National Commission on Labour (1967)||
32.13 Our cooperation with the ILO should not end here and indeed it does not. If India has participated in evolving an international programme, it should be her responsibility to associate actively in seeing it through. In the early fifties, the ILO started a wide range of operational programmes to promote economic progress in the developing countries. This is the one area on which our delegates, irrespective of the group to which they may belong, have been laying constant emphasis. With the increase in the ILO membership in recent years, by the addition to it of a number of developing countries, our delegates have been pressing the ILO to move faster in this direction. Even as late as last year, in addressing the International Labour Conference, the leader of the Indian delegation stated :
"I very much hope that during the coming years the lLO's principal activities will be directed towards the promotion of economic development, without which we cannot ensure humane labour conditions. Human rights can never be a matter of conferment by legal formulation. They must grow out of the economic and social environment and it is in the creation of this environment that the ILO must make its maximum contribution."1
32.14 India has benefited by the lLO's programmes of technical cooperation, particularly from 1952 onwards. In 1951 the ILO and the Government of India concluded a basic agreement for the provision of technical assistance mainly in the form of experts and fellowships. Under this Programme, 61 ILO experts have been made available to India and 169 Indian nationals have been provided fellowships for study abroad up to the end of 1968. The experts sent by the ILO covered the fields of social security, productivity, training within industry, employment information and counselling, vocational training, training of craft instructors, industrial relations, workers' education, industrial hygiene, mines safety, management development, industrial physiology, industrial engineering, etc. India has also received assistance
1 Report of the Indian Government Delegation to the 52nd session of the International Labour Conference (Geneva, June, 1968), page 25.
in the form of 9 U.N. Special Fund Projects with the ILO as the Executing Agency. The purpose of these projects is to assist the Government of India in its industrial expansion programme envisaged under Five Year Plans. These projects include the setting up of (i) five Central Training Institutes to meet the expanding needs of trained Craft Instructors, (ii) three Regional Labour Institutes for education, research and training in labour and allied problems, (iii) the Central Mining Research Station for the promotion of health, safety and efficiency of workers in mines, (iv) a National Institute for training in Industrial Engineering for training executives in industrial engineering techniques, methods and practices, and (v) a pilot institute for training and advisory services in the design and construction of moulds, dies and tools for the plastic pressing and other industries. In June, 1967, the following three new projects for India were approved by the U.N. Special Fund with the ILO as the Executing Agency :
(a) National Apprenticeship Scheme; (b) Advanced Vocational Training Institute ; and (c) Tool Room Centre.
32.15 In recognition of the fact that such assistance can be a two-way traffic, India while receiving help from other countries through the ILO, has offered assistance to the international community. She has provided training facilities for many Asian students on ILO fellowships ; many Indians are working as staff members of the ILO at its headquarters in Geneva, and many more have taken field assignments in the ILO technical cooperation projects throughout the world. There is however considerable scope for improving this two-way traffic.
World Employment Programme
32.16 The account of the activities of the ILO will be incomplete if note is not taken of the programmes it proposes to develop in the coming years, programmes which appear to us of special significance. In this year of its fiftieth anniversary, the ILO proposes to launch a World Employment Programme (WEP) with the active cooperation of other international organisations. The aim of this Programme is to provide member-States with advice and practical assistance in devising policies that will increase the amount of productive employment available, thereby reducing unemployment and under-employment. The work on the WEP will be done on a regional basis. Already steps have been taken for the formulation of an Asian Manpower Plan, an admittedly complex component of the WEP. A characteristic feature of economic development in many Asian countries with a large population base is their inability to generate employment opportunities commensurate with the growth in population. The primary objective of the Asian Manpower Plan is to help countries of the Asian Region achieve higher levels of productive employment and to develop the corresponding skills. It is designed to promote a systematic region-wide effort along two mutually re-in-forcing lines—one national and the other regional. It is expected that the information and experience of different countries in this field would be available to the regional efforts, while the regional analysis will feed back material and ideas to the national machinery. It is a two-way traffic. The Plan would thus stimulate, facilitate and coordinate active national employment policies—the main emphasis being on policies for medium and long-term problems of employment. It is also its object to estimate the magnitude of international support required for the programme. While such exercises have been going on in every country, the ILO expects the Asian Manpower Plan to provide an integrated picture to emerge, through a better-focus on the employment needs and the develop mental outlays required therefore. The WEP goes a stage further. It envisages, within its resources availabilities, a long-term action programme for the ILO in which the main emphasis would be on employment-oriented development. This again is an activity which is close to our programmes of development; in fact, among the developing countries having a large population and working within a democratic framework, India has been the first to think of its development and planning in terms of its manpower and employment problems. We expect that the international community will benefit by India's experience as much as she would like to benefit from similar experience elsewhere.
Problems of Youth
32.17 The ILO proposes to devote increasing attention to the problems of growing unrest among the youth mainly in the light of provisions for formal schooling with subsequent technical or technological bias. The query that the ILO has posed to itself is, "Docs training today prepare young people for the enjoyment of the rights and assumption of the responsibilities in the complex world of today ?" This again is a topical problem the world over. To us it has a familiar ring in the context of unrest among the youth for which many remedies are being offered. The problems of youth will diner according to the state of affluence in the society. We only hope that in analysing the causes, the ILO experts will show an awareness
of the generation gap that separates them from the youth of today. We should profit from any appraisal or action-programme undertaken by the ILO in this important task of building up the country's youth.
32.18 Another area in which the ILO hopes to make a major effort is to identify and attack the basic reasons for man's inability to live in peace with people of different origins, races, religions and backgrounds. The struggle for social justice means struggle for elimination of all forms of discrimination. Indian delegates to the International Labour Conferences have been championing this cause; in fact, this has been one of our important contributions. The renewed emphasis on this programme is also in line with what we, as a country, have been urging at international forums.