Faculty Profile


Prof. Babu P. Remesh


A Gold Medallist in M.A. (Development Economics) from Calicut University, Prof. Babu P. Ramesh did his M.Phil (Applied Economics) and Ph D. (Economics) from Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram/Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Much earlier, he had also obtained a Trained Teacher’s Certificate (TTC).

Past Experience

Prof. Babu joined AUD in 2016 as Professor of Development Studies. He was the Dean of School of Development Studies during 1 August, 2019 – 31 July, 2022; He also held the positions of Dean (Research & Development), during 10 June 2022 – January 8, 2024, and Director (Centre for Research Methods), during 5 November 2020 – January 8, 2024.
Prior to joining AUD, Prof. Babu was Director, School of Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Studies, IGNOU, where he joined as Associate Professor in 2009. At IGNOU, he was the Coordinator of Masters Programme on `Labour Development’, an on-campus, face-to-face programme – during 2009-2013. During 1998-2009, he was Associate Fellow / Fellow at the V.V.Giri National Labour Institute, NOIDA and was the Coordinator, Integrated Labour History Research Programme and Archives of Indian Labour (1998-2009). At the Institute, he had also served as Coordinator, Centre for Agrarian Relations and Rural Labour and as Coordinator, North East Research Programme. Earlier, he had also briefly worked as Project Associate (Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum) and as Lecturer in Economics (Newman College, Thodupuzha & Nirmala College, Muvattupuzha, both in Kerala). During 1987-1994 (in three short stints) he had also worked as a Primary School Teacher in Kerala.

My Zone / Area of Expertise

Prof. Babu is a researcher in labour studies, with a track record of close to three decades. His doctoral dissertation was on `labour and livelihood issues of small holding rubber tappers in Kerala’. Subsequently, he had carried out more than 15 research studies, focusing on areas including: informal sector and livelihood issues, social security, labour in BPOs/Call Centres, work/workers in media, industrial structure and labour in automotive sector, rural/industrial labour relations, new patterns of internal migration and social exclusion of migrants (with special focus on the cases of North East Migrants in Delhi and Long-distant migrants in Kerala). He has also been actively working on various research methodologies – qualitative, quantitative and interdisciplinary.

For close to two decades, he has been designing, developing and teaching academic  programmes/courses on labour and development; research methods; migration and so on. To date, 5 researchers had successfully completed and got their Ph D degrees awarded, under the supervision of Prof. Babu


  1. Books:


  • `Migration in South Asia: Poverty and Vulnerability’, SAAPE, Kathmandu (Co-Authored), 2020
  • `Bridging the Gap: Essays on Inclusive Development and Education’, Sage Publications, New Delhi (co-edited), 2011.
  • `Dynamics of Rural Labour: A Study of Small Holding Rubber Tappers in Kerala’, Concept Publishing Company, New Delhi, 2010.
  • `Shifting Trajectories: Work Organisation, Labour Relations and Mobilisation in Contemporary India’, V.V.Giri National Labour Institute, NOIDA, 2008.
  • Decent Work: A Handbook (co-authored), V.V. Giri National Labour Institute, NOIDA, 2008.

(b) Articles in Journals and Edited Books:

  • `Shared Identities and Blurring Borders: The Case of North East Migrants in Urban Centres, Journal of Human Sciences, Vol. 1, No.1 (2021)
  • `Changing Scenario of Indian Labour and New Labour Codes: A Critical Analysis’, Christ University Law Journal, 10(2), December 2021 (Co-authored).
  • `News Hunters or Ad Gatherers? Precarious Work of Rural Stringers in Print Media’, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 56, Issue No. 15, April 2021
  • Labour Migration in South Asia: Shared Features and Common Solutions’, Journal of Development Policy Review, Vol.1, Issue 4, 2020
  • `Small Jobs; Big Worries: Insecurities of Gig Work in the Time of Pandemic’, Journal of Development Policy Review, Vol.1, Issue 3, 2020 (C0-authored)
  • `Changing Contours of Internal Migration in India: Centrality of Poverty and Vulnerability, Manpower Journal, Vol. LIV, No.3 & 4, 2020 (Co-authored)
  • `Migration Scenario of South Asia: Drivers, ‘Core Determinants’ and Issues’, in Remesh, Babu P., Akhil Ranjan and Mohan Mani (2020): `Migration in South Asia: Poverty and Vulnerability’, SAAPE, Kathmandu, 2020
  • `Women’s Migration in South Asia’, in Remesh, Babu P., Akhil Ranjan and Mohan Mani (2020): `Migration in South Asia: Poverty and Vulnerability’, SAAPE , Kathmandu, 2020
  • `Impact of Covid 19 on Migration in South Asia’, in Remesh, Babu P., Akhil Ranjan and Mohan Mani (2020): `Migration in South Asia: Poverty and Vulnerability’, SAAPE, Kathmandu, 2020
  • `Declining Legal Protection and Deepening Representation-Insecurities in Media Work: The Case of Print Journalists in India’, Journal of Indian Law and Society, Vol.9, May 2020.
  • `Growth of Informal and Precarious Work in Journalism: The Indian Scenario’, SAAPE Bulletin, Issue No.20, South Asian Alliance for Poverty Eradication, Kathmandu, September 2019.
  • ` Re-reading the ‘Auto-revolution’ in India with a Labour Lens: Shifting Roles and Positions of State, Industry and Workers’ in D’Costa, Anthony P. & Chakraborty, Achin (Ed.) Changing Contexts and Shifting Roles of the Indian State : New Perspectives on Development Dynamics, Springer, 2019
  • `New Jobs and Old Norms? Viewing Women’s Work in India’s Call Centres through a Gender Lens’, The JMC Review, Vol. II, 2018
  • `Unpaid Workers and Paid News: Working Conditions of Journalists in India' in Athique, Adrian, Parthasarathi, Vibodh & Srinivas, S.V (Ed.): The Indian Media Economy, Vol. II: Market Dynamics and Social Transactions, New Delhi : Oxford University Press, 2018
  • Does Employment Guarantee Support a Social Protection Floor? A Case Study of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) in India in Dijkhoff, Tineke and Mpedi, Letlhokwa George (Ed.) `Recommendation on Social Protection Floors: Basic Principles for Innovative Solutions’, Alphen aan den Rijn: The Netherlands; Wolters Kluwer, 2018.
  • `Informalization of Work in the Formal Sector: Conceptualizing the Changing Role of State in India’ in Ermesto Noronha and Premilla D’Cruz (Ed.), `Critical Perspectives of Work and Employment in India’, Springer, 2017.
  • 'Automotive Revolution' in Neo-liberal India: Evolution, Structure and Prospects' in Rudolf Traub-Merz (ed.), 'The Automotive Sector in Emerging Economies: Industrial Policies, Market Dynamics and Trade Unions ' , Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung,Berlin (2017).
  • `Migration and Marginalisation: The Case of North East Migrants in Delhi’ in Deepak Mishra (Ed.) Internal Migration in India, SAGE (2016).
  • `The New Wave of ‘Replacement Migration’ and Inter-State Migrants in Kerala’ (co-authored), NIU International Journal of Human Rights, Vol.1, No.1, 2015.
  • `Informal Labour in the Information Economy: Job Insecurities in India’s Call Centers’, Yojana (Special Issue on Informal Sector), Vol.58, 2014.
  • `Developing Open and Distance Learning Programme in Labour and Development: Results of a Need Assessment Study’, Indian Journal of Open Learning, (2014).
  • `Quantity, Quality and Disparities: Interrogating Employment in India’s IT and ITES/BPO Sector’ in Bino Paul (Ed.), `Employment in India’, E-social sciences, Mumbai (2014).
  • `Indian Labour Standards in Global Production Systems: The Case of IT/ITES Sector’ in Bhowmik (Ed.) `The State of Labour: The Global Financial Crisis and its Impact, Routledge, New Delhi (2014).
  • `Fundamental Rights of Workers at Stake: Dissecting the Maruti Workers’ Struggles’ in Sekar and Dhanya (Eds.) `Worker’s Right and Practices in the Contemporary Scenario: An Overview’, V.V.Giri National Labour Institute, NOIDA (2014).
  • `City-bound Out-Migration from the North East India: A Case Study of Delhi’, Social Change and Development, Vol.X, No.1, January 2013.
  • `Strangers in Their Own Land, Youth Migration from India's North-East to Delhi’, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XLVII No. 22, June 02, 2012.
  • `Role of Unorganised Sector in Development’, Unit of Self Learning Material Prepared for Master of Extension and Development Studies Programme, Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi (2011).
  • Changing Profiles of Work Organisation, Terms of Work and Labour in India’s Service Sector: A Case Study of Domestic Call Centres’, Labour and Development, Vol.17, December 2010.
  • `Nuclear Radiation Incident in Mayapuri: Disquieting Signals to Labour’, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 45 No. 30 July 24 - July 30, 2010 (Co-authored with C.P. Vinod)
  • `Report to People on Employment: A Bird’s Eye View or An Eyewash?’, Economic and Political Weekly , Vol. 45 No. 38 September 18 - September 24, 2010 (Co-authored with Neetha N.)
  • `Economic Upgrading in India’s IT/ITES and BPO Sectors’ in Bhatt , M.S. and Illiyan, Ashraf (ed.), `Information Technology (IT) in the Indian Economy’, New Century Publications, New Delhi (2009)
  • `Rethinking Social Protection for India’s Working Poor in the Unorganised Sector’, South Alternatives, Vol.XVI-2009, No.2, 2009 (French Translation)
  • `Work Organisation, Controls and ‘Empowerment’: Managing the Contradictions of Call Centre Work’ in Carol, Upadhya and Vasavi, A.R (ed.) `In an Outpost of the Global Economy: Work and Workers in India’s Information Technology Industry’, Routledge, New Delhi and Abington, 2008.
  • `Gender Implications of Outsourced Work in the New Economy: A Case Study of Domestic Call Centres’ , The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Volume 51, No. 4, Oct.-Dec. 2008 (Coauthored with Neetha N.)
  • `Employment Patterns and Trends in India during the Post-Reforms Period in Prakash, B.A (Ed). The Indian Economy since 1991: Economic Reforms and Performance, Pearson Education, New Delhi, 2009
  • `Impact of Privatisation on Terms of Work, Work Relations and Local Level Development: Insights from BALCO Disinvestment’, Labour and Development, Vol.13 & 14, Nos. 1 & 2, June 2008
  • `Optional or Imposed? An Ex-post Evaluation of Voluntary Retirement Scheme in BALCO’, Economic and Political Weekly, Review of Labour, Vol. 42, No.21, May 26 – June 1, 2007
  • `Empowering Rural Labour: The Kancheepuram Experiment’ in Verma et.al (Ed.), `Empowering Rural Workers: Dynamics of Strategic Interventions, Sunrise Publications, New Delhi, 2005
  • ‘Employment and Labour Aspects of Business Process Outsourcing in India’, Productivity, Vol.45, No.2, 2004.
  • `Cyber Coolies in BPO: Insecurities and Vulnerabilities of Non-Standard Work’, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol.39, No. 5, January 31-February 6, 2004
  • Women Workers in the New Economy: Call Centre Work in NOIDA, Labour and Development, Special Issue on Globalisation and Women’s Work, Vol. 10, No. 2, 2004 (Co-authored with Neetha N.)
  • `Changing Consciousness and Image of Kerala Labour in the 20th Century’, Labour and Development, Vol.9, No.1, June 2003
  • `Informalisation of Production and Changing Labour Relations in Handloom Silk Weaving of Kancheepuram’, Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Vol. 45, No. 4, October-December 2002
  • `Social Dialogue in India: Status and Challenges’, Awards Digest – Journal of Labour Legislation, Vol.27, Nos. 7&8, July-August 2001
  • `Conflict Resolution and Worker Conscientisation: Rethinking the Rural Labour Camp Strategy’, Labour and Development, Vol.5, No.1 December 1999
  • `Trends, Patterns and Effects of Cross Breeding Technology: A Reassessment in the Context of Kerala’, Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Conference Volume, 1995


(c ) Select Research Reports


  • `South Asia Poverty and Vulnerability Report’, South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE), Kathmandu 2020 (Lead Author)
  • `Migration in India: Seeking Connections to Poverty, Inequality and the Neo-liberal State’, SAAPE South Asia Migration Report’s  India-Country Report, 2019
  • Report of the Major Research Study on `Changing Dimensions of Labour and Employment in Media: A Study of Print Journalists’, Indian Council for Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi, 2020.
  • Report of the Need Assessment Study on `Developing Open and Distance Learning Programmes in `Labour and Development’ , School of Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Studies Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi, 2014
  • Promoting Decent Work in Global Production Systems: A Case Study of BPO Sector in India, ILO/JILPT, Bangkok, 2009.
  • Report of the Action Research Project on `Assessing the Social Security Measures and Promoting the Participation of Beneficiaries for Effective Implementation’, (Co-authored), submitted to UNDP, New Delhi, 2008.


(d) Working Papers (Based on Completed Projects/Talks):


  • Permanently Temporary? On Informal Jobs in the Formal Sector, 36th Poverty Report, Lokashraya Foundation, New Delhi, 2017.
  • `Migration of Youth from North Eastern Region to Urban Centres: A Case Study of NCR Region’, Research Studies Series No. VVGNLI, 2012.
  • `Labour Landscape in the Capital’, Policies and Practices, N0.43, January 2012
  • `Social Security for Unorganised Sector Workers in India: A Critical Review’ (Co-authored with Anoop K. Satpathy), Research Study Series, VVGNLI, 2010
  • `Impact of Privatisation on Labour: A Study of BALCO Disinvestment’, Research Study Series, No.72, VVGNLI, 2004
  • `Labour Relations in Small Holding Plantations: The Case of Rubber Tappers in Kerala’, Research Study Series, No.53, VVGNLI, 2004
  • `Labour in Business Process Outsourcing: A Case Study of Call Centre Agents’, Research Study Series, No.51, VVGNLI, 2004
  • `Organising and Empowering Rural Labour: Lessons from Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu’, Research Study Series, No.34, VVGNLI, 2002.
  • ‘Organisational Structure, Labour Relations and Employment in Kancheepuram Silk Weaving’, Research Study Series, No.21, 2001.
  • ‘Wage Determination in Rural Labour Markets; An Inter-Occupational Analysis’, Research Study Series, No.9, VVGNLI, 2000 (Co-authored with J. Jeyarenjan & A.C.K Nambiar).
  • `Rural Wages: On Developing an Analytical Framework’, Research Study Series, No.7, VVGNLI, 2000.


(e) Regular Column on Labour History – “Labour in Those Years” in `Labour File’, a bi-monthly journal of labour and economic affairs (from 2005 to 2014)


Select Titles:                              


  • `A Struggle for Fair Share: Recounting the Tebhaga Movement, 1946–47’, Labour File, Vol.9-No.1-2, 2014
  • `ILO: Nine Decades of Labour for Labour’, Labour File, Vol.8, No.1-3, January June 2010
  • `Bhopal Gas Tragedy’, 1984: The World’s Worst Industrial Disaster’, Labour File, Vol.6, No.6, November-December 2008
  • `Mavoor: A Story of Corporate Social `Irresponsibility’ and Lost Livelihoods, Labour File Vol.6, No. 3, May-June, 2008
  • `Narayan Lokhande: Founder of the Indian Labour Movement’,Labour File Vol.6, No.2, March-April, 2008
  • `Unsung Episodes of `Corporate Benevolence’: Chronicling the TISCO Workers Struggles in the 1920s’, Labour File, Vol.6, No:1, January-February 2008
  • `Indentured Workers’ uprising in Plantation Leonora, 1869’ , Vol.5, No5&6, September-December 2007
  • `Recalling Bombay Textile Workers Strike, 1982’, Vol.5. No.1 & 2, 2007
  • `Striking Memories of May 1974 and the Indian Railway Workers’Vol.4, No.3, 2006
  • `Champaran Satyagraha for Indigo Workers: Memorable April in Mahatma’s Diary’ , Vol.4, No.2, 2006


(f) Select Publications in Newspapers and Periodicals



  • `The retrenchment that wasn’t’ (on IT workers Collective Action in Kerala’), The Indian Express, November 11, 2022.
  • `No Strings Attached’ (on Job Insecurities of Stringers in Media), The Telegraph, June 20, 2021
  • `News Hunters or Ad-getters? The Insecure World of Rural Stringers in Media’, The Print, 19 April 2021.
  • Labourers who are not Labourers’ (on Insecurities of Gig Work), Mathrubhumi Weekly (Malayalam), October 11, 2020.
  • `We the Migrants’ (on Shared Destiny of Migrants in South Asia), The Indian Express, September 10, 2020.
  • `Babus without Rights’ (on Informalisation of Workforce in Formal Sector), The Indian Express, June 21, 2016.


(g) Book Reviews and Editorial Expertise


  • Published-book reviews in many Journals including: Indian Journal of Labour Economics, The Book Review, Labour and Development, Journal of Social and Economic Development, Social Change and Development and Indian Anthropologist.  Served as Associate Editor for `Labour and Development’, for more than 10 years (1998-2009).  Currently, member of editorial advisory boards/review committees of a few prominent journals in social sciences, including Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Social Action, NIU International Journal of Human Rights and so on.

Seminar / Conferences

  • Presented a paper titled, “Tripartite Boards for the Informal Economy: Mathadi Boards and Labour Negotiations” (co-authored) in the International Workshop, "Negotiating Entanglement: Social Movements and the Practice of Dispute Management” at the Oñati International Institute for the Sociology of Law (IISL), Oñati, Gipuzkoa, Spain during 11-12 July 2022
  • As a Lead Author of Regional Report and as Author of Country Report (India), presented the Draft Chapters (South Asia)  and Draft Report (India) in the Editorial Workshop of SAAPE Report on `Poverty, Inequality and Migration in South Asia -2020’, organised by South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication, Kathmandu, Nepal, 09-16 August 2019.
  • Presented a research paper titled, `Declining Labour Protection and Deepening Representation-Insecurities in Media Work : The Case of Print Journalists in India’ at the Labour Law Research Network’s Conference, Valparaiso, Chile from 22nd to 25th June, 2019
  • As a Core Team Member of Unacceptable Forms of Work (UFW) Project, presented a Case Study on ` Legislative Interventions for Improving Labour Standards: The Case of Mathadi Workers in Maharashtra, India’ at the International Conference on Unacceptable Forms of Work, UN Headquarters, Bangkok, Thailand, 3-4 August, 2017.
  • Presented a Case Study on `MGNREGA’ at an International Workshop on ` ILO Recommendation on Social Protection Floors: Basic Principles for Innovative Solutions", 12 and 13 September 2016, Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • Presented  a research paper, `Situating the `Automotive Revolution’ in Neo-liberal India: Evolution, Industrial Structure, Trends and Prospects’, Input Paper (India), in the International Workshop on “Development of Automotive Sector in Emerging Countries”, Institute of Economics, University of Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil, during 4-6 November 2015
  • Presented a research paper, `Job Insecurities of Media Workers in India: Status, Determinants and Possible Corrective Policy’, at the 4th Regulating for Decent Work Conference, 8-10 July 2015, ILO, Geneva.
  • Presented  a research paper, `Job Insecurities of Media Workers in India: Status, Determinants and Possible Corrective Policy’, `Social Security for Unorganised Sector Workers in India, Alternative Approaches and New Initiatives’, 5th International Research Conference on Social Security , International Social Security Association, Warsaw, Poland, 5-7 March 2007;
  • Presented  a research paper, `Extending Social Protection for Unorganised Sector Workers in India: One Step Forward, Two Steps Backward?’, International Policy and Research Conference on Social Security, International Social Security Association, Luxembourg, 29.09.2009 – 01.10.2010
  • Presented two research papers on `Decent Work in Global Production Systems: A Study of India’s IT Services and ITES/BPO Sector’, at the Third and Fourth Technical Workshops of ILO/JILPT Fifth Round Joint Investigative Studies, ILO, held at Bangkok during 23-24 May 2006 and 11-12 September 2007.
  • Presented a research paper titled, `Mobilisation and Organisation of ITES-BPO Sector Labour in India: Status, Constraints and Emerging Trends’, at the International Conference on “Labour and Challenges of Development”, Global Labour University, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, 1-3 April 2007.
  • Presented the country paper of India, titled, `Social Dialogue in India: Status and Challenges’, at the ILO/Japan/ Germany Tripartite Regional meeting on Social Dialogue in Asia, Bangkok (February 21-23, 2001).