A third of the country’s workforce is currently on the move. Manufacturing, construction, hospitality, logistics, and commercial agriculture all rely on migrant labour in India. The Covid-19 Pandemic has undone almost 300 million Indians’ post-1991 poverty reduction, which was fueled by migration away from agriculture jobs. Even after returning to cities, migrant households’ earnings remain lower than pre-pandemic levels, according to repeated polls. Migrants are finding it more difficult to find job, and their children are eating less.
- Migration bridges the gap between labour demand and supply, efficiently allocating skilled, unskilled, and low-wage labour.
- It improves migrants’ knowledge and skills by exposing them to and interacting with the outside world.
- It also boosts employment and economic success, which improves overall quality of life.
- Migrants’ economic well-being protects households in their home countries against hazards by increasing consumer spending and investment in health, education, and asset development.
- To begin with, migration is a highly politicised phenomenon: “Destination States” face a conflict between economic demands, which necessitate migrant labour, and political needs, which encourage nativist measures. Because they vote in their source villages, the ‘Sending States’ are motivated to serve their ‘own people.’ As a result, policies are fragmented and reliant on state-specific political considerations.
- The already well-known inability of official statistics to represent the true volume and frequency of internal migration in India appears to have paralysed migration policy dialogue. For up to 500 million persons living in multi-locational migratory families, data systems designed to record just one geographical location on a regular basis have caused significant obstacles to welfare distribution.
- Due to a lack of trustworthy statistics, it is impossible to determine the true extent and frequency of internal migration in India.
- According to surveys, migrant households’ earnings are still lower than pre-pandemic levels. Migrants are finding it more difficult to obtain job and are eating less. A unified migratory policy framework is still difficult. Efforts are dispersed.
- Two bigger categories: the unorganised worker and the urban poor, ignore migrants as a group. This further delays the resolution of the migrant crisis.
- Recognizing Circular Migrants as Part of India’s Urban Population: Recognizing circular migrants as part of India’s urban population may encourage authorities to at least investigate how suggested policies may affect these groups.
- The Centre’s Role: Migrants would benefit from the Centre’s proactive role in providing strategic policy direction and a forum for inter-State collaboration.The Centre’s involvement is especially important in addressing concerns of inter-State migrant workers at ‘destination States’ due to political economic limits at the state level.
- Special Measures for Migrant Women: Special measures should be taken to address the condition of migrant women who are primarily engaged in domestic labour.Despite the fact that the new policy strives to include all types of marginalised migrants, it might do more to specifically emphasise the issues encountered by domestic workers. Because India has not ratified the ILO Convention on Domestic Workers and the Domestic Workers Bill 2017 has not become law, it would be relatively simple for them to stay excluded.
- Migration Policy Implementation: At a time when economic recovery and inclusive growth are critical policy objectives, migration policy cannot afford to be postponed.The NITI Aayog’s Draft Policy on Migrant Workers is a step forward in outlining policy goals and indicating appropriate institutional structures, and it ought to be released as soon as possible. Strategic attempts to offer migrants with safety nets regardless of location, as well as to boost their capacity to relocate safely and inexpensively, must continue to build momentum in favour of migrant-friendly policies.
In this fragmented environment, the Centre must take the initiative by providing policy direction and a venue for inter-State collaboration. The NITI Aayog’s Draft Policy on Migrant Workers is a step forward in terms of outlining policy goals and identifying appropriate institutional structures.
How to structure:
- Give a brief intro about India’s migrant population with data
- Mention the issues faced by them – try to cover as many aspects and dimensions
- Mention existing initiatives
- Suggest measures