Migration in India: Current Issue and Challenges

National Sample Survey (NSS) Multiple Indicator Survey 2020-21 highlights the migration trends of Indians

What is migration?

The National Sample Survey defined migrants as those who had ever spent at least six straight months in a village/town/country different from their place of residence, i.e., where they were surveyed.

More on migration:

Migration is the geographic movement of people across a specified boundary various reasons especially social, economic, political reasons. Along with fertility and mortality, migration is a component of the population change. The term “in migration” and “out migration” are used for migration within a country and are comparable to the terms “immigration” and “emigration” used in international migration.

Patterns of Migration:

Internal migrant flows can be classified on the basis of origin and destination. 

  • Rural to Rural
  • Rural to Urban
  • Urban to Rural
  • Urban to Urban

Factors for migration:

          Push Factors               Pull Factors
Lack of employmentCaste DiscriminationPoor availability of basic amenities e.g., Sanitation, HousingLack of Healthcare and educational facilitiesNatural Disasters e.g., Cyclones, LandslidesBetter job opportunities and wagesHealthcare facilities e.g., Multi-specialty hospitalsUrban lifestyle – Liberty and Free societyQuality educationIndustrial ecosystem
Screenshot 2023 03 13 at 5.26.00 PM

Status of Migration in India as per NSS 2020-21 Survey:

  • One in three Urban Indians is a ‘migrant’ – but mostly intra-state.
  • Among migrants, 55% have moved between villages – mostly women moving after marriage.
  • Marriage is a larger driver of migration than jobs for women.
  • Jobs are the biggest reason of migration from men.
  • Himachal Pradesh and Telangana have the highest share of job-related migrants in their total urban male population.
  • Delhi has the highest share of persons (21.3%) who have come from outside its territory.

Issues faced by migrants:

  • Lack of social security and health benefits and poor implementation of minimum safety standards law
  • Lack of portability of state-provided benefits especially food provided through the public distribution system (PDS)
  • Poor implementation of protections under the Inter-State Migrant Workmen Act, 1979 (ISMW Act)
  • Lack of access to affordable housing and basic amenities in urban areas

Steps taken by Government for the welfare of Migrants:

  • e-SHRAM portal, a National Database of the Unorganised Workers has been launched for registration of unorganised workers including migrant workers. The main objective of the e-SHRAM portal is to create a national database of unorganised workers seeded with Aadhaar. It is also to facilitate delivery of Social Security and welfare Schemes to such workers.
  • Jharkhand’s first survey of migrants – aims to map the major sectors of engagement for migrants workers, find social security benefits and identify the health hazards.
  • Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) launched in 2015 provide for life & disability cover due to natural or accidental death.
  • Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana caters to the housing needs to eligible beneficiaries.

Way Forward:

A favourable legislative and policy framework is the need of the hour to facilitate orderly, safe, and responsible migration and mobility of people (SDG 10.7).

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