e-Shram was launched on 26 August by the government of the Union to register 380 million unorganized sector workers free of charge at Community Service Centers (CSCs), labor facilitation centers and state sevakendras, or through self-registration. Within three months of launch, more than 91 million — or 24 percent — of the projected 380 million had registered by Nov. 25. More than half work in the agricultural sector, India’s largest employer.
Since its launch, some states have registered more employees than others. Nearly one in four registrations was reported in West Bengal (23 percent), followed by Uttar Pradesh (19 percent), Odisha (13 percent) and Bihar (11 percent). All four have reported a larger share of total registrations than their share of the total workforce aged 15-59, according to the Annual Labor Force Survey 2019-20 annual report. Other states have, on average, registered less than 2 percent of their total workforces between the ages of 15-59.
However, the exercise has its limitations. It aims to create a database of employees and does not provide clarity on Social Security benefits beyond the accident insurance that registered employees should receive, experts say.
Furthermore, the mandatory Aadhaar-based mobile pairing proves to be a barrier to registration for many employees, and biometric authentication at CSCs is problematic. In addition, the portal no longer shares the data on registered migrant workers.