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Conference on labour economics focuses on investing in human capital

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PATIALA: The 61st Labour Economics Conference, organised by Indian Society for Labour Economics (ISLE) and hosted by the Centre for Development Economics and Innovative Studies (CDEIS), Punjabi University, Patiala concluded here today.

The conference president, Prof. Gerry Rodgers presided over the valedictory session which focussed upon issues of economic and gender inequality. The various technical sessions provided quite a meaningful platform for learning and exchanging of ideas, especially to the young scholars and expanding in the process the contours of the discipline of Economics.

The guest of honour, Prof. Dagmar Walter from International Labour Organization (ILO) stated that in order to nurture a better future for the discipline of economics, we need to ‘invest’ more in human resource and provide a conducive environment to them for sustainable development. She stressed on the need of evidence-based policy making. Dr. Deepak Nayyar, Professor Emeritus at JNU, former Vice-Chancellor of University of Delhi and President of ISLE, also addressed the delegates and shared concerns regarding crucial issues being faced by the workforce in the Indian society.

Prof Alakh N. Sharma, Director, Institute for Human Development and Prof. I.C. Awasthi, Secretary ISLE, also addressed the gathering. Dr. Lakhwinder Singh, Coordinator, CDEIS and Organising Secretary of the Conference, delivered the closing remarks and proposed a formal vote of thanks. He underlined the fact that the conference saw unprecedented number of 525 participants.

The day’s proceedings had started with the Radhakamal Mukherjee Memorial Lecture, chaired by Dr. Abhijit Sen, former member, Planning Commission. The lecture, “Future of Work and Challenges to the Capabilities of Indian Workforce” was delivered by Prof. D. Narasimha Reddy (Institute for Human Development, New Delhi). In his lecture, he talked about the 3rd Industrial Revolution and how the introduction of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics threaten the future of work. Preparing for future, required ‘education preparedness’ citing the importance of early education as foundation of human capital.

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