The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has requested the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) to extend the duration of the self-certification system for start-ups, which shows that they are in compliance with Apprenticeship Rules, 1992, from one year to five years.
Currently, start-ups that hire apprentices or interns do not have to undergo inspection in the first year of their existence by the apprenticeship officials of either state or the Centre. Such start-ups have to just submit a self-declaration stating that they are in compliance with the Apprenticeship Rules, 1992. This step was taken to
incentivise start-ups to engage more and more apprentices.
On May 17 this year, DIPP secretary Ramesh Abhishek wrote a letter to cabinet secretary P K Sinha wherein he stated: “The DIPP has requested the MSDE for extension of tenure for self-certification of compliance with the Apprenticeship Rules from one year to five years.”
Abhishek wrote the letter to Sinha to give details about the implementation of the Startup India programme, which
was launched by the Prime Minister on January 16, 2016, to provide impetus to start-ups across the country.
According to the Apprenticeship Rules, 1992, any establishment may be inspected by an officer, who must not be below the rank of assistant apprenticeship advisor, after prior approval of the Central or the state apprenticeship advisor.
On January 15, 2016, the MSDE had issued an advisory, wherein it stated: “In the first year of setting up of start-ups,
inspection be completely dispensed with against self-declaration. From the second year onward up to the next three years, start-ups may be taken up for inspection only when very credible and verifiable compliant of violation has been filed in writing and the approval has been obtained from the apprenticeship advisor.”
The MSDE, which sent this advisory to apprenticeship advisors across the country and all Regional Directors of Apprenticeship Training, added: “You are, therefore, requested to direct concerned departments in your state/UT (union territory) to regulate the inspection of start-ups, as suggested above, wherever applicable.”
According to the MSDE, the Apprentices Act, 1961 was amended on December 22, 2014, to make it more “user-friendly to industry as well as to the youth”. The ministry stated in the advisory: “Establishment has been allowed for selection of trades and self-regulation of engagement of apprentices in a band of minimum 2.5 per cent to maximum 10 per cent of the total strength of establishment including contract workers. The procedure for
furnishing regular information through returns have been simplified by providing them through apprenticeship portal.”
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has also directed the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE) to ensure that all states have established a system under which start-ups are allowed self-certification with regard to six labour laws, for a period of five years.
The six labour laws under which self certification is advised are: The Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996; The Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979; The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970; The Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952; The Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948; The Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972.
On May 17, 2017, Abhishek told Sinha, : “The MoLE has been directed by the principal secretary to PM to ensure that all states ensure compliance (of this advisory) at the earliest.” The MoLE, in its advisory dated January 12, 2016, suggested the states to not inspect the start-ups, during first three years of their existence, under these
six labour laws. Instead, the states were advised to ask the start-ups to submit an online self-declaration annually for three years. Later on, the MoLE said that this period should be extended from three years to five years. Currently, approximately 12 states, including Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand have implemented this advisory.