The Union Labour Ministry of India has partnered with online cab aggregator Uber to let those people who want to sign up as drivers on the platform access the National Careers Service to do so. The Government had launched the NCS portal in December to provide employment services and career counselling. At that time, it claimed to have a content repository with information on career options in more than 52 industry sectors and across 3,700 occupations.
Features of the NCS:
The National Career Service (NCS) portal lets users look for a career center, find a career counsellor, skill providers or local help on the platform. A user manual provided by the platform (pdf), details how users can manage their courses, provide feedback on local services and post grievances etc.
The portal currently allows job seekers, employers, local service, household users, skill providers, counselors, placement organizations or government departments to register. Users also have the option to register with their employment exchange or skill providing institute IDs. The registration form requires mandatory identification using the Aadhaar card, driving license, PAN card, voter ID card, passport or an NREGA job card.
Uber says it improves job quality
Uber states that it is improving job quality by offering an alternative to on call scheduling and zero hour contracts by employers and helping them minimise labour costs by ‘keeping workers on an unpredictable and ever-changing schedule,’ since Uber does not provide a schedule. It’s important to note that Uber also does not call its drivers employees, rather as ‘entrepreneurs’ who sign up on the platform and work at will. The partnership also comes at a time when the government is pushing for digital literacy in the country.
Uber will also create a ‘Start your own business’ page (probably like this one) on its website to market opportunities for driving with it. It will also provide loan like services in case the drivers don’t have a car. The company already has two MoUs in place with the Telangana Government and the Rajasthan Government to create employment.
Employment is good, violence not so good
The move works for Indian citizens wanting employment, even as drivers continue to protest against the service and courts ban the service in certain cities and areas globally, Delhi Government included. Recently, Uber has faced backlash from drivers in Paris, Kenya and courts in Germany, but also got relief in Jakarta and Singapore. As the number of drivers on the platform goes up, there are likely to be even more clashes from the traditional taxi segment, as we have previously witnessed.