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India's Gig and Platform Economy: NITI Aayog Report

Context: NITI Aayog launched a report titled 'India's Booming Gig and Platform Economy' on June 27 2022.  

The report presents comprehensive perspectives and recommendations on the gig–platform economy in India. It provides a scientific methodological approach to estimating the sector's current size and job-generation potential. 

It highlights the opportunities and challenges of this gig emerging sector, presents global best practices on initiatives for social security, and delineates strategies for skill development and job creation for different categories of workers in the sector.

Facts and Figures regarding the Gig Sector: 

Job creation potential of the gig sector is immense given rising urbanization, widespread access to the internet, digital technologies and smartphones in India. 

77 lakh workers were engaged in the gig economy in 2020-21 (2.6% of the non-agricultural workforce or 1.5% of the total workforce in India). This is expected to expand to 2.35 crore workers by 2029–30. (expected to form 6.7% of the non-agricultural workforce or 4.1% of the total livelihood in India by 2029–30). 

  • At present, about 47% of the gig work is in medium-skilled jobs, 
  • About 22% are  in high skilled, and 
  • About 31% are in low-skilled jobs. 

The trend shows the concentration of workers in medium skills is gradually declining and that of the low skilled and high skilled is increasing.

 

Recommendations of the Report: 

  • In order to harness the potential of the gig-platform sector, the report recommends accelerating access to finance through products specifically designed for platform workers, linking self-employed individuals engaged in the business of selling regional and rural cuisine, street food, etc., with platforms to enable them to sell their products to wider markets in towns and cities. 
  • The report suggests platform-led transformational and outcome-based skilling, enhancing social inclusion through gender sensitization and accessibility awareness programs for workers and their families and extending social security measures in partnership mode as envisaged in the Code on Social Security 2020. 
  • Other recommendations include 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.

Significance of the Report: 

This report will become a valuable knowledge resource in understanding the sector's potential and drive further research and analysis on gig and platform work.

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