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17th February – Editorials/Opinions Analyses


  1. In political micro-targeting, the vulnerable Indian voter
  2. Fresh ways to govern India’s gig workforce


  • In the Internet age, any data protection law must be alive to the potential impact of social media companies in shaping public opinion.
  • The current data protection bill 2019 empowers the Central government to notify social media intermediaries as significant data fiduciaries if their user base crosses a certain threshold and whose actions are likely to have an impact on electoral democracy.
  • Over the years, political advisory and advertising firms have devised sophisticated tools to gather voter data and made proper campaign products out of it.
  • The politicians of today’s age leave no stone unturned while canvassing for votes

Unregulated zone

  • The informational autonomy of the voter is under serious threat because the entire business of collecting personal data continues to remain unregulated and is also proprietary in nature.


  • Indians constitute a quarter of the world’s gig workers, earning $1 billion last year and registering double-digit growth.
  • The gig economy plays to employment patterns in India, where most of the workforce is engaged in “informal” jobs in the “unorganized” sector.
  • Non-contractual employment grew by 68 million over last 13 years, and “has been a hero of employment generation growing by about 5% annually”.
  • Professionals constituted the most rapidly growing occupations, with older, better educated and skilled witnessing higher growth.
  • As technology and business models take the gig economy across the country and implant it more deeply into the Indian economy, we can expect to see a lot more people find employment through online marketplaces and technology platforms.
  • In December, the government introduced legislation in Parliament that seeks to consolidate a number of labour laws into a Social Security Code.
  • Recent reports suggest that revenue officials are leaning on platforms and aggregators to get gig workers registered with the goods and services tax (GST) network
  • The government is attempting to rationalize labour regulations and expand the country’s tax base
  • Jobs vary along two fundamental characteristics: the level of income they generate and the volatility of this income.
  • For instance, a graphic designer could earn tens of lakhs of rupees a year, but go without income for several months at a stretch
  • Instead of the old binary formulation of informal versus formal jobs, it is more informative to see jobs being distributed on a spectrum depending on how much they pay and how volatile the income flows they provide are.
  • Wherever a job lies in this spectrum, the objective of public policy ought to be to ensure a “trimurti”: dignified working conditions, growing wage levels, and minimal income fluctuations
July 2024