Labour Ministry Constitutes Taskforce To Study Impact Of AI On Future Of Work

Labour Ministry Constitutes Taskforce To Study Impact Of AI On Future Of Work

SUMMARY

Labour Secretary Sumitra Dawra also said that more research is needed to evaluate the impact of AI on the Indian job market

On the gig economy, Dawra said that India was home to nearly 1 Cr gig workers and projected the number to surge to 2.4 Cr by 2030

This comes a month after Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran said that AI and GenAI will lead to job losses in certain sectors undergoing automation

Amid the ongoing debate over the impact of artificial intelligence on the job market, the Labour Ministry has reportedly constituted a taskforce to evaluate the impact of the emerging technology on the “future of work”.

“… (the) government of India has constituted a taskforce to study AI’s impact on the future of work and more research is required in this area,” Labour Secretary Sumitra Dawra as per Economic Times. 

Dawra made the comments while speaking at an event jointly organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Employers’ Federation of India (EFI) in Telangana on Friday (July 5). 

As per the report, Dawra, while citing the Periodic Labour Force Survey, said that eight crore new jobs were created in India in the last five years. She attributed the creation of these new employment roles in the country to the burgeoning homegrown startup ecosystem.

On the gig economy, she said that India was home to nearly 1 Cr gig workers and projected the number to surge to 2.4 Cr by 2030. The Labour Secretary also added that the Centre has codified 29 labour laws into four Labour Codes to further enhance the ease of doing business for startups and businesses. 

Notably, Dawra comments come at a time when many industry stakeholders have raised concerns over the impact of AI on the job market. Last month, Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran said that AI and GenAI will lead to job losses in certain sectors undergoing automation.

In May, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) Secretary S Krishnan also expressed concern about AI’s impact on job losses. Right after, chief economic advisor (CEA) V Anantha Nageswaran also said that AI could lead to “huge dislocations” that could potentially be more “serious” for India compared to other nations. 

Earlier this year, Zoho cofounder Sridhar Vembu, in a letter co-signed by former NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar and iSPIRIT Foundation cofounder Sharad Sharma, also urged the Centre to regulate the technology as it could put millions of jobs at risk.

As a result, many Indian startups have already deployed the technology to automate and streamline their operations, leading to job losses. For instance, Paytm has fired around 1,000 employees citing AI-led automation while InMobi too was planning to sack 125 employees earlier this year on account of deployment of AI. 

Not just this, the emergence of AI has also necessitated the upskilling of employees as the technology renders many current roles redundant. As per a study conducted by ServiceNow and Pearson, AI and automation is expected to necessitate the reskilling and upskilling of 16.2 Mn workers in India by 2027.

In the same breath, the report said that the new technology will also create 4.7 Mn new tech jobs by 2027. 

The developments come as GenAI mania continues to grip the world. As per Inc42 report, India is home to more than 100 GenAI startups that have raised more than $600 Mn between 2019 and 2023. At the heart of all this is the growing Indian AI space, which is projected to become a $17 Bn market opportunity by 2030.

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Labour Ministry Constitutes Taskforce To Study Impact Of AI On Future Of Work-Inc42 Media
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