Labour Investigation Committee (1946)||
The main conception on which the ad hoc surveys have been based is that information should be collected on the spot by direct enquiry conducted with the help of the Committee's own staff and that this work should as far as possible, conform to the sampling methods widely adopted in such cases. Owing to great variations in the character of the different industries, however, there could not be complete uniformity in regard to the methods which had to be adopted to conduct the enquiries.
Thus while there were only a few centres and units to be covered in certain industries such as potteries, mineral oil, gold, etc., in other industries, such as textiles, engineering, transport services, plantations, tanneries, bidi-making, etc., a very large number of centres and units in different Provinces and States had to be covered. Moreover, some of the industries were of the modem large-scale type, wherein factory legislation applied more or less entirely, while others were indigenous handicrafts or small-scale industries, where factory legislation was either inapplicable or partially applicable. Moreover, information was not uniformly available in advance as regards the size, location and ownership of industrial units, such as is necessary before decisions for sampling are taken. Consequently, the technique of representative sampling had to be modified and supplemented so as to obtain whatever information of a reliable character was available. As far as possible, however, in all industries important centres were covered. In each of these centres units were chosen on a sample basis, but it was possible in a few centres to cover all units. The final lists of centres of survey and individual establishments were made out in the light of the impressions gathered during the course of the preliminary tour, and in consultation with local authorities. The guiding principle in the selection of centres; for survey was to make the survey regionally representative so as to discover differences in the conditions of labour in the same industry in different parts of the country. The selection of individual concerns was generally based on considerations of (a) size, (b) ownership (private or limited), and (c) whether subject to statutory regulation or not. In this connection, it may be stated that the Committee were greatly handicapped in sampling the units owing to the lack of complete information regarding location and member of units in the selected industries. Unfortunately, there are no all-India employers' organisations in some of the organised industries, nor are the statistics maintained by the Central and Provincial Governments at all complete. Moreover, in certain unorganised industries, such as shellac, carpet-weaving, bid-making, etc.; owing to their very nature no such information could have been readily available in advance. In certain cases, therefore owing to these difficulties as well. as those of transport and other exigencies, the sampling could not be fully adhered to. Nevertheless, the Committee have been anxious to gather in the maximum possible information in the limited time at their disposal, and with a view to this they have cast their net as wide as possible. The main instruments of the ad hoc survey were the Questionnaires. These were of two kinds:— (a) the main ad hoc survey questionnaire on points likely to be common to all the industries surveyed, and (b) supplementary and special questionnaires in respect of certain industries, such as plantations, mines, railways, rickshaw pullers, port labour, shellac, mica, etc. The main ad hoc questionnaire was accompanied by a tabular form for entering wage data and this was used wherever possible. In the case of certain surveys, however, such as salt, paper, cotton, woollen and jute textiles, dockyards, silk, cement and gold mining, it was possible to conduct a wage survey on a sample basis. The chief method - of collection of data was by personal investigation in industrial establishments examination records, and contact with labour in workers' homes and places of work. The information thus collected was supplemented and checked with replies to the questionnaires received. No oral evidence was, however, recorded by the Committee.