Q. Even though migrants add substantially to the economy, they are always not seen favourably by the recipient states/cities. Comment. (250 words)16 May, 2019 GS Paper 1 Indian Society
- Define migration.
- Bring out the economic benefits of migration.
- Describe the reasons why migration is not seen favorably by recipient states and cities.
Migration is movement of people from one geographical area to another geographical area. Factors like economic interests, unfavourable climate, political instability or war may prompt people to migrate
Economic benefits of Migration
- Boost in Efficiency:According to the ILO, bulk of employment in the informal sector is economically efficient and profit-making. Thus migration increases the efficiency of local businesses as well as provides income for migrants.
- A source of labor: It serves as boost in demographic dividend for ageing population for states or simply lack of labour, like Tamil Nadu and Kerala which get cheap supply of unskilled labour from northern states. These gains will increase in the future as the share of post working-age population increases in the southern states.
- Source of Remittances: Migrants send significant remittances to their home state thus helping economic growth in poor states. Testimony of this is india being highest recipient of remittances i.e nearly $70 billion.
- Leads to catch-up effect: Migration leads to remittances transfers and social capital transfer thereby bridging inequality across the regions.
However, social issues due to migration lead to backlash against the migrants:
- Economic causes: As migration puts pressure on employment opportunities for unskilled native workers, discontent is bound to rise. For eg: Trump's policy of hire american and buy american is aftermath of inflow of migrants into usa
- Cultural causes: Migration also causes social unrest. As migration increases the linguistic and ethnic profile tends to change which creates anxiety in local population leading to demographic changes which at times is fed by populist anti-migrants rhetoric. For eg: Assam riots happened in backdrop of illegal migration from Bangladesh.
- Pressure on public services: Due to incessant migration to industrialized states and cities from poor states there has been tremendous pressure on public services in inbound states/cities especially on health, education and transport services producing mass discontentment among locals for migrants.
- Identity politics: The ‘son of the soil’ discourse, is propagated by political leaders to gain support from local people. This is the another reason for migrants being unwelcomed.
In India 45.36 crore Indians (37 per cent) are migrants but nature of indian economy is formal (83% workforce is engaged in informal sector) which adds to woes of migrants labours. Therefore, it is necessary that governments manage migration carefully through comprehensive policy.