Xavier School of Human Resource Management (XSHRM), Xavier University Bhubaneswar (XUB) hostedone of a kind Industrial Relations Conference on “Make-in India Initiatives and Changing Paradigms of Industrial Relations”. The conference was held on 4th and 5th December, 2015 at the XIMB Campus and the Xavier City Campus respectively. It was a National Level IR Summit aimed to stimulate discussions between the student community and industry personnel by giving students a new perspective on existing and emerging industrial situations.
The two day event witnessed panel discussions focusing on the key issues of Re-positioning of IR in the context of ‘Make-in-India’ Initiative, Labour Reforms, Problems of Handling Disciplinary Issues of Contract Labour, Contractualisation of Managerial Personnel and various other related issues, spread across different sessions.
The event commenced with a prayer song and the customary lighting of the lamp. Thereafter Dr. Snigdha Pattnaik, Dean XSHRM welcomed and introduced the dignitaries to the audience. Dr. Mousumi Padhi, Asst. Professor, XSHRM, and conference chairshed light on the topic and talked about enhancing productivity and quality through harmonious collaboration of academics, industry, trade unions and the legal system.Justice Gopal Ballav Patnaik, Former Chief Justice of Supreme Court of India (32nd Chief Justice of India) was the key note speaker and inaugurated the conference by emphasizing on the significance of industrial relations and showcasing the journey of industrial relations from its formative years, through the pre-independence years, the post-independence and what Industrial Relations means in today’s India. He urged that to boost the Indian economy, industrial harmony is a must which can happen through continuous amendments in the present labour legislations. “To craft the ‘Make in India’ initiative a success there should be predictability, transparency and essence of feeling among the stakeholders. This will inculcate a sense of participation in decision and policy making”, he said.
Justice Patnaik applauded the conference on IR, organized by XIMB as a step forward towards the changing paradigm of IR in India. Further he hoped this conference will bring in new thoughts and add to the vision of ‘Make in India’.
Dr. Pravin Sinha, Secretary General, IIRA and Senior Advisor, FES India discussed about intense economic transitions; and adaptability with strategies influenced by the global scenarios is the way to go. Fr. Paul, Director XIMB spoke about how human rights, dignity and equity has to be given importance and urged for greater involvement of the youth.
Dr. E.M.Rao, Former Dean XLRI, Former Professor XIMB, one of the stalwarts in the field of labour laws and industrial relations was felicitated for his immense contribution to the field of IR. He enlightened the gathering about the present IR Climate, HR Practices that have led to disastrous trends and how managers can learn to avoid them.
Mr. H. Mahadevan, President, All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) deliberated on the problems like precarious unemployment, speculative capitalism, and issues of non-regulatory and non-permanent workers plaguing our economy . Dr. E.A. Ramaswamy, former Professor, Institute of Social Studies, The Hague and former Professor IIM, Bangalore articulated on various constraints that are holding back the development of our manufacturing sector and how through proactive action, participation of stakeholders from the top echelons of the industry, academia and the government these can be overcome.
An enthralling and enticing Odissi dance recital of ‘Amazing Odisha’ by dancers of Orissa dance Academy left the audience mesmerized and marked the end of day one of the conference.
The panel discussion on Contractualization of Managerial Personnel held the next day had eminent speakers like Dr. Saroj Mohapatra, President-HR, Bajaj Power Group; Rear Admiral. N.K. Mishra, Chairman and Managing Director, Hindustan Shipyard Limited; Mr. G.P Rao, Founder and Managing Partner, Good People Relations (GPR HR Consulting) Dr. D.P Kar, Adjunct Professor, XSHRM, which was moderated by Prof. E. M. Rao.
Dr. D. P. Kar spoke about contracts, enforceable agreements and the safety of workers and managerial staff. The next speaker Mr.G.P.Rao talked about the different forms of contractualization, the domains where it is applicable and the nuances of writing and laying down a contract.
In another panel discussion moderated by Dr. B.B Mohanty, Former Professor, Department of PM & IR, Utkal University, on ‘Challenges in the MSME and Unorganized Sector’ saw noted speakers like Mr. Aditya Dash, Managing Director, Ram's Assorted Cold Storage Limited
Mr. Saroj Sahu, Director-Finance, B. Engineers and Builders Limited; Mr. Aditya Das, General Manager-HR, Milk Mantra; Mr. TapanMohanty, Managing Director, Z Estates Pvt. Ltd. giving their valuable insights.
Mr. Tapan Mohanty focused on the workforce of the construction industry, their welfare and about trickling down of good practices. Mr.SarojSahu emphasized on the need for skill development of the MSME labour-force and the use of cutting edge technology.
In the Valediction Ceremony, Dr. GBS Prasad, Director - Personnel, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd. / Vizag Steel Plant, the Chief Guest; stressed on the need for amendments in Indianlabour laws and underlined the importance of the HR functions in organizations. It was followed by Fr. Tony and Prof. E.M. Rao addressing the gathering to mark the event closed.
Another highlight of the two day conference was the paper presentations on various IR related topics happening simultaneously alongside the conference where learned professors of numerous B-Schools demonstrated their research papers. The conference was an enriching experience that called for business leaders representing various stakeholders in the industrial relations scenario to deliberate over the changing face of industrial relations, and possible solutions to the emerging problems.