Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
We now come to the share of the task which should be undertaken by the various agencies that are available. These may be divided into three classes—official agencies, employers and others. Dealing with the last first, substantial assistance can be claimed from the universities. Other possible agencies are social and religious workers and private economists and students. We believe that all these agencies would do well to limit themselves to intensive enquiries, i.e., to the thorough investigation of a very limited field. Their resources are seldom equal to extensive enquiries which demand machinery not usually at their disposal, and the attempt to cover too wide a field has stultified some of the efforts made by such investigators in the past. Examples of the types of investigation which can suitably be undertaken by such agencies are those relating to a small but clearly defined group of workers, e.g., those employed in a small industrial establishment or forming a small section of a large one. For such groups, the analysis of their income and expenditure, their families, their indebtedness and its causes, their migrations, their absenteeism and its causes, their sickness, their housing and the inter-relations of such factors offer an almost unlimited variety of useful enquiries. The universities of India are mostly situated in cities and towns of some industrial importance, and enquiries of this kind could be conducted by students of economics working under the direction of the university staff and in co-operation with labour office. The work, if properly done, would form a valuable addition to economic knowledge and would directly benefit the whole community, which contributes much through taxation to university funds. From the point of view of education, we believe that the results would be equally valuable, for such enquiries would supply the practical training which is an indispensable adjunct to any course of study related to present-day problems. We are aware that in some universities work of this kind has been attempted, and recommend to university authorities everywhere the examination of the possibility of making work of this kind an obligatory part of courses in economics. We believe that it could form a valuable part of the curriculum and that it would assist in bringing the universities of the country in closer contact with industry, an end which should be earnestly pursued.