Migration in India

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Migration to| 1951-60| 1961-70| 1971-80| 1981-90|
US| | | | |
From India| 2,120| 31,214| 1,72,080| 2,61,841|
From all countries| 25,15,000| 33,22,000| 44,93,000| 73,38,000| India’s Share(%)| (0.1)| (0.9)| (3.8)| (3.6)|
Canada| | | | |
From India| 2,802| 25,722| 72,903| 79,304|
From all countries| 15,74,841| 14,09,677| 14,40,338| 13,36,767| India’s Share(%)| (0.2)| (1.8)| (5.1)| (5.9)|
UK| | | | |
From India| n.a| 1,25,600| 83,040| 51,480|
From all countries| n.a| 6,35,000| 7,32,900| 5,16,870| India’s Share(%)| n.a| (19.8)| (11.3)| (10.0)|
SOURCE: NAYYAR, 1994

Suggestions and recommendations
Some specific suggestions relating to international
labour migration are:
1. Developing migration information systems:
One of the areas requiring immediate policy intervention is the creation of an appropriate information system on international emigration. This would enable closer surveillance and better management of emigration. The status of out-migrant data can be improved by making the registration of entry by migrant workers mandatory in the Indian missions operating in labour receiving countries. The nature of outflow data at home can be strengthened by a fuller utilisation of the data already available with government departments and recruitment agencies. A chief requirement in this connection would be the strengthening of the statistical wings of the concerned government departments. There is also a need to use border control records for more accurate measurement of international labour migration. International experience suggests that it is possible to extract labour outflow and return flow data on key variables from embarkation/ disembarkation cards. An essential first step to make use of this source is to redesign the existing arrival/departure cards to yield required information. To obtain further information, periodic airport surveys could be resorted to. Data on migration are as much essential at the state level as they are at the national level. Apart from relevant disaggregation of national data sources, it would be desirable if the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) conduct detailed surveys on international migration periodically, say once in five years. To strengthen the information base abroad, an identification and networking of Indian associations operating in different Middle East countries is necessary. The Gulf crisis of 1990 had highlighted the vital role layed by various Indian associations and bodies in safeguarding the interests of Indian migrants in the Gulf at a time of emergency (Sasikumar,1995). Discussions with evacuees from Kuwait revealed that the majority of Indian migrants maintained very close liaison with community organisations even in times of stability. 2. Managing and directing migration flows:

There is an urgent need to manage and direct migration flows from India. It is important in this context that labour markets of the major labour importing countries are closely monitored. This may be done through the establishment of a labour market monitoring authority. The authority has to carry out negotiations on various labour contracts and also study the nature of emerging skill requirements. The activities of the labour market monitoring mechanism should be linked with a comprehensive system of labour market information for all types of employment seekers. 3. Welfare funds:

Although the issue of welfare of families of workers left behind in the home country has come to be recognised as potentially important, there are hardly any policies in this area. It may be worthwhile to consider the constitution of a ‘Welfare Fund’ for Indian workers abroad. Such a fund can be utilised for a wide range of welfare measures concerned with both the migrant workers and their families. The Welfare Fund could also be of vital importance to women employees in the Gulf who are largely in the category of...
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