Starts process for the creation of a National Platform of Unorganised Workers.


The Centre has started big bang reforms in the unorganised sector with the start of the process for the creation of a National Platform of Unorganised Workers (NPUW) and allotment of an Aadhaar-seeded Unorganized Workers’ Identification Number (UWIN) to over 40 crore individuals employed in the sector.

According to the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE), at present, there is no centralised national database of unorganised workers in the country; therefore, the building of a social security delivery platform is needed. In this regard, the Centre has decided to create the NPUW which envisages the allotment of UWIN to the individual employed in the unorganised sector.  For this, the MoEF has already issued a tender notice on 12 June.

The unorganised sector includes an enterprise engaged in production and sale of goods or providing services where less than 10 workers are employed, irrespective of whether or not the employer provides equipment, material or other inputs.

The draft UWIN policy document reads: “The UWIN solution would lay the foundation for building up the country’s social security benefits platform along with a system that can facilitate the identification of unorganised labour. The UWIN envisages a platform-based solution, adoption of standards, portability of social security benefit systems, process of standardisation and an Aadhaar-based beneficiary. The UWIN platform would cover a wide population and the beneficiaries include approximately 15 crore households, which amounts to nearly 40 crore individual.”

“The UWIN, apart from providing a platform for consolidation of existing schemes, would provide the government, both at the state and Central level, a wealth of data that can serve to drive evidence-based policy making. Data analytics can also help in identifying the trends, needs and scope for the policy intervention by the government. The data analytics can further improve proactive and assistive services. The UWIN solution incorporates features that would serve to create programme integrity and reduce instances of fraud and abuse,” the draft UWIN policy document reads.

“The UWIN solution has several stake holders—the labour ministry would serve as the nodal agency at the Central level through a portal—Management Information System (MIS)—and the state governments would be the primary users of the UWIN platform. The state governments will be responsible for the implementation and operational management of UWIN and the activities ranging from identification and registration to the beneficiary management,” the draft UWIN policy reads.

Explaining about the time frame of the implementation of the UWIN solution, a senior MoLE official said: “The contractor will have to complete the UWIN project within two years. Once the database is created, the MoLE will start the process of social benefit integration programme and almost a dozen of the government-run social security schemes will be linked to it for last mile delivery. The social security schemes that will be integrated include direct subsidy transfer, Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana.”

“As per the International Labour Organization, at present, 90% of India’s workers do not have the privileges like social security and workplace benefits enjoyed by their counterparts who are employed in the formal sector and in such a scenario, the UWIN is going to be the game changer for country’s informal sector,” the same official cited above said.