India and Migration - Facts for UPSC Prelims and Mains GS-II & Essay

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), India is the top source of international migrants. It terms India as a migration superpower. Migration from India occurs due to social, economic and political reasons. As an important national issue, Migration makes an important part of IAS Exam from the perspective of Mains GS-II and Essay.

This article will provide you with relevant facts about Migration in India assuming its significance for UPSC 2021.

What is migration?

When a person or a group of the community move from one place to another, majorly across political and administrative borders; it gives rise to migration. Migration can be of various types:

  • Temporary
  • Permanent
  • Voluntary
  • Permanent

Technically, it is also categorized into the following:

  • Counter-urbanization
  • Emigration
  • Immigration
  • Internal migration
  • International migration and
  • Rural-urban migration

Features of Migration

The features of migration are mentioned in the table below:

Migration always is signified by movements of persons or a community
It can be forced or voluntary
It always involves a change of residence
It leads to population change in the area
Migration may lead to emigration (when a person leaves his/her own country to settle permanently in another country)

Migration & the Census of India

In the Indian Census, migration is signified by two types:

  • Migration by birthplace
  • Migration by place of last residence

The census also covers the reasons for migration which are:

  • Work/Employment
  • Business
  • Education
  • Marriage
  • Moved after birth
  • Moved with household

As per 2001 census:

  • 5.3 crore migrants were recorded who moved from one village to another
  • 2.1 crores migrants moved from the villages to towns
  • 62 lakhs migrants from moved from towns to villages
  • 1.4 crore migrants moved from one town to another
  • Maharashtra topped the list of the states w.r.t the number of net migrants (23.8 lakh)
  • Uttar Pradesh (-26.9 lakh) and Bihar (- 17.2 lakh) were the two states with the largest number of persons migrating out of the two states.

The problem of International Migration in India

The facts about the migration problems in India are given below:

  1. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) had reported in 2010 that Globalisation has been a major factor influencing the international movement of people and for the growth of transnational communities. It is estimated that 215 million people, constituting about 3 per cent of the world’s population, live outside their native countries.
  2. Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) had in 2010 reported that the top 20 countries of migrant origin accounted for over half of all international migration flows in 2008, with China, Poland, India and Mexico at the top of the list
  3. The reasons of international migration in India are:
    1. The growing mobility of labour in a globalising economy,
    2. Emerging population and demographic dynamics
    3. Integration issues
    4. Enhanced security concerns.
  4. The challenge is to maximise the benefits from migration and transform it into a win-all process for the countries of origin, destination and the migrants themselves.
  5. In India, the migratory flows of the skilled and the unskilled, both have undergone changes due to the pervasive economic restructuring under globalisation that creates opportunities as well as challenges.
  6. In the case of unskilled migrants, the policy responses from public administration, both in the countries of origin and destination, towards safe and adequate legal protection to the migrants continue to maintain its salience.
  7. Within the country itself, the mainstreaming of Diaspora policies remains an issue which engages us.
  8. At a moderate level, it takes up the issue of integration of the overseas community with the host society.

Advantage of Migration (Indian Scenario Globally)

  • Migrants of all skill levels considerably contribute to societies. They spawn creativity, nourish the human spirit and spur economic growth. They bring diversity, provide innovation and bring about economic development and growth in the host societies.
  • The primary motivation for migration is economic and at the heart of migration, management is imperative to maximize the development impact of international migration for all.
  • India exemplifies the strengths of a large, tolerant, secular, live democracy with a pluralistic society in which people of different faiths, languages, ethnicity and political persuasions co-exist and thrive. Indeed, this milieu is the ‘sine qua non’ of any society that can create conditions for positive migratory movements and labour mobility for the benefit of all.
  • This places India in a position to help contribute to the international community’s efforts to develop an appropriate world migration strategy.

Migration & India – UPSC Notes:-Download PDF Here

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