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Cinemas, Malls to stay open 24/7: Cabinet permits Night Shift for Women

The successful implementation of the Act depends on states, as the cabinet is only an advisory to state governments

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Shopping mall in India. Image source: worldbase9.com
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  • The bill is expected to open the floodgates to various employment opportunities
  • The model law will also empower women by providing them with an opportunity to work on night shifts
  • It has a provision for five paid festival holidays, apart from the national holidays

The cabinet on Wednesday, June 29, cleared that it will allow malls, shops, cinema theatres to operate 24/7, throughout the year.

The move which can add thousands of additional skilled jobs is also seen as an effective way to encourage employment. The bill will also empower women by providing them with an opportunity to work on night shifts, given mandatory cab services and other workplace facilities for them.

In a statement, Labour and Employment minister said, “Women to be permitted during the night shift- if the provision of shelter, restroom, ladies toilet, adequate protection of their dignity and transportation etc. exists.”

Finance minister Arun Jaitley said, the bill intends to end the “protective discrimination” that limited employment opportunities for women.

However, the government clarified that the bill’s success will depend on the states, iterating that it only acts as an advisory to state governments.

Labour Secretary Shankar Aggarwal told The Hindu, “We will send it to the States immediately. The model law will be a ready made material for the State governments as this has taken shape after several rounds of extensive consultation within various ministries and the Cabinet.”

The bill has also proposed to exempt highly-skilled professionals like those in information technology sector or bio-technology from a daily nine-hour shift and has allowed them weekly 48 working hours.

It has also put forward a provision for five paid festival holidays, apart from the national holidays.

The law also brings various sectors (except factories) like printing, banking, insurance, stocks and shares brokerage, and “any other public amusement” which are currently not covered under the Factories Act 1948, under it. Even the small establishments that employ 10 or more workers will be taken care of in this Act, reported The Hindu.

The decision is viewed to bring parity in the legislative process and will even bring e-commerce companies under the labour law ambit.

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Yes, this will indeed increase the employment opportunities and night shifts for women would make them independent and courageous

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Accenture, Grameen Foundation’s apps to boost women’s financial inclusion

Accenture Labs in collaboration with the non-profit Grameen Foundation has developed two artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR)-based applications that can boost rural women's access to financial services

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Accenture releases app to empower women. IANS

Accenture Labs in collaboration with the non-profit Grameen Foundation has developed two artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR)-based applications that can boost rural women’s access to financial services.

The apps — Emotional Analytics for Social Enterprises (EASE) and Grameen Guru — will be rolled out by Grameen Foundation India across 300 villages in the states of Maharashtra and Odisha, Accenture Labs said in a statement on Wednesday.

Leveraging AI and AR-based technologies, the applications will help users better understand financial products and services, enabling them to make informed choices that positively impact their financial and social well-being.

mobile apps that all women should have
This app will empower rural women. Wikimedia Commons

“This is a tremendous example of how technology can help bridge the vast cultural and educational divide in places like India, having a real impact on the way people work and live,” said Sanjay Podder, Managing Director, Accenture Labs India.

EASE is an AI-based web and mobile app that helps microfinance advisors gain real-time insights into the emotional and cognitive status of their clients, based on video and audio inputs.

Helping to improve cross-cultural communication, the tool provides deeper insights on precisely what topics or keywords attract attention, or cause clients to disengage. On the other hand, Grameen Guru is a smartphone-based multilingual chatbot that leverages AR technology to help clients who cannot read and understand written material.

Also Read: Twitter allows third-party apps for account verification

Using the app, a user can hold their phone over a brochure that details available financing options, for example, and the Guru virtual assistant will pop up and prompt a conversation in the local language to explain the material.

“Barriers — ranging from illiteracy to a lack of bank branches in rural areas, coupled with a lack of confidence and access to information — hinder adoption for millions of low-income women in India,” said Prabhat Labh, CEO, Grameen Foundation India. The use of these new technologies will enable effective economic empowerment of women, he noted. IANS