The move was triggered by the extreme distress faced by millions of workers who returned to their home states after the two-month nationwide lockdown was imposed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
NITI Aayog is developing seven technology products for the post-Covid-19 era, a government official told ET.
“Of these seven, presentations have been made to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Unnati, which is a job portal, and the Swasth app, which will provide the best healthcare facilities via a telemedicine platform, on Tuesday,” the official said.
There are an estimated 50 million migrant workers in the country. The Centre for Monitoring Indian economy had said 122 million workers lost their jobs in April, of which 91 million have resumed working since the easing of curbs started on June 1.
The Unnati platform is being developed with Technology Commonson in a public-private collaboration model. The government will act as a trustee and fiduciary of personal data as it develops the portal and authorise its operations. Besides, it will ensure safety of data, which will not be accessible to third parties unless specifically authorised.
“Stability of workers to prevent migration should be the focus. Attempts should be made to provide upskilling opportunities to these workers, besides education and other benefits,” Modi has said in meetings with bureaucrats and experts.
Further, the PM advised extending the scope of the platform to map worker requirements across the globe.
“Can we develop this portal to map the global workforce requirement and connect Indian skilled workers to them, imparting additional skills like language, wherever needed?” he asked.
The other technology platforms that the government think-tank is developing using AI include lending to the lower middle-income class using direct benefit transfer data, a portal to provide higher education for all, enabling digital KYC verifications, a unified logistics interface platform, a portal to deliver multiple benefits to small businesses and an agri-stack for interoperability of agricultural data.
Both the labour ministry and the skills development ministry have developed job portals to connect job seekers with employers, but they are limited to white-collar workers and blue-collar workers, respectively. States such as Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh have developed job portals to ensure their people get jobs within the states to reduce migration.