Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
We do not contemplate that the inspection of seasonal factories should be made entirely or even predominantly through the agency of the whole-time inspection staffs, although inspection should invariably be carried out under their direction. We visualise the more systematic and systematised use of the part-time inspector. The magistrate or other officer who may be appointed in this capacity in any outlying district has ordinarily one big advantage over the full-time inspector, in that he live: near the factory and can reach it at any time without attracting particular attention. On the other hand, this type of inspector has suffered in the past from one important disadvantage, namely, the lack of technical knowledge. Nevertheless, under slightly altered conditions, such officers can do much valuable work and should be increasingly used. Cotton ginning factories alone now number over 2, 000 and, as a result, occupy a large amount of the time of the full-time inspector. In one month, or even less; a selected magistrate or revenue officer could acquire knowledge of the machinery, law, registers, etc., sufficient to enable him to carry out efficient inspections in places of this kind. A special course of instruction, to be conducted by the Chief Inspector, should be held from time to time for the selected officers. This should include practical work on inspection. Thereafter, all that would be necessary would be for a full-time inspector to visit a proportion of such factories to check the work done, and to deal with questions of special difficulty. We visualise the successful application of this system in the case of other types of seasonal factories, e.g., rice mills in South India and Burma.
We recommend that selected officers of the grade of deputy collector or sub-divisional magistrate be given a short intensive training and then employed in districts where factories of the type we have mentioned are to be found. Here they would form part of the magisterial and revenue staff and would be required to devote only part of their time during the appropriate season to factory inspection. Officers below these grades, such as Industrial Surveyors who are employed as Factory Inspectors in the Punjab and Delhi, should not be used for this work as they frequently lack the necessary authority and status to give them standing in the eyes of the employer. Moreover, the performance of their other duties may be made difficult where punitive action has been taken as a result of contraventions of the Factories Act. We suggest the omission of the tea factories of Assam and Bengal from this system as we have made special recommendation for the former elsewhere and the latter are best dealt with, as at present, by a full-time officer in the season.