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8 Years of #DigitalIndia and Work Force Reforms

Digital India is changing the environment and ease for employee and employers and how large unorganised sector is now coming into fold of government protection via social security. All only through technology and E-governance.

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“Our vision of a Digital India includes integrating technology with every aspect of Government. I would urge the world to make use of these opportunities and invest in our nation”: PM @narendramodi

Prime Minister will inaugurate Digital India Week 2022 in Gandhinagar on 4th July 2022.So I decide to write on how Digital India is impacting our every day life. Some outstanding highlights of #DigitalIndia are listed below.They are just tip of an iceberg. All of them cannot be mentioned in one article.

India saw 9.36 Billion transactions worth Rs 10.2 Trillion in Q1 2022, UPI leads. Big victory for Digital India ! – Business Standard

Higher Internet adoption has fuelled the demand for mobile phones in India, propelled by services like digital payments, e-health & e-learning.

#DigiLocker services through the #MyGovHelpdesk. Send ‘Hi’ to 9013151515 on WhatsApp to access your Insurance Documents, PAN Card, Driving License, etc.REGISTERED USERS OF #DigiLocker are 10.24 crore

Laying of optical fiber in the nook and corner of the country is on high priority of the Government, to ensure that digital services, e-education, #telemedicine, etc. reach every citizen and at affordable cost.

“India is a global leader in Information & Digital Technology. 40% of world’s digital transactions take place in India, which is a record data consumer. Cowin portal has 110 cr registrations & 22 cr Indians are linked with Aarogya Setu app”: PM Shri @narendramodi ji

The work of #DigitalIndia touched every aspect of Indian life. But in this article I would like to highlight Digital India and Shramik ie Labour.How Digital India is changing the environment and ease for employee and employers and how large unorganised sector is now coming into fold of government protection via social security. All only through technology and E-governance.

“Long due and much awaited Labour reforms have been passed by Parliament. The reforms will ensure well-being of our industrious workers and give a boost to economic growth. They are also shining examples of ‘Minimum Government, Maximum Governance.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji

Digital India

Some Labour ministry portals and initiative will give you an idea that how life of a labour in blue collar or grey collar job is becoming easier. And if that happens the country is definitely going to move forward.

SHRAM SUVIDHA PORTAL

Shram Suvidha portal was launched on 16th October 2014 by the Government of India. It is developed by the Ministry of Labour and Employment to cater to four major organisations under its boundaries: Office of Chief Labour Commissioner, Directorate General of Mines Safety, Employees Provident Fund Organisation, and Employees State Insurance Corporation. It enables businesspersons to procure all kinds of registrations and submit returns required under Labour Laws on a single online platform. It also allows them to access the inspection reports prepared by the Enforcement Agency inspectors through online modes. The procedures have been unified to provide a healthy business environment that encourages compliance by reducing transaction costs and nurturing ease of business.

The Unified Shram Suvidha Portal is developed to facilitate reporting of Inspections, and submission of Returns. The Unified Shram Suvidha Portal has been envisaged as a single point of contact between employer, employee and enforcement agencies bringing in transparency in their day-to-day interactions. For integration of data among various enforcement agencies, each inspectable unit under any Labour Law has been assigned one Labour Identification Number (LIN).

Some of the benefits of Shram Suvidha portal are as follows:

• This portal helps handle establishments and their inspection reports
• The entry by employer, establishment and enforcement agency can be done online
• Entity verification is possible by the Enforcement Agency
• Labour Identification Number can be generated easily
• Notification to the establishment is available via phone/email
• Users have the option to pre-assign a user ID/password
• Password management is available for users at any time
• Establishments can get their credentials online
• The first stage for LIN generation is by the CLC(C) organisation
• It facilitates online CLC(C) and DGMS annual return submission
• EPF and ESIC monthly return submission can be made on a single integrated platform
• LIN registration, verification and further modification in data can be done online

All the unorganised registered workers will get the accidental benefits of two lakhs for one year. Suppose a worker meets with an accident and is registered in an e-shram portal. In that case, they will be eligible to take accidental benefits, two lakhs on death/permanent disability and one lakh on partial disability.

Shram Suvidha portal is the means by which government supervises the severity of child labour, bondage labour, over duty, crime against women, over-exploitation of the workforce, etc. To some extent, it has become effective. Still, there is a scope to expedite its implementation so that the government can look into day-to-day activities and hardships faced by workers/human resources. Employers can register themselves at Shram Suvidha Portal under employees provident funds(EPF) – Employees State Insurance Scheme(ESIC). It provides a unique identification number to facilitate online registration. With the help of this portal unit has to file a single consolidated online return instead of separate returns. It also facilitates transparent labour inspection through computerised and upload inspection reports within 72 hours by the labour inspectors.

EPFO

epfo-app

Ones experience with the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) was not perceived positively by employees till recently.The fact that the entire process was manual resulted in time lag and called for additional effort along with added risk of loss of documents.

But now there is significant digitisation at the EPFO. The speed with which applications have been processed in the time of this pandemic stands testimony to the advancements made by the EPFO and the ease of the process.

UAN is probably the most significant of all the changes brought about by the EPFO. As the name suggests, it is a unique identification number for a PF member irrespective of change in employer or employment location. This facilitates seamless transfer of balance / linking of accounts on change of employment, mapping with new employer, preferring claims for advances or withdrawal upon retirement etc.

Introduction of UAN has done away with the requirement for a fresh registration on change of jobs and along with it the related time lags in contributions.

• SMS to track monthly remittances
• Digital passbook
• Online facilities provided by EPFO
• Trust vis-à-vis EPFO

To sum up, investment in PF seems to be beneficial not only because of the attractive interest rates and the associated tax benefits, but also because of the enhanced transparency, efficiency and speed in the delivery of services by EPFO enabled through digitisation.

PENSION REFORMS

“Delivering the inaugural address at a webinar on Administrative Reforms and Pension Reforms (2014-2022) in New Delhi, Dr Jitendra Singh said, large scale use of technology and integration approach are the twin pillars of both the revolutionary Governance and Pension Reforms carried out in the last eight years.”

LIC pension plan

Dwelling on Pension Reforms, Dr Jitendra Singh said, ever since Narendra Modi ji came to power in 2014, the Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare had introduced a number of revolutionary reforms including relaxation in the provision of Family Pension for divorced daughters and Divyangs, introduction of Face Recognition Technology through mobile app for ease in submitting Life Certificate by elderly pensioners, Electronic Pension Pay Order, assistance from Postal Department to facilitate pension process etc.

He said, moreover steps like extension of Family Pension to differently abled child of a deceased Government employee/Pensioner or giving a major hike in the Family Pension emoluments for Divyang children of a deceased government servant/pensioner are not only pension reforms but these are social reforms having wide implications.

Referring to the last month’s decision for relaxation of family pension rules for missing central government employees, Dr Jitendra Singh said the move will instil confidence among the employees working in extremist-infested and violence-prone areas.

ANUBHAV

The Department also started a portal entitled “Anubhav” to show-case the experiences in Government of retiring officials which has now become a huge resource base.

The Department not only introduced the concept of Pension Adalats but has leveraged technology to hold digital Adalats through video-conferencing. Since 2017, some 22,494 pensioners’ grievances have been taken up and 16,061 matters resolved on the spot in Pension Adalats.

The Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare has ensured end-to-end digitization of the Pension payment process by making BHAVISHYA software mandatory for all the Ministries to process their pension cases. He stated that this software has laid out dead-lines for every stakeholder to complete the Pension processing so that pension is started on time.

BHAVISHYA PORTAL

Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare is working with a vision of ensuring active and dignified life for pensioners.

The goal is to ensure payment of all retirement dues and delivery of Pension Payment Order (PPO) to retiring employees on the day of retirement itself. Towards this goal, the department has launched an online Pension Sanction & Payment Tracking System called ‘BHAVISHYA’. The system provides online tracking of pension sanction and payment process by the individual as well as the administrative authorities. The system captures the pensioners personal and service particulars. The forms for processing of pension can be submitted online. It keeps retiring employees informed of the progress of pension sanction process through SMS/E-Mail. The system obviates delays in payment of pension by ensuring complete transparency.

eShram

The term unorganized worker has been defined under the Unorganized Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008, as a home based worker, self-employed worker or a wage worker in the unorganized sector and includes a worker in the organized sector who is not covered by any of the Acts mentioned in Schedule-II of Act i.e. the Employee’s Compensation Act, 1923 (3 of 1923), the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (14 of 1947), the Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948 (34 of 1948), the Employees Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provision Act, 1952 (19 of 1952), the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 (53 of 1961) and the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 (39 of 1972).

1. eShram

The portal for the registration of Unorganized Workers across the Country was launched on 26th August 2021. This portal will help build a comprehensive National Database of Unorganized Workers (NDUW) in the country. The portal will prove to be a huge boost towards last mile delivery of the welfare schemes for crores of unorganized workers for more than 38 Crore workers. The registration is totally free for the workers.

2. Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-dhan (PM-SYM)

Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan Yojana is a government scheme meant for old age protection and social security of Unorganized workers.

3. Aam Admi Beema Yojana

The workers in the unorganized sector constitute about 93% of the total work force in the country. The Government has been implementing some social security measures for certain occupational groups but the coverage is miniscule. The majority of the workers are still without any social security coverage. Recognizing the need for providing social security to these workers, the Central Government has introduced a Bill in the Parliament.

With over 8.43 crore informal sector workers having registered with their Aadhaar numbers on the e-Shram portal, the Centre is in touch with states to ensure convergence of social security schemes for them and help match them with employment opportunities.

To this effect, the worker database will be linked with Unnati, the proposed labour-matching platform. Also, when the 38-crore registration target is achieved, officials said, it will provide an insight into the number of migrant workers and even those who were earlier registered with the organised sector

“उन्नति – रोज़गार से विकास तक”

Unnati is a digital solution developed by the Government of India that aims to provide livelihood access to blue and grey collar workers in India and supports the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat. It is a labour matching platform that seeks to bridge the gap between job seekers looking for work and job-providers looking for workers through a robust open source technical architecture. It is an omni-channel platform that is currently available over phone and web. Its ‘platform of platforms’ approach is capable of facilitating integration with different government schemes skilling and worker benefit programs internal systems of companies and several other initiatives over time.

When work force of a country is happy and has social security and government has actual data only than a country can prosper. This Data which is being collected is being used in implementation of Labour Schemes, Skill upgradation and Job creation. Digital India is transforming every aspect of Indian life.

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