J&K Labour Deptt grapples with IT skill shortage, hindering digitisation efforts

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Srinagar, Nov 17: The Labour Department in Jammu and Kashmir faces a significant challenge in its digitisation efforts due to a severe shortage of technical IT professionals.

As per the official documents, this deficiency acts as a formidable barrier, hindering the efficient use of IT interventions to manage and track the labour records of the labourer.

   

The official documents have pointed out that the lack of skilled staff not only inhibits information dissemination but also poses a threat to the department’s goal of leveraging technology for the benefit of the populace.

A recent government survey has underscored that the regulation of the labour sector and the expansion of employment services heavily rely on technology and digitisation.

“However, despite this technological push, beneficiaries in the labour sector struggle with limited access to services and technology. The general populace remains uninformed, exacerbating the issue,” it reads.

The shortage of trained staff further complicates matters, impeding the crucial dissemination of information achievable through effective data management.

The employment sector, integral to the Labour Department, faces challenges like misreporting and underreporting of employment statuses by job seekers.

“Additionally, there is a noticeable lack of orientation towards skill development, hindering the department’s efforts to enhance service outcomes and support economic growth,” the government report reads.

Despite these challenges, the J&K Labour Department has highlighted some strengths, including the enforcement of working condition regulations under various Labour Acts.

“Modern career centres and an integrated employment portal offer valuable information, guidance, and skilling opportunities, particularly in the IT sector, reaching even the remotest areas of J&K,” the document reads.

The government survey has also identified opportunities within the department, emphasising the potential impact of effective welfare programme implementation through the use of IT infrastructure.

“Plans are underway to establish a full-fledged inspectorate under the Factory Act, including an electrical wing,” the report reads.

Additionally, the proposed J&K Labour Welfare Fund aims to enhance the welfare of unorganised workers.

In response to the challenges and weaknesses, the government is contemplating the establishment of IT and Legal Cells at the commissioner level.

The target has been set for the introduction of specialised IT-enabled mechanisms to ensure labour compliance.

Furthermore, the government is considering the establishment of a dedicated training institute for officers and officials of the Labour Department, presently relying on the VV Giri Labour Institute in New Delhi for training.

“The overall objective is to address the current deficiencies, streamline operations, and propel the Labour Department in J&K into a digitally empowered and efficiently managed entity, benefiting both employers and the workforce alike,” it reads.

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