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Topic : Gig Economy and Platform Workers in India

GS-3 Mains  : Economy

Revision Notes


  • The gig economy in India is growing rapidly, with an estimated 77 lakh (7.7 million) workers in 2020-21 (2.6% of non-agricultural workforce, 1.5% of total workforce).
  • This is expected to reach 2.35 crore (23.5 million) by 2029-30 (6.7% of non-agricultural workforce, 4.1% of total workforce).
  • Gig workers are spread across various skill levels: 47% medium-skilled, 22% high-skilled, 31% low-skilled jobs.


  • Long working hours: 85% of gig workers work more than 8 hours a day.
    • App-based cab drivers: almost a third work over 14 hours, over 83% work more than 10 hours, 60% work over 12 hours.
  • Low Pay: More than 43% earn less than ₹500 a day or ₹15,000 a month after costs.
  • Other Issues: high commission deductions, customer misbehavior, job insecurity, income instability, lack of benefits, lack of legal recognition, difficulty taking leaves.

Government Initiatives

  • National Urban Policy Framework (NUPF): Recognizes the growing urban sector’s role in the economy.
  • Code of Social Security (2020): Envisages social security schemes for gig workers (life/disability cover, accident insurance, health benefits, etc.) – not yet in force.
  • e-Shram Portal: Launched for registration of unorganized workers including gig workers.
  • Rajasthan Platform-based Gig Workers Bill (2023): Introduced by Rajasthan government, has strict provisions against unfair treatment by aggregators.


  • Skill development: Platform-based skilling, gender sensitization programs, accessibility awareness programs.
  • Social security: Stronger social security measures like paid leave, health benefits, retirement plans.
  • Bridging skill gaps: Partner with platforms to onboard skilled women and persons with disabilities.
  • Data transparency: Make aggregate data public to inform decision-making.


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