In an attempt to provide relief to its large migrant population, the Indian government has launched an online dashboard to track and facilitate the smooth movement of such workers during the countrywide lockdown. The government said that to collect information on the movement of such workers, the National Disaster Management Authority has developed the National Migrant Information System (NMIS) on its NDMA-GIS portal.
Indian Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said the portal will maintain a central repository, which will help strengthen communication with states. “This system will help in speedy communication between states without creating additional work at the level of the field officers. It has additional advantages like contact-tracing, which may be useful in overall COVID response work,” the Home Secretary was quoted as saying.
The states will now have the option of uploading data of individuals on the portal. This data can be integrated through Application Programming Interface (API). The key data concerning the people migrating has been standardized for uploading. This includes name, age, mobile number, originating and destination district, date of travel, etc. The mobile numbers of people can be used for contact tracing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For contact tracing, both individual particulars and spatial identifiers (origin, destination) need to be captured. Also, many of the workers may undertake reverse journeys in the near future, and a database can be of help in planning such return journeys smoothly.
“I urge you to use the online portal NMIS for capturing the information on movement of migrants and for better inter-state co-ordination,” the Home Secretary said during his interaction with the sates and Union Territories.