The Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode has established a Centre for Employment Relations and Labour Studies (CERLS), an interdisciplinary think tank that envisions creating sustainable organizations through cooperative employment relations.

Debashis Chatterjee, Director, IIMK said that the Centre of Excellence would facilitate the transition of workers and economically weaker sections from informal to formal economy. “The larger aim of this Centre would be to mobilise ideas from fellow academia, thought leaders, government, and corporations to prevent informalisation of formal jobs while championing sustainable enterprises. Additionally, the Centre would work closely with organisations to maintain fair labour standards”, he said.

The Centre will be headed by Manoranjan Dhal, a professor in the Human Resource Management at the Institute. The core team of CERLS includes Surya Prakash Pati, Shannu Narayan, and Chitwan Lalji, who bring their expertise in people management, labour economics, and labour laws, respectively.

Dhal, added “The increasing technological encroachment in work has led to a monumental gap in the quality of life between sections of the working class. Further, mass downsizing, precarious employment conditions for the non-standard workers and amplification of grievances of the migrant labour, construction workers as well as gig workers have increased in recent years. These are the very reasons that propelled the thought of establishing this Centre.”

CERLS plans to conduct a regular labour conference every year to deliberate on labour issues in the nation. The first conference is scheduled for January 2024.