• Bare Act: Apprentices Act, 1961

  • An Act to provide for regulation and control of training of Apprentices and for matters connected therewith. BE it enacted by Parliament in the Twelfth Year of the Republic of India as follows

    1. Short title, extent, commencement and application.- (1) This Act may be called the Apprentices Act, 1961.

    (2) It extends to the whole of India.

    (3) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint; and different dates may be appointed for different States.

    (4) The provisions of this Act shall not apply to—

    (a) any area or to any industry in any area unless the Central Government by notification in the Official Gazette specifies that area or industry as an area or industry to which the said provisions shall apply with effect from such date as may be mentioned in the notification; 

    (b) omitted by Act 27 of 1973, section 3 (w.e.f. 1-12-1974).

    (c) any such special apprenticeship scheme for imparting training to apprentices as may be notified by the Central Government in the Official Gazette.

    2. Definitions.- In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,--

    (a) "All India Council" means the All India Council of Technical Education established by the resolution of the Government of India in the former Ministry of Education No. F. 16-10/44-E.III, dated the 30th November, 1945;

    (aa) "apprentice" means a person who is undergoing apprenticeship training in pursuance of a contract of apprenticeship; 

    (aaa) "apprenticeship training" means a course of training in any industry or establishment undergone in pursuance of a contract of apprenticeship and under prescribed terms and conditions which may be different for different categories of apprentices;

    (b) "Apprenticeship Adviser" means the Central Apprenticeship Adviser appointed under sub-section (1) of section 26 of the State Apprenticeship Adviser appointed under sub-section (2) of that section; 

    (c) "Apprenticeship Council" means the Central Apprenticeship Council or the State Apprenticeship Council established under sub-section (1) of section 24; 

    (d) "appropriate Government" means,--

    (1) in relation to—

    (a) the Central Apprenticeship Council, or 

    (aa) the Regional Boards, or

    (aaa) the practical training of graduate or technician apprentices or of technician (vocational) apprentices, or

    (b) any establishment of any railway, major port, mine or oilfield, or

    (c) any establishment owned, controlled or managed by-- (i) the Central Government or a department of the Central Government, (ii) a company in which not less than fifty-one per cent. of the share capital is held by the Central Government or partly by that Government and partly by one or more State Governments, (iii) a corporation (including a co- operative society) established by or under a Central Act which is owned, controlled or managed by the Central Government, the Central Government;

    (2) in relation to—

    (a) a State Apprenticeship Council, or

    (b) any establishment other than an establishment specified in sub-clause (1) of this clause, the State Government; 

    (dd) "Board or State Council of Technical Education" means the Board or State Council of Technical Education established by the State Government;

    (e) "designated trade" means any trade or occupation or any subject field in engineering or technology or any vocational course which the Central Government, after consultation with the Central Apprenticeship Council, may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify as a designated trade for the purposes of this Act; 

    (f) "employer" means any person who employs one or more other persons to do any work in an establishment for remuneration and includes any person entrusted with the supervision and control of employees in such establishment; 

    (g) "establishment" includes any place where any industry is carried on * [and where an establishment consists of different departments or have branches, whether situated in the same place or at different places, all such departments or branches shall be treated as part of that establishment;]; 

    *[Inserted by Act 4 of 1997, section 2 (w.e.f. 8-1-1997)]

    (h) "establishment in private sector" means an establishment which is not an establishment in public sector;

    (i) "establishment in public sector" means an establishment owned, controlled or managed by--

    (1) the Government or a department of the Government;

    (2) a Government company as defined in section 617 of the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956);

    (3) a corporation (including a co-operative society) established by or under a Central, Provincial or State Act, which is owned, controlled or managed by the Government;

    (4) a local authority; 

    (j) "graduate or technician apprentice" means an apprentice who holds, or is undergoing training in order that he may hold a degree or diploma in engineering or technology or equivalent qualification granted by any institution recognised by the Government and undergoes apprenticeship training in any such subject field in engineering or technology as may be prescribed;

    (k) "industry" means any industry or business in which any trade, occupation or subject field in engineering or technology or any vocational course may be specified as a designated trade;

    (l) "National Council" means the National Council for Training in Vocational Trades established by the resolution of the Government of India in the Ministry of Labour (Directorate General of Resettlement and Employment) No. TR/E.P-24/56, dated the 21st August, 1956; and re-named as the National Council for Vocational Training by the resolution of the Government of India in the Ministry of Labour (Directorate-General of Employment and Training) No. DGET/12/21/80-TC, dated the 30th September, 1981

    (m) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act; 

    (mm) "Regional Board" means any Board of Apprenticeship Training registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 (21 of 1860) at Bombay, Calcutta, Madras or Kanpur;

    (n) "State" includes a Union territory; 

    (o) "State Council" means a State Council for Training in Vocacational Trades established by the State Government; 

    (p) "State Government" in relation to a Union territory means the Administrator thereof; 

    (pp) "Technician (vocational) apprentice" means an apprentice who holds or is undergoing training in order that he may hold a certificate in vocational course involving two years of study after the completion of the secondary stage of school education recognised by the All-India Council and undergoes apprenticeship training in any such subject field in any vocational course as may be prescribed;

    (q) "trade apprentice" means an apprentice who undergoes apprenticeship training in any such trade or occupation as may be prescribed.

    *[(r) "worker" means any person who is employed for wages in any kind of work and who gets his wages directly from the employer but shall not include an apprentice referred to in clause (aa)].

    Inserted by Act 4 of 1997, section 2 (w.e.f. 8-1-1997)

    4. Contract of apprenticeship.- (1) No person shall be engaged as an apprentice to undergo apprenticeship training in a designated trade unless such person or, if he is a minor, his guardian has entered into a contract of apprenticeship with the employer.


    (2) The apprenticeship training shall be deemed to have commenced on the date on which the contract of apprenticeship has been entered into under sub-section (1).

    (3) Every contract of apprenticeship may contain such terms and conditions as may be agreed to by the parties to the contract: Provided that no such term or condition shall be inconsistent with any provision of this Act or any rule made thereunder.

    (4) Every contract of apprenticeship entered into under sub-section (1) shall be sent by the employer within such period as may be prescribed to the Apprenticeship Adviser for registration.

    (5) The Apprenticeship Adviser shall not register a contract of apprenticeship unless he is satisfied that the person described as an apprentice in the contract is qualified under this Act for being engaged as an apprentice to undergo apprenticeship training in the designated trade specified in the contract.

    (6) Where the Central Government, after consulting the Central Apprenticeship Council, makes any rule varying the terms and conditions of apprenticeship training of any category of apprentices undergoing such training, then, the terms and conditions of every contract of apprenticeship relating to that category of apprentices and subsisting immediately before the making of such rule shall be deemed to have been modified accordingly.

    6. Period of apprenticeship training.- The period of apprenticeship training, which shall be specified in the contract of apprenticeship, shall be as follows:--

    (a) in the case of trade apprentices who, having undergone institutional training in a school or other institution recognised by the National Council, have passed the trade tests or examinations conducted by that Council or by an institution recognised by that Council, the period of apprenticeship training shall be such as may be determined by that Council; 

    (aa) in the case of trade apprentices who, having undergone institutional training in a school or other institution affiliated to or recognised by a Board or State Council of Technical Education or any other authority which the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette specify in this behalf, have passed the trade tests, or examinations conducted by that Board or State Council or authority, the period of apprenticeship training shall be such as may be prescribed;

    (b) in the case of other trade apprentices, the period of apprenticeship training shall be such as may be prescribed; 

    (c) in the case of graduate or technician apprentices, technician (vocational) apprentices the period of apprenticeship training shall be such as may be prescribed.

    7. Termination of apprenticeship contract.- (1) The contract of apprenticeship shall terminate on the expiry of the period of apprenticeship training.

    (2) Either party to a contract of apprenticeship may make an application to the Apprenticeship Adviser for the termination of the contract, and when such application is made, shall send by post a copy thereof to the other party to the contract.

    (3) After considering the contents of the application and the objections, if any, filed by the other party, the Apprenticeship Adviser may, by order in writing, terminate the contract if he is satisfied that the parties to the contract or any of them have or has failed to carry out the terms and conditions of the contract and that it is desirable in the interests of the parties or any of them to terminate the same: 

    Provided that where a contract is terminated—

    (a) for failure on the part of the employer to carry out the terms and conditions of the contract, the employer shall pay to the apprentice such compensation as may be prescribed; 

    (b) for such failure on the part of the apprentice, the apprentice or his guardian shall refund to the employer as cost of training such amount as may be determined by the Apprenticeship Adviser.

    *[(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other provision of this act, where a contract of apprenticeship has been terminated by the Apprenticeship Adviser before the expiry of the period of apprenticeship training and a new contract of apprenticeship is being entered into with a new employer, the Apprenticeship Adviser may, if he is satisfied that the contract of apprenticeship with the previous employer could not be completed because of any lapse on the part of the previous employer, permit the period of apprenticeship training already undergone by the apprentice with his previous employer to be included in the period of apprenticeship training to be undertaken with the new employer.]
    *[Inserted by Act 4 of 1997, section 3 (w.e.f. 8-1-1997)]

    8. Number of apprentices for a designated trade.- (1) The Central Government shall, after consulting the Central Apprenticeship Council, by order notified in the Official Gazette, determine for each designated trade the ratio of trade apprentices to workers other than unskilled workers in that trade:

    Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall be deemed to prevent any employer from engaging a number of trade apprentices in excess of the ratio determined under this sub-section.

    (2) In determining the ratio under sub-section (1), the Central Government shall have regard to the facilities available for apprenticeship training under this Act in the designated trade concerned as well as to the facilities that may have to be made available by an employer for the training of graduate or technician apprentices, technician (vocational) apprentices if any, in pursuance of any notice issued to him under sub-section (3A) by the Central Apprenticeship Adviser or such other person as is referred to in that sub-section.

    (3) The Apprenticeship Adviser may, by notice in writing, require an employer to engage such number of trade apprentices within the ratio determined by the Central Government for any designated trade in his establishment, to undergo apprenticeship training in that trade and the employer shall comply with such requisition: 

    Provided that in making any requisition under this sub-section, the Apprenticeship Adviser shall have regard to the facilities actually available in the establishment concerned.

    * [Provided further that the Apprenticeship Adviser may, on a representation made to him by an employer and keeping in view the mare realistic employment potential, training facilities and other relevant factors, permit him to engage such number of apprentices for a designated trade as is lesser than the number arrived at by the ratio for that trade, not being lesser than fifty per cent. of the number so arrived at, subject to the condition that the employer shall engage apprentices in other trades in excess in number equivalent to such shortfall.]

    *[ Substituted by the Apprentices (Amendment) Act, 2007 [Act No. 36 of 2007].

    (3A) The Central Apprenticeship Adviser or any other person not below the rank of an Assistant Apprenticeship Adviser authorised by the Central Apprenticeship Adviser in writing in this behalf shall, having regard to—

    (i) the number of managerial persons (including technical and supervisory persons) employed in a designated trade; 

    (ii) the number of management trainees engaged in the establishment; 

    (iii) the totality of the training facilities available in a designated trade; and 

    (iv) such other factors as he may consider fit in the circumstances of the case, 
    by notice in writing, require an employer to impart training to such number of graduate or technician apprentices technician (vocational) apprentices in such trade in his establishment as may be specified in such notice and the employer shall comply with such requisition. 

    Explanation.--In this sub-section the expression "management trainee" means a person who is engaged by an employer for undergoing a course of training in the establishment of the employer (not being apprenticeship training under this Act) subject to the condition that on successful completion of such training, such person shall be employed by the employer on a regular basis.

    (4) Several employers may join together for the purpose of providing practical training to the apprentices under them by moving them between their respective establishments.

    (5) Where, having regard to the public interest, a number of apprentices in excess of the ratio determined by the Central Government or in excess of the number specified in a notice issued under sub-section (3A) should in the opinion of the appropriate Government be trained, the appropriate Government may require employers to train the additional number of apprentices.

    (6) Every employer to whom such requisition as aforesaid is made, shall comply with the requisition if the Government concerned makes available such additional facilities and such additional financial assistance as are considered necessary by the Apprenticeship Adviser for the training of the additional number of apprentices. 

    (7) Any employer not satisfied with the decision of the Apprenticeship Adviser under sub-section (6), may make a reference to the Central Apprenticeship Council and such reference shall be decided by a Committee thereof appointed by that Council for the purpose and the decision of that Committee shall be final.

    *[11. Obligations of employers.- Without prejudice to the other provisions of this Act, every employer shall have the following obligations in relation to an apprentice, namely:--

    (a) to provide the apprentice with the training in his trade in accordance with the provisions of this Act, and the rules made thereunder; 

    (b) if the employer is not himself qualified in the trade, to ensure that a person who possesses the prescribed qualifications is placed in charge of the training of the apprentice; 

    (bb) to provide adequate instructional staff, possessing such qualifications as may be prescribed for imparting practical and theoretical training and facilities for trade test of apprentices; and

    (c) to carry out his obligations under the contract of apprenticeship.

    [Modified by Act 4 of 1997, section 6 (w.e.f. 8-1-1997)]

    12. Obligations of apprentices.- (1) Every trade apprentice undergoing apprenticeship training shall have the following obligations, namely:--

    (a) to learn his trade conscientiously and diligently and endeavour to qualify himself as a skilled craftsman before the expiry of the period of training; 

    (b) to attend practical and instructional classes regularly; 

    (c) to carry out all lawful orders of his employer and superiors in the establishment ; and 

    (d) to carry out his obligations under the contract of apprenticeship.

    (2) Every graduate or technician apprentice technician (vocational) apprentice undergoing apprenticeship training shall have the following obligaitions, namely :-- 

    (a) to learn his subject field in engineering or technology conscientiously and diligently at his place of training; 

    (b) to attend the practical and instructional classes regularly; 

    (c) to carry out all lawful orders of his employer and superiors in the establishment; 

    (d) to carry out his obligations under the contract of apprenticeship which shall include the maintenance of such records of his work as may be prescribed.

    13. Payment to apprentices.- (1) The employer shall pay to every apprentice during the period of apprenticeship training such stipend at a rate not less than the prescribed minimum rate, or the rate which was being paid by the employer on 1st January, 1970 to the category of apprentices under which such apprentice falls, whichever is higher, as may be specified in the contract of apprenticeship and the stipend so specified shall be paid at such intervals and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed.

    (2) An apprentice shall not be paid by his employer on the basis of piece work nor shall he be required to take part in any output bonus or other incentive scheme.

    15. Hours of work, overtime, leave and holidays.- (1) The weekly and daily hours of work of an apprentice while undergoing practical training in a workshop shall be such as may be prescribed.

    (2) No apprentice shall be required or allowed to work overtime except with the approval of the Apprenticeship Adviser who shall not grant such approval unless he is satisfied that such overtime is in the interest of the training of the apprentice or in the public interest.

    (3) An apprentice shall be entitled to such leave as may be prescribed and to such holidays as are observed in the establishment in which he is undergoing training.

     16. Employer's liability for compensation for injury.- If personal injury is caused to an apprentice by accident arising out of and in the course of his training as an apprentice, his employer shall be liable to pay compensation which shall be determined and paid, so far as may be, in accordance with the provisions of the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923 (8 of 1923), subject to the modifications specified in the Schedule.

    17. Conduct and discipline.- In all matters of conduct and discipline, the apprentice shall be governed by the rules and regulations applicable to employees of the corresponding category in the establishment in which the apprentice is undergoing training.

    18. Apprentices are trainees and not workers.- Save as otherwise provided in this Act,-

    (a) every apprentice undergoing apprenticeship training in a designated trade in an establishment shall be a trainee and not a worker; and 

    (b) the provisions of any law with respect to labour shall not apply to or in relation to such apprentice.

    23. Authorities.- (1) In addition to the Government, there shall be the following authorities under this Act, namely:--

    (a) The National Council,

    (b) The Central Apprenticeship Council,

    (c) The State Council,

    (d) The State Apprenticeship Council, 

    (e) The All India Council,

    (f) The Regional Boards, 

    (g) The Boards or State Councils of Technical Education,

    (h) The Central Apprenticeship Adviser, and 

    (i) The State Apprenticeship Adviser.

    (2) Every State Council shall be affiliated to the National Council and every State Apprenticeship Council shall be affiliated to the Central Apprenticeship Council. 

    (2A) Every Board or State Council of Technical Education and every Regional Board shall be affiliated to the Central Apprenticeship Council.

    (3) Each of the authorities specified in sub-section (1) shall, in relation to apprenticeship training under this Act, perform such functions as are assigned to it by or under this Act or by the Government: 

    Provided that a State Council shall also perform such functions as are assigned to it by the National Council and the State Apprenticeship Council and the Board or State Council of Technical Education shall also perform such functions as are assigned to it by the Central Apprenticeship Council.

    24. Constitution of Councils.- (1) The Central Government shall, by notification in the Official Gazette, establish the Central Apprenticeship Council and the State Government shall, by notification in the Official Gazette, establish the State Apprenticeship Council.

    (2) The Central Apprenticeship Council shall consist of a Chairman and a Vice-Chairman and such number of other members as the Central Government may think expedient, to be appointed by that Government by notification in the Official Gazette from among the following categories of persons, namely:--

    (a) representatives of employers in establishments in the public and private sectors, 

    (b) representatives of the Central Government and of the State Governments, 

    (c) persons having special knowledge and experience on matters relating to industry, labour and technical education, and

    (d) representatives of the All India Council and of the Regional Boards. 

    (3) The number of persons to be appointed as members of the Central Apprenticeship Council from each of the categories specified in sub-section (2), the term of office of, the procedure to be followed in the discharge of their functions by, and the manner of filling vacancies among, the members of the Council shall be such as may be prescribed.

    (4) The State Apprenticeship Council shall consist of a Chairman and a Vice-Chairman and such number of other members as the State Government may think expedient, to be appointed by that Government by notification in the Official Gazette from among the following categories of persons, namely:-- 

    (a) representatives of employers in establishments in the public and private sectors, 

    (b) representatives of the Central Government and of the State Government, 

    (c) persons having special knowledge and experience of matters relating to industry, labour and technical education, and

    (d) representatives of the Board or of the State Council of Technical Education.

    (5) The number of persons to be appointed as members of the State Apprenticeship Council from each of the categories specified in sub-section (4), the term of office of, the procedure to be followed in the discharge of their functions by, and the manner of filling vacancies among, the members of the Council shall be such as the State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, determine.

    (6) The fees and allowances, if any, to be paid to the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman and the other members of the Central Apprenticeship Council, shall be such as may be determined by the Central Government and the fees and allowances, if any, to be paid to the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman and the other members of the State Apprenticeship Council shall be such as may be determined by the State Government.

    30. Offences and penalties.- (1) If any employer—

    (a) engages as an apprentice a person who is not qualified for being so engaged, or

    (b) fails to carry out the terms and conditions of a contract of apprenticeship, or 

    (c) contravenes the provisions of this Act relating to the number of apprentices which he is required to engage under those provisions, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine or with both.

    (2) If any employer or any other person—

    (a) required to furnish any information or return—

    (i) refuses or neglects to furnish such information or return, or 

    (ii) furnishes or causes to be furnished any information or return which is false and which he either knows or believes to be false or does not believe to be true, or 

    (iii) refuses to answer, or gives a false answer to any question necessary for obtaining any information required to be furnished by him, or 

    (b) refuses or wilfully neglects to afford the Central or the State Apprenticeship Adviser or such other person, not below the rank of an Assistant Apprenticeship Adviser, as may be authorised by the Central or the State Apprenticeship Adviser in writing in this behalf] any reasonable facility for making any entry, inspection, examination or inquiry authorised by or under this Act, or 

    (c) requires an apprentice to work overtime without the approval of the Apprenticeship Adviser, or 

    (d) employs an apprentice on any work which is not connected with his training, or 

    (e) makes payment to an apprentice on the basis of piecework, or 

    (f) requires an apprentice to take part in any output bonus or incentive scheme, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine or with both.

    31. Penalty where no specific penalty is provided.- If any employer or any other person contravenes any provision of this Act for which no punishment is provided in section 30, he shall be punishable with fine *[which shall not be less than one thousand rupees but may extend to three thousand rupees]..

    *[substituted by Act 4 of 1997, section 7, for "which may extend to five hundred rupees" (w.e.f. 8-1-1997).]

    32. Offences by companies.- (1) If the person committing an offence under this Act is a company, every person who, at the time the offence was committed was in charge of, and was responsible to, the company for the conduct of business of the company, as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly:

    Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall render any such person liable to such punishment provided in this Act if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.

    (2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where an offence under this Act has been committed by a company and it is proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to any negligence on the part of, any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the company, such director, manager, secretary or other officer shall also be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly. 

    Explanation.--For the purposes of this section,--

    (a) "company" means a body corporate and includes a firm or other association of individuals; and 

    (b) "director" in relation to a firm means a partner in the firm.

    33. Cognizance of offences.- No court shall take cognizance of any offence under this Act or the rules made thereunder except on a complaint thereof in writing made by the Apprenticeship Adviser *[or the officer of the rank of Deputy Apprenticeship Adviser and above] within six months from the date on which the offence is alleged to have been committed.

    *[ Inserted by Act 4 of 1997, section 8 (w.e.f. 8-1-1997).]

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