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Registration of Unorganised Workers

  • 27 May 2021
  • 6 min read

Why in News

The Supreme Court of India (SC) has directed the Central Government and the State Governments to complete the registration process of unorganized workers so that they can avail the welfare benefits given under various government schemes.

Key Points

  • SC’s Observations:
    • Record of Migrant Workers:
      • It has asked states and Union territories to keep a record of the returning migrant labourers, including details about their skills, place of their earlier employment, etc so that the administration can extend necessary help to them.
    • Common National Database:
      • There should be a common national database for all organised workers situated in different states.
      • The process initiated by the Ministry of Labour and Employment for creating a National Database for Unorganised Workers should be completed with collaboration and coordination of the States.
        • It may serve registration for extending different schemes by the States and Center.
    • Mechanism for Supervision:
      • There should be a suitable mechanism to monitor and supervise whether the benefits of the welfare schemes reach the beneficiaries which may be from grassroot levels to higher authorities with names and places of beneficiaries.
    • Dry Ration to Stranded Workers:
      • The stranded migrant workers throughout the country should be provided dry ration under the AtmaNirbhar Bharat Scheme or any other scheme found suitable by the Centre and the states.
  • Migration in India:
    • Migration is the movement of people away from their usual place of residence, across either internal (within country) or international (across countries) borders.
    • The latest government data on migration comes from the 2011 Census.
      • As per the Census, India had 45.6 crore migrants in 2011 (38% of the population) compared to 31.5 crore migrants in 2001 (31% of the population).
    • Migrant workers keep moving from one place to another place in search of work and such workforce also keeps shifting from one sector to another depending upon the opportunities (such as more wages, duration, and continuity of work), hence, it is not easy to keep record/data of migrant labour workforce.
    • The Covid-19 lockdown has led to an exodus of migrant workers from cities to rural areas and threw the spotlight on the vast number of Indians who live outside their home states.
      • Lakhs of migrant workers were rendered jobless as urban areas were shut due to lockdown.
      • Night shelters run by local authorities began overflowing, and supplies started dwindling.
  • Provisions Related to Migrant Workers:
    • Section 112 of the Code of Social Security, 2020, registration of unorganised workers, gig workers and platform workers was contemplated.
    • Section 21 of the Code on Occupational Health, Safety and Working Conditions enables the provision for maintaining a database of migrant workers to help in targeting, skill mapping and utilising government schemes effectively.
      • The Code ensures that migrant workers get journey allowance once a year from employers to visit their hometowns.
    • The Inter-State Migrant Workmen Act, 1979, required all establishments who hired inter-state migrants to be registered, as well as all contractors who recruited these workers to be licensed.
  • Related Initiatives Taken:
    • Interoperability of Ration Card: Under the One Nation-One Ration Card (ONORC), the beneficiaries from one state can get their share of rations in other states where the ration card was originally issued.
    • Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY): PMGKAY is a part of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) to help the poor fight the battle against Covid-19.
    • Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan (GKRA): The scheme provides livelihood opportunities to the returnee migrant workers and rural citizens who have returned to their home states due to the Covid-19 induced lockdown.
    • ASEEM Portal: The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) has launched ‘Atmanirbhar Skilled Employee Employer Mapping (ASEEM)’ portal to help skilled people find sustainable livelihood opportunities.
      • Database of labour migrants in Indian states and overseas citizens, who returned to India under the Vande Bharat Mission and filled SWADES Skill Card, has been integrated with the ASEEM portal.
    • National Migrant Information System (NMIS): The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has developed an online dashboard called ‘NMIS’.
      • It would maintain a central repository of migrant workers and help in speedy inter-state communication to facilitate the smooth movement of migrant workers to their native places.

Source: IE

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