Creating database of migration in India is must for sound policy

Published Date:   Monday, Feb 22, 2016

Prof .Irudaya Rajan delivered the valedictory address  at the International Conference “Migration, Diaspora and Development” organised by GRFDT at India International Centre, New Delhi during 20-21 February 2016, on the theme “Problem of Database of Migration in India”.   He highlighted poor management of migration database, lack of surveys and consequent policy problems in India. The estimation of Indian Overseas population number is highly contested; it shows no clear-cut direction of policy.  There have been arbitrary policy shifts due to change of government. For instance, the earlier NDA-I Government’s proposal to have separate Ministry was disposed by NDA II. He further argued that we  do not have a reliable data till now  as a result of  frequent  changes in policy focus. He gave the example of Indian student issue in Australia. Indian Government had no data about the number of students in Australia.

Prof. Rajan highlighted the contribution of Centre for Development Studies (CDS), Trivandrum to create a database in the country. CDS also helped in conducting survey in Gujarat, Goa, Tamilnadu and now planning in Bihar and Telangana to develop database. However, the work initiated by CDS is only a small portion in comparison to the huge need of surveys and database building in a big country like India.

Prof. Rajan emphasised the increasing global connection of people in India today. Some states like Kerala have more connections with Gulf than within India. There are flights in every half an hour from Trivandrum to Gulf, but there are only two three flights to Delhi every day. This shows the direction of the flow of people.

Prof. Rajan said different states have different dynamics. More studies will help in finding the patterns and devise policy accordingly. States like Bihar and UP and Telangana have started outmigration to Gulf recently and the problems encountered by the fresh migrants different from the old migrants from  state like Kerala.  There are mechanisms which need to be evolved to work better for migration. He said there are several issues such as illegal migration, remittances, trafficking, exploitation,  human rights  issues etc., which  can be better handled through the help of database. We need more number of surveys to develop a database.

View forthcoming International Conference 

International Conference on "Global Migration: Rethinking Skills, Knowledge and Culture", 26-27 November 2016, IIC, New Delhi

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