A Chair on labour research named after labour leader and former president of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, Alampalli Venkataram, was instituted at Bangalore University on Wednesday.
Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa inaugurated the programme organised by the university.
Bangalore University Vice-Chancellor N. Prabhudev said the Chair was set up to encourage research on labour issues and to submit a “vision document” to the Government.
Some of the areas which would be studied immediately are child labour, labour laws and labour markets. Reports on each of the issues would be submitted to the Government for implementation, he said.
The Chief Minister said the chair was the second in the country for labour studies, after the V. V. Giri Chair in Noida, and the first in the southern region.
He said the incumbent of the Chair should provide research reports to the Government to help take up labour reforms.
He pointed out that he had allocated Rs. 1 crore in the previous budget for the Chair. If need be, he said, the Government was ready to increase the allocation to Rs. 5 crore.
The main intention was to help improve the condition of labourers “a dream of Alampalli Venkataram”, the Chief Minister said.
He recalled Mr. Venkataram's association with the RSS and pointed out that he had good relations with organisations, leaders and those subscribing to other ideologies.
The Chief Minister hinted at the possibility of nominating a labour union leader to the Legislative Council by stating that he was working towards bringing one or two labour leaders into the legislature, so that there would be a constructive debate on the labour problems which would aid policy formulation.
Legislative Council Chairman D.H. Shankaramurthy said the incumbent of such a Chair should focus on training labourers on various aspects.
Higher Education Minister Arvind Limbavali suggested that the studies on the plight of those working in software industries and affiliated sectors, including cab drivers, who had to work during odd hours to suit the timings of their clients in America, must also be made.
Leaders from different labour unions attended the programme.