers' opinion, other administrator- economists in Government should emulate the author by carrying out similar studies in their States.

                                                                                                        — S. Venu

*Micro-plan for Full Employment by K.Puttaswamaiah, Oxford Publishing Co., 1981, pp. 331.

Microplan for full Employment* Oxford publishing co.,New Delhi, TILL RECENTLY, the narrow focus on maximising growth of GNP through industrialisation formed the basis of economic development policy in most of the developing countries. The strategy, however, failed in large measures aggravating in this process the problem of unemployment and income inequality, particularly in countries characterised by a relatively large proportion of rural/ agricultural population**. Consequently, a significant drift in thinking, and policies concerning the role of agricultural sector in the process of economic development with an emphasis on the need for micro level planning, has come to the fore. The integrated rural development programme launched by the Government of India is one such step in this direction. Tumkur district in Karnataka was one of the 20 districts initially covered under the programme launched in 1976-77. Mr. Puttaswamaiah's study is based on a detailed household survey of Chiknayakanhalli block in Tumkur district carried out in April 1979 as part of an action plan with the objective of formulating a micro-plan for full employment at the block level.

The study comprising five chapters provides considerable insight into the nature and magnitude of unemployment as revealed by the survey results presented in Chapter III occupying a third of this volume. An attempt is made to estimate the taluk population and its various components for the By, K. Puttaswamaiah, Published by 1981,pp.333. period 1979, through 1985, using ratio method of estimation presented in Chapter IV which together with the existing resource endowment and infrastructure facilities, described in Chapter II, provided the basis for formulating the perspective plan for future.

The relevance of the concept of employment based on time-scale measurement alone is of little significance in a sector characterised by preponderance of self-employment activity. However, for the purpose of formulating the plan for full employment time-scale measurement is used for analysing the magnitude of unemployment. Accordingly, a plan for full employment keeping in view the magnitude of unemployment among small and marginal farmers, agricultural labourers and artisans is outlined in Chapter V. Althouh considerable information was collected and analysed to study the income generating capacity of different categories of households, as shown in Chapter III, no attempt is made to link it up with the proposed plan for full employment. In addition to the analytical results presnted in the main text, detailed information on general economic characteristics of the taluka are socio-economic characteristics of selected households contained in Annexure I to IV, is of considerable value to those interested in undertaking further in-depth studies in the area of employment and income distribution.

* Reviewed by H.V. Siddiqi
* See for instance, Scobie Grant, M.Inestment in Internationatinal Agricultural Research: Some Economic Dimensions,
World Bank Staff Working Paper No. 361,October 1979.
Margin/October 1981/96

A Case Study of a block in Karnataka, 1981, pp 331, "This is a pioneering in-depth study of the topic, not effected before in India and taking advantage of sophisticated statistical techniques...In the reviewer’s opinion, other administrator economists in Government should emulate the author by carrying out similar studies in their States.n
                                                                                 SOUTHERN ECONOMIST.
"We may congratulate the author on the careful and arduous work undertaken by him and hope that the State Government will give the plan a fair trial."
                                                                                  JOURNAL OF THE INDIAN SOCIETY OF AGRICULTURAL STATISTICS.
"Dr. Puttaswamaiah’s innovative venture is, therefore, welcome and timely as a pace setter.”
                                                                                  THE MAIL.
"What is, however, noval in the work under review-is the systematic attempt at
micro level planning to touch the target group of the weaker sections of a society in a particular block and highlight the weak and strong points in the realisation of the basic aim of providing full employment".
                                                                                  FINANCIAL EXPRESS.

"The study provides considerable insight into the nature and magnitude of unemployment.”
“Dr, Puttaswamaiah has done a commendable job particularly in an area which suffers from want of reliable data for policy formulation. His style of reporting is simple and clear and hence exemplary. There is no doubt that his micro-plan for full employment can readily serve as a valuable model for block planning. The book is an invaluable addition to the ‘in-depth’ studies on grass root
planning in our countrv.”
                                                                                     MANAGEMENT IN GOVERNMENT.
“......... the book is of considerable value to those interested in undertaking further in-depth studies in the areas of employment and income distribution. The book will be of great use to both planners and policy makers.”
                                                                                  THE JOURNAL OF THE INDIAN INSTITUTE OF BANKERS.
“He is able, both by experience and deep economic knowledge of Karnataka, to illustrate the position in this taluk with multitude of facts, which can form the basis of an understanding of the human problem involved”.
                                                                                  MONTHLY COMMENTARY.