Education, Labor Rights, and Incentives: Contract Teacher Cases in the Indian Courts

32 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2011  

Nick Robinson

Yale Law School; Harvard Law School, Program on the Legal Profession; Center for Policy Research (India)

Varun Gauri

World Bank; World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

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Date Written: August 11, 2011

Abstract

Since the liberalization of India’s economy beginning in the early 1990’s, the government has increasingly employed contract workers to perform various state functions, including in the education sector. Yet, little research has been done to examine how courts have reacted to this shift in government labour policy. This article looks at all reported cases involving contract teachers in the Indian Supreme Court and four High Courts over the last thirty years. It finds that although almost never explicitly overturning precedent, the judiciary in India has increasingly become less sympathetic to contract teachers demands, particularly at the Supreme Court level. The article then argues that the Court could use its power of judicial review to engage the government in a dialogue, not unlike some of its earlier decisions in the 1980s and early 1990s. The Court can help guide the government to create a labour policy that not only achieve better results for students, but better working conditions for teachers. Such a dialogic approach could potentially be adopted to help reframe the government’s contract labour policy more generally.

Suggested Citation

Robinson, Nick and Gauri, Varun, Education, Labor Rights, and Incentives: Contract Teacher Cases in the Indian Courts (August 11, 2011). Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal, Vol. 32, No. 4, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1908428

Nick Robinson (Contact Author)

Yale Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States

Harvard Law School, Program on the Legal Profession ( email )

1563 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Center for Policy Research (India) ( email )

Dharma Marg
Chanakyapuri
New Delhi, 110022
India

Varun Gauri

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/vgauri

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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