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Niti Ayog Report on India’s gig workforce

GS Paper 2:

Syllabus: Development of social sector, Issues related to the development of the social sector.

 

Context:

NITI Aayog has recommended steps to provide social security for the country’s gig workforce, which is expected to grow to 2.35 crore by 2029-30.

 

Current Number: According to a study released by NITI Aayog, the number of gig workers is estimated to be 77 lakh in 2020-21.

 

Key findings of the report:

  • Platformization of work: It has given rise to a new classification of labour-platform labour, falling outside of the purview of the traditional dichotomy of formal and informal labour.
  • The report broadly classified gig workers into:
  1. Platform workers: are those whose work is based on online software applications or digital platforms,
  2. Non-platform gig workers: are generally casual wage workers and own-account workers in the conventional sectors, working part-time or full-time.
  • More medium-skilled jobs: At present, about 47% of gig work is in medium-skilled jobs, about 22% in high-skilled, and about 31% in low-skilled jobs, the trend shows the concentration of workers in medium-skilled jobs is declining and that of the low skilled and high skilled is increasing.
  • Increase in the non-agricultural workforce: By 2029-30, gig workers are expected to form 7% of the non-agricultural workforce or 4.1% of the total livelihood workforce in India.

 

Recommendations:

  • Separate enumeration exercise: It recommended undertaking a separate enumeration exercise to estimate the size of the gig and platform workforce and collecting information during official enumerations ( Periodic Labour Force Survey) to identify gig workers.
  • Wider scope: Apart from impetus through digitalisation, operating outside the traditional “employer-employee” relationship enables platforms to scale within and across geographies as well as sectors.
  • Positive implication of paid leaves: The report said that giving paid sick leave, health access and insurance to all workers will have positive implications.
  • Reclassification: Citing international regulations for gig and platform workers, it said in the UK, a Supreme Court ruling in February 2021 led to the reclassification of Uber’s driver-partners in the country as “workers”.
  • Compensation: It suggested gig firms adopt policies that offer old age or retirement plans and benefits and other insurance covers for contingencies such as injury arising from work that may lead to loss of employment and income.
  • Introduction of Platform India initiative: NITI Ayog recommended introducing a ‘Platform India initiative’ on the lines of the ‘Startup India Initiative’.

 

Insta Links:

To read about NITI Ayog: click here

To read about Startup India Initiative: click here

 

Practice Questions:

Q. India requires a framework that balances the flexibility offered by platforms while also ensuring the social security of workers. Discuss. (15M)

 

Q. With reference to NITI Ayog, consider the following statements:

  1. The Governing Council of NITI Ayog comprises the Chief Ministers of all States and Lt. Governors of Union Territories.
  2. The team India Wing comprises representatives from every State and Ministry and serves as a permanent platform for national collaboration.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a. 1 only

b. 2 only

c. Both 1 and 2

d. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: (c)

Justification:

Composition:

Governing Council: Comprising the Chief Ministers of all States and Lt. Governors of Union Territories.

Team India Wing  – comprising representatives from every State and Ministry, will serve as a permanent platform for national collaboration.

Source: The Hindu