Blockchain, bots doing top rounds at the Dept of Labour, Karnataka

The Labour Department of Karnataka is bolstering itself to provide better services and hence has been increasingly introducing IT initiatives over the years. The department’s online services have touched upon many and benefitted them. The online portal aims to facilitate registration, issue of licences and renewal and amendment of registration and licences, which is under the various Acts of the state and Central labour laws and regulations that are being enforced by the Department of Labour of the Government of Karnataka. The facilities include issuance of registration certificate, amendment of registration certificate, issuance of renewal of licences, submission of annual returns by the employer, quarterly returns, renewal of registration certificate, issuance of new licence, amendment of licence, etc.
The department has been leveraging IT to revolutionise labour and employment issues and has taken important IT initiatives to benefit the employee at various organisations and the citizens at large.Although there are obstacles in implementing technology but the department has it as its agenda on priority.
“We are attempting to leverage IT. But, there are serious hurdles. IT solutions need to go through trial and error. But, doing trial in the government is prohibited as loss of public fundsis seen with criminal lens. So, seldom people push their agenda on IT systems,” says P Manivannan, Secretary, Department of Labour, Government of Karnataka.
“However, we have taken up some IT projects, thanks to the direction from the Honourable CM and the Labour Minister of Karnataka. The initiatives include 24×7 professional helpline with CRM software and soon, it will have bots handing complaints and mandatory online services for employers. Out of the 30 important services that we provide, 10 are already online. Next 10 will be online by March this year, and the last 10 by next financial year. The welfare schemes in the construction board are computerised and we are giving it through DBT,” adds Manivannan.
The department is also implementing some cutting-edge technologies.“Our first blockchain project is on the Ashadeepa society, this is focused on providing employment to the people belonging to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities. The entire flow of funds is planned to be on a blockchain platform. The NGO CITAG, in association with BitGram is doing the project for us. We hope to unveil it by next financial year,” informs Manivannan.
When asked how they see the progress in the past five years with the help of IT, Manivannan answers, “IT moves much faster than the speed of the government, so we are always trying to catch up investing in manpower and machines. We do see progress, but not in pace with how the technology grows.”
He also points out that the National Seminar recently hosted by XIME on ‘Make in India’ was important, and acted as lens to focus the energies on a theme. Manivannan informs that in the next five years the department plans to create a mobile app that connects the employers and employees; provides cashless health coverage using prepaid health debit cards; and crèches for all children of migrant labourers.
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