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Now, IIT-Kharagpur offers a ‘Make in India’ course

Prime Minister Narenda Modi’s pet ‘Make in India’ campaign has found a taker in Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur.

The institute is offering a short-term course on ‘Industrial Relations and Make in India: Emerging Trends’ from July 11-17 which will deal with the importance of changing the crucial Industrial Disputes Act to make a success of Modi’s pet campaign.

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This comes as a time when the union government is trying to convince the opposing voices, particularly the trade unions, about its move to amend crucial labour laws to boost the ‘Make in India’ campaign.

Also, as the government is making efforts to break the deadlock over the proposed land acquisition Bill, IIT-Kharagpur has offered a one week course on “Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Environmental Clearance of Projects” which will discuss the new Bill.

After coming to power last year, Modi had launched this campaign to promote India as a manufacturing hub.

“In order to translate the slogan into real action, there is a need to revisit regulatory framework linked to industrial relations in the country. The regulatory framework dealing with the relationship between employer and employee has got a vital role in materializing the agenda of the government,” the summary of the labour-related course outlined.

This comes in the wake of the recent labour law proposals of the Centre to ease retrenchment policies in a factory.

“Since labour laws are so much in discussion nowadays, we thought there is a need to teach how we need to re-orient them to make the government’s agenda successful. The government’s campaign requires a focused teaching on the labour law issues,” said one of the course co-coordinators in the institute, who didn’t wish to be quoted.

One of the objectives of offering the course is to understand the agenda of ‘Make in India’ from the perspectives of industrial relations.

Recently, the NDA government had proposed to allow companies hiring up to 300 workers to retrench workers without seeking official sanction. Currently, industries with up to 100 workers are allowed to do this. While the industry has cheered the proposals as it has been their long pending demand, the trade unions have registered a strong protest against the move.

The course is open for students (from other institutes too), academics and industry players and is free of cost for faculty of AICTE-approved institutes. Industry players will need to pay Rs 10,000, academics Rs 6,000 and students Rs 3,000 for the course. Each participant will get a certificate on successful completion of the programme.

The course module will “explore” the labour laws impacting industrial relations, “educate the participants how to restore industrial harmony through industrial democracy” and talk about the changing nature of trade unions, preventive measures for an industrial dispute among other issues.

Although land acquisition and rehabilitation has been a topic of discussion in the past as well, the teaching will revolve around the new Bill that the union government has introduced in Parliament.

“Although we have taken up the subject in the past as well, the current scheme of changes will be brought into perspective this time,” said Jayanta Bhattacharya, a Mining and Environmental Engineering professor at IIT-Kharagpur.

Bhattacharya said the institute will invite people from public services and industry who will share their experiences on the issue. To bring a sector-wise perspective, the institute has invited applications from across the industrial sector such as banks, railways, aviation, roads, etc, he said. The course will be held from September 15-19.

The controversial land acquisition Bill, which seeks to dilute the provision of consent and social impact assessment in some categories, was referred to a joint Parliamentary committee recently.


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