In a bid to revive the economy in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, several state governments issued ordinances to bring in labour reforms that have further skewed the dynamics of labour-capital relations in India.

These reforms have come under significant scrutiny and some steps have been taken to address the more draconian ones. These debates have also put a spotlight on the larger questions that must be addressed around the framing of labour-capital relations.

In the 11th episode of the podcast on the unfolding coronavirus pandemic, Yamini Aiyar, President and Chief Executive of Centre for Policy Research, speaks with K R Shyam Sundar, one of India’s leading researchers on labour laws and professor at the Xavier Institute of Management, Jamshedpur. Sundar discusses the evolution of labour laws in the country, their inherent flaws and failure in protecting the most vulnerable, and what the new reforms could mean for the future of labour-capital relations.

This is the 11th episode in a series by the Centre for Policy Research on the unfolding coronavirus pandemic in India. You can follow the Centre’s work on Covid-19 on Twitter or visit You can listen to all the episodes in the Coronavirus Conversation series here.