India’s gig workforce

  • IASbaba
  • June 29, 2022
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In News: A report on India’s gig workforce was released by NITI Aayog

  • According to the study released by Niti Aayog the number of workers engaged in the gig economy is estimated to be 77 lakh in 2020-21 and is expected to grow to 2.35 crore by 2029-30.

What is the Gig economy?

  • A gig economy is a free market system in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements.
  • A gig economy undermines the traditional economy of full-time workers who rarely change positions and instead focus on a lifetime career.
  • Gig workers include self-employed, freelancers, independent contributors and part-time workers.
  • The report broadly classifies gig workers into platform and non-platform-based workers.
  • Platform workers are those whose work is based on online software apps or digital platforms.
  • Non-platform gig workers are generally casual wage workers and own-account workers in the conventional sectors, working part-time or full time.
  • The report notes that at present, about 47% of gig work is in medium skilled jobs, about 22% in high skilled, and about 31% in low skilled jobs, and the trend shows the concentration of workers in medium skills is gradually declining and that of the low skilled and high skilled is increasing.
  • While in 2020-21, the gig workforce constituted 2.6% of the non-agricultural workforce or 1.5% of the total workforce in India, by 2029-30, gig workers are expected to form 6.7% of the non-agricultural workforce or 4.1% of the total livelihood workforce in India
  • Thus India requires a framework that balances the flexibility offered by platforms while also ensuring social security of workers.

Note: Gig economy Mindmap

Recommendations of NITI Aayog

Through Initiatives

  • It has recommended introducing a ‘Platform India initiative’, on the lines of the ‘Startup India initiative’, built on the pillars of accelerating platformisation by simplification, funding support and incentives, skill development, and social financial inclusion.

Access to credit

  • Access to institutional credit may be enhanced through financial products specifically designed for platform workers and those interested to set-up their own platforms.

Wider Market Access

  • It has suggested linking self-employed individuals to platforms so that they can sell their produce to wider markets.

Other recommendations include gender sensitisation and accessibility awareness programmes for workers and their families, extending social security for gig and platform workers in India, and conducting a comprehensive study on key aspects of the platform economy.

Source: The Hindu


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