Skip to main content

Job loss a major issue among international in-migrants: Evidence from PLFS 2020-21

By Dr Puneet Kumar Shrivastav, Sharmistha Sinha*
December 18th is declared as the International Migrants Day every year since 2000 by the United Nations General Assembly. The International Migrants Day has been recognised as a day to reflect on the role of migrants in our societies, their positive contributions and the challenges they face in achieving their full potential and capabilities.
This day is also a reminder that human rights are not ‘earned’ by virtue of being a hero or a victim, but are an entitlement for everyone, regardless of origin, age, gender and status. Migration is a dynamic phenomenon, constantly requiring policy interventions in order to maximize its potential benefits and minimize related costs in the context of socio-economy of the migrants' place of origin and destination.
Be it for work, to join family, to study, to upgrade quality of living or to escape conflicts or in response to the adverse effects of climate change or natural disasters, or other environmental factors, humanity has been constantly on the move. Today, more people than ever are migrants.
According to the World Migration Report 2022, globally, as of 2019,  the number of international migrants was estimated to be almost 281 million (which is 3.6 per cent of total population), 128 million more than what was in 1990. Out of this, 169 million were migrant workers, up from 164 million in 2017. Nearly, 20 per cent of the migrants originate from South Asia, including India, which accounts for the largest number of migrants living abroad (18 million).
The Covid-19 pandemic restricted the movement as well as migration both globally and locally. In the aftermath of the Covid-19, the international migration has started once again across the globe.
The Migration in India Report 2020-21 of the National Statistical Office (NSO) suggests that in the aftermath of Covid-19, in India, the migration rate was 28.9 percent for in-migrants. According to  Government of India (GoI) estimates, India being a country of more than 135 crore, 39 crore are migrants. The estimate is based on the survey of members of the households at Place of Enumerations (PoE) on in-migrants whose PoE is different from their last UPR (Usual Place of Residence).
The Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) data on migration also reported that out of total migrants, the share of international migrants would be less than one percent (0.75 percent, as unit level data) whose last UPR was another country at current PoE and estimated to be 2.9 million approximately, which means nearly 3 million persons in India are international in-migrants during 2020-21.
The estimates also suggest that out of total international migrants, nearly a quarter of them (24.7 percent) have left their UPR (which was in a country other than India) due to job loss/ lack of employment opportunity in another country in which they were residing prior coming to India. 
This seems to be a major cause of concern for the country, as it would adversely impact on the remittances from other countries. As per the World Bank’s Migration and Development Brief, India was a recipient for remittance to the tune of $89 billion in 2021, and remained the top recipient among the low- and middle-income countries category. The amount of remittance has been on rapid rise since 2005.
However, more recently, around 18 percent migrated to India from another country in order to search an employment/ better employment/ or to work in India, which means they consider India a better place to get a work opportunity as per their aspirations. Another important reason for migration among the international migrants was migration of parents/ earning members of the family.
Further, the State-wise distribution of such international in-migrants depicts that Kerala has been the State of highest number of international in migrants with a share of 46.5 percent followed by West Bengal (17.8 percent), Tamil Nadu (10.2 percent), Uttar Pradesh (7.8 percent) and Gujarat (2.5 percent).
*Respectively: assistant director and deputy director, National Institute of Labour Economics Research & Development (NILERD), under NITI Aayog, Government of India. Views are personal



'Very low rung in quality ladder': Critique of ICMR study on 'sudden deaths' post-2021

By Bhaskaran Raman*  Since about mid-2021, a new phenomenon of extreme concern has been observed throughout the world, including India : unexplained sudden deaths of seemingly healthy and active people, especially youngsters. In the recently concluded Navratri garba celebrations, an unprecedented number of young persons succumbed to heart attack deaths. After a long delay, ICMR (Indian Council for Medical Research) has finally has published a case-control study on sudden deaths among Indians of age 18-45.

SC 'appears to foster' culture of secrecy, does not seek electoral bond details from SBI

By Rosamma Thomas*  In its order of November 2, 2023 on the case of Association for Democratic Reforms vs Union of India contesting constitutional validity of electoral bonds, the Supreme Court directed all political parties to give particulars of the bonds received by them in sealed covers to the Election Commission of India. SC sought that information be updated until September 2023. 

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Only 12% of schools RTE compliant: Whither 6% budgetary allocation for education?

By Ambarish Rai* Despite Indian state’s commitment of 6% GDP on education, the Finance Minister completely ignored right to education for children and strengthening implementation of RTE Act which makes education a fundamental right in her budget speech . The Right to Education (RTE) Forum, which is a collective of different stakeholders in education, condemns this neglect of a legal entitlement, which is unconstitutional and demand for overall increase in the budget to ensure improvement in learning outcomes and overall enhancement of quality education.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

'Ambiguous policy': India late in advocating EVs as energy storage in national grid

By Shankar Sharma*  This is regarding the points raised by the Chief Electricity Authority’s (CEA's) advocacy for usage of electrical vehicles (EVs) as energy storage technology, and few associated issues . An objective reading of what he states should reiterate the enormously growing importance of battery energy storage systems (BESS) in our need to transition to a net-zero carbon scenario for the country.

Union Health Ministry, FSSAI 'fail to respond' to NHRC directive on packaged food

By Our Representative  The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has expressed deep concern over the adverse health effects caused by packaged foods high in salt, sugar, and saturated fats. Recognizing it as a violation of the Right to Life and Right to Health of Indian citizens, the quasi-judicial body called for a response from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) regarding its selection of front-of-pack labels aimed at providing consumers with information to make healthier choices.

Is India emulating west, 'using' anti-terror plank to justify state-supported violence?

Fahad Ahmad, Baljit Nagra*  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has accused India of being involved in the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian Sikh leader, on Canadian soil. Narendra Modi’s right-wing Hindu nationalist Indian government is defiant and denies involvement. Indian officials have instead admonished Canada for being a “ safe haven ” for Sikh “terrorism,” a pejorative for Sikh self-determination .