Organizing the Unorganized: Creating the “Human Resource Repository” in India

Organizing the Unorganized: Creating the “Human Resource Repository” in India


Smt. Devika Sinha, MA, MBA (HR), Symbiosis SCMHRD

Shri Shramdeep Sinha, IRS, M.Sc.(Gold Medalist), PGPPM (IIM-Bangalore), Deputy Director (Administration) of AIIMS Mangalagiri and Bhopal.

Much like the mythological “Samudra-Manthan”, the COVID-19 pandemic has churned the millions of migrants tucked in the sleeves of urban India. They have suddenly emerged, like swarms of locusts, hungry, distraught humans. They are walking a marathon, day and night. “Ekla Chalo Re. Miles to go”. The hot summer has on this occasion also melted hearts of many in India who are reaching out to them to help them in their journey back to their native places. Alas, little do we realize that all of them are destined to be forgotten, once their journey ends. You and I do not know them and India does not know them. They are the Unorganized Sector like the daily wagers, labourers, rickshaw pullers, autowallahs, mason, painter & white wash man, dhobis, sweepers, errand boys and girls etc. In short- they are the servant class of India and so on. They are the Bhaiyaa, Bhau, Anna, Baai, Daai, Amma, didi for us. Oh please do not mistake them for relatives! We Indians are sanskaaris and hence atleast we do not call them tom, dick or harry. But we know them only when we need them.

In this article, the authors propose that it is high time that India starts the process of knowing them properly,  knowing each of them by ‘organizing the un-organized’. The present systems in India target last mile gap in employment through Employment exchanges (National Career Service) in a passive, bureaucratic way. Time has come to target it across all segments, in a pro-active manner. We propose a Human Resource Repository in India. While we propose it, we propose it be much beyond what is contained in the Employment Exchanges/ National Career Schemes and in the records of Employee Provident Fund (EPF) and Employee State Insurance Scheme (ESICs) arrangements. We are proposing a Unique – AADHAR based, Artificial Intelligence driven, 360 degree populated Human Resource Exchange of India, which shall compile and store details of all employable persons and economically active individuals in India. The repository infrastructure shall deploy advance data mining facilities; and it shall be available, for utilization of everyone who can give employment.

This proposal is intended to create a Human Resources Repository of India. An apt name would be – Sarathi सारथी (As Lord Krishna guided Arjun)

The salient features of sarathi HR Repository will be as follows:
1) The repository will store and publish CVs of each eligible youth in India (18 to 50 years).
2) It will be an AADHAR based HR exchange .
3) The registration in HR Repository will be compulsory. To begin with, data of every person between 18 to 50 years of age will be compiled and populated in the Sarathi data-base. In future, every youth attaining the age of 16 will be compulsorily registered and issued a universal ID (say, Sarathi-AADHAR). The CVs will be HTML based and have a definite format. Facility to edit and upgrade will be available.
4) The Artificial Intelligence will categorize the CVs and grant them Score (Sarathi Score) as well as guidance to improve their Scores.
5) The AI will effectively identify youth in need of skill development. This information will be available to all registered skill development agencies.
6) The AI will provide facilities for data-mining to the prospective Employers. The CVs can be categorised, grouped, organized, arranged, re-arranged by the employers and skill development agencies to identify youths suitable for the available job & training.
7) The Exchange will periodically send emails, messages of available vacancies. Available skill development training available youths with required skill-sets, etc..
8) The Sarathi AI will also provide a platform for employees and employers to Grade and Rate each other.
This is just a preliminary proposal and much more is achievable. In the opinion of authors, such a methodology will effectively establish a robust HR exchange in India.

In his UPSC Interview, one of the authors recalls he was grilled on one of his replies, wherein he had mentioned- dreaming and the Board was excited. In those few minutes he talked the talk, from “mungerilaal ke haseen sapne to Martin Luther King”. With all humility, poet Pash has been our favourite- Sabse kahtarnaak hota hai, hamare sapnon ka mar jaana (The most frightening is the death of our dreams). Yes, the authors dare to dream. But we stand tall on the shoulders of giants. The Government of India has already successfully mapped its population on AADHAR- the first true, biometric unique identifier that India should be proud of. Several initiatives on EPF registration and ESIC registration fronts in last couple of years have been taken. Details of many unorganized workers are stored in these portals. The Employment exchanges have existed in India for a long time and efforts to revive them with the concept and methodology of National Career Service (NCS) are still ongoing. The Government has brought several labour friendly measures and schemes. There are multiple skill development schemes. The Government of the day has shown intent. The authors are hence confident that the proposal of Sarathi HR Repository of India is feasible, from the following perspectives and contexts:

A. Government should start thinking in the manner of the private job-service portals think. One of the authors has an HR background and has closely observed the methodology of these job-portals in India. The only and major difference shall be that in this case Big-Data will be involved. The data base will be of about 70 Crores Indians (approximate of Economically active population in India). We made a comprehensive study of NCS/ Employment exchanges and find that there is an urgent need to rethink on the approach and management of data population, management and mining.

B. Government of the day has the capability to manage the Big-Data. One of the authors hails from the Income Tax department and has witnessed the transformation in India in the last decade in terms of handling of Big Data. A model similar to Income Tax model of collecting and collating information can be followed to Pre-populate the CVs and data-mine them.

C. The world is at present witnessing the Information age. It is a disruptive phase where technology is very powerful and is becoming more robust day-by-day. The democratization of data has begun, and the world has become interconnected at minimal cost. In short, the technology of the present day is capable of intelligently compiling and managing the Big data with adequate encryption and protection of privacy. For eg. Government has started issuing 12-digit Virtual ID to each AADHAR holder to uphold privacy. It is further possible to generate alphanumeric HASH value for information, which will be unique for each individual. Such hash-values can be generated for qualifications by the Universities and Institutes and can only be deciphered by a key, which will make such data safe and accessible to desired stakeholders.

D. Post demonetization in India, digital transactions are on the rise. Online payment/wallet payments/mobile transactions have increased. Per capita bank-accounts have shown a rise. Government’s scheme of cash-subsidy transfer has also lured many Indians to maintain a bank-account.

E. The Government wishes to make the country aatmanirbhar (self-reliant). The MSMEs are in the spotlight. The Government wishes to grant more cash with the general public/employer. In line with these intentions, a suggested model to enthuse employers, who would employ, develop and retain employees having Sarathi-AADHAR is as follows:

a. First year: 110% deduction of Gross salary/Wages/Professional fee made to such employee/staff
b. Second year: 115% deduction of Gross salary/Wages/Professional fee made to such employee/staff upon continuous retention.
c. Third Year: 125% deduction of Gross salary/Wages/Professional fee made to such employee/staff upon continuous retention.
d. 10th Year: 150% deduction of Gross salary/Wages/Professional fee made to such employee/staff upon continuous retention.
e. Re-employment after skill development, at a higher grade, between 4 years to 9 years of first Employment: 150% deduction of Gross salary/ Wages/ Professional fee made to such employee/ staff upon continuous retention, in the year of re-employment after skill development. This can be in addition to 150% of deduction in 10th year.
The scheme has a collateral benefit of populating the information of unorganized sector in the Sarathi database. It will also increase the available cash flow with the employer.

It is proposed that a Task Force may be constituted by the Government. The representation of DoPT, Ministry of Labour and employment, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Finance, UIDAI etc. and association of reputed entrepreneurs and general public may be assured. This task force may design and operationalize the Sarathi Exchange, in all aspects, in a couple of years. The services of C-DAC or NIC (MeITY) is proposed on Information Technology aspects. For initial years, Sarathi may be in addition to Employment Exchanges/ National Career Services. An Autonomous Body route may be followed by the Government.

This proposal would provide a Perception of Hope to the youth and the employers in this pandemic battered economy. It hopes to achieve the Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP) of – Meaningful Job to Youth/ हर युवा को सार्थक काम. The authors would like to suggest that meaningful job also includes self-employment. The important objectives include sustainable employment generation, creation of an Artificial Intelligence (AI) based transparent, accessible HR exchange of India, which would map Youth, Employers and Skill development agencies, who will work in tandem to generate meaningful job to youth, and will not only recruit, but also develop, guide and retain the Human Resources. The employers include both Government/ semi-government and private employers. It is the conceivable that meaningful employment generation will have a positive impact on household savings which will consequently impact GDP positively.

This appears to be daunting task, due to the vastness of the Indian population. But as one of the most highly populated countries in the world, this very fact is our strength and needs to be leveraged as such. This labour will yield sweet results in near future. The equation between the employer, the work to be performed, and the employee will be better balanced. This kind of structured and somewhat quantifiable database will give incumbent authority the power to know what is the skill-set of human resources in their region/sphere of authority; and encourage the most optimal employment of youth. May be then India will not witness this kind of disruptive displacement of the unorganized workforce again.

The authors would like to specify that the views in this article are personal.

Smt. Devika Sinha, MA, MBA (HR), Symbiosis SCMHRD, contact details:

Shri Shramdeep Sinha, M.Sc.(Gold Medalist), PGPPM (IIM-Bangalore) is an Indian Revenue Service Officer of 2004 Batch. He is presently on deputation to PMSSY, MoH&FW as Deputy Director (Administration) of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Mangalagiri and AIIMS, Bhopal, contact details: