New labour for new India
Mains Paper 2: Polity
Prelims level: Universal account number
Mains level: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the
Centre and States and the performance of these schemes
Any discussion on the unemployment challenge in India
should be grounded in the following facts:
The Indian economy needs to generate employment for
about 5-7 million people that enter the labour force annually;
Over 90 per cent of the workforce has informal
employment they have neither job security nor social security; and
There has been a growing infomalisation in the
The trade unions have focused their attention on only
protecting the rights of workers in the organised sector.
Addressing the problems
The government has tried to address the problems.
The first is to promote formalisation and the second
is the provision of social security to those remaining in the informal
The most important reform is the introduction of
“fixed term contract” employment.
Fixed contract workers must be employed under the same
working conditions (such as wages, working hours, allowances and other
benefits) as permanent workers.
Fixed-term workers are also eligible for all statutory
Allowing fixed-term employment would help employers to
respond to the fluctuating demand and seasonality in their businesses and
facilitate the direct employment of workers.
Formal employment is also sought to be promoted by
reducing the compliance cost for companies.
Initiatives taken by the government
The government has also taken numerous
technology-enabled transformative initiatives such as the Shram Suvidha
Portal, universal account number (UAN) and national career service portal in
order to reduce the complexity burden and ensure better accountability.
The central government has also managed to persuade
state governments and Union Territories (UT) to allow self-certification and
One of the major achievements of the government is the
increased Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) coverage.
The Employees’ Enrolment Campaign (EEC) was launched
by the government in January 2017 to enrol employees left out of the EPF and
provided incentives to employers.
The government also launched the Pradhan Mantri Rojgar
Protsahan Yojana in 2016 (revised this year) under which the government will
pay the full employers’ EPF contribution for three years for new employment.
The construction sector employs the highest number of
casual workers outside of agriculture.
The most important reform for this sector is the
introduction of Universal Access Number (UAN).
The central government also amended the Building and
Other Construction Worker Rules, 1998, on December 29, 2017, so as to make
the process of filing of the Unified Annual Return transparent for
The amendment of the Payment of Wages Act in 2017
introduced a provision that the government may, by notification in the
official gazette, specify that an industrial or other establishment shall
pay wages only through its bank account.
The railways, air transport services, mines and oil
field sectors covered under central sphere has been issued on April 25,
The government is also in the process of finalising
Labour Code on Social Security.
Historically, due to well-intentioned but
poorly-designed labour laws, only a small section of India’s labour force
has had job security and social security.
Change is being reflected in monthly data released by
EPFO, which shows that there is a shift from the unorganised to organised
Q.1) Five schemes have been launched under Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Shramev
Jayate Karyakaram. Which of the following come under those?
1) Revamped Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana.
2) Apprentice Protsahan Yojana
3) Universal Account Number Scheme
4) Random Inspection Scheme
A. Only 1 and 2
B. 2, 3 and 4
C. 1, 3 and 4
D. All of the above
Q.1) Critically evaluate the performance of unemployment alleviation programmes