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Mains Test Series

Population: India’s demography, settlements and Migration

Q1. Examine the factors influencing internal migration in India. What are its socioeconomic consequences?

Introduction: Internal migration is the movement of people between the usual place of residence within a political boundary. Internal migration does not change the size of the population in the country but changes its distribution.

Internal migration can be classified as rural-urban, intra-state, and inter-state.

Factors that influence internal migration.

Push Factors:

  1. Economic Factors The people leave their place of residence due to adverse economic conditions such as poverty, unemployment, and exhaustion of natural resources.
  2. Socio-cultural factors: Religious and caste discrimination against religion and caste is one of the reasons for migration.
  3. Political Factors Conflicts, war, separatist movements and political instability can lead to individuals migrating in search of safety and security.
  4. Natural disasters Landslides, drought, floods, and other natural disaster can force them to migrate.
  5. Climate change extreme weather conditions, sea level rise, and land degradation forces people to migrate.
  6. Development projects established by the government- large-scale developmental projects such as dams, mines, etc. can displace the people. Pull Factors:
  7. Economic factor which attracts people from different parts of the country for better opportunities such as employment, availability of regular work, higher wages, better working conditions, better living standards, etc. 38% of male migration happens in search of job according to the 2001 census.
  8. Socio-cultural factors: For example, marriage is the reason for the migration of women. According to the 2001 census, about 65% of females move out of their parental houses following their marriage.
  9. Government policies Government policies and administrative action can force settlements in certain areas. For example, the development of Industries and transport projects.

Consequences of migration

Migration creates both benefits and problems in those areas, and consequences can be observed in terms of economic, social, cultural, political and demographic.

Positive consequences

    1. On migrants
      • Employment Opportunities: Availability of regular work, higher wages and better living standards.
      • Enhances the knowledge, skill, exposure and interaction with others.
      • Improves food and nutritional security.
      • Migrants create a flow of remittance, which plays a significant role in economics.
    2. On recipient areas
      • Competitive Labour MarketIncrease the size of the workingage population.
      • Filling the skill gaps in the labour market. Migrant workers from rural areas of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, and Madhya Pradesh account for the success of the green revolution in Punjab and Haryana.
      • Intermixing of people to create composite culture.
      • Maximize contribution to production and development.
      • Tax revenue increases.
    3. On out-flux areas
      • Decline in agricultural employment.
      • Limiting their potential burden to public finance.
      • Reduction of the potential impact on crime rates.
      • Reduction in population
      • Create less demand for natural resources in out-flux areas.
      • Migrants who return home after they acquire new skills and knowledge.

Negative consequences

On migrants

    • Racial tension and discrimination.
    • Lack of social security – due to the lack of identity.
    • Lack of food security- It is difficult to access food through PDS using a Ration card issued in a different state.
    • Access to affordable housing and basic amenities is a challenge in urban areas.
    • Issue of communication due to language barriers.
    • Exploitation: Employment in the informal sector, hazardous jobs, lower wages, and exploitation by local contractors. Women and children are easy targets of inhuman treatment.
    • An issue in identification documents results in loss of access to entitlements and social services.

On recipient areas

    • Demographic change Population explosion in urban areas.
    • Developments of the slum- unregulated migration has caused overcrowding and developed slums in industrial development areas.
    • Anonymity creates a social vacuum and a sense of dejection among individuals. Continuing dejection may motivate people to engage in anti-social activities.
    • Over-exploitation of natural resources Overuse of water can lead to the depletion of the groundwater table and pollute water resources.
    • Pressure on public services such as school, healthcare and housing.
    • Increase the level of pollution.

On out-flux areas

    • Brain drains – Out-flux areas suffer from human capital.
    • Out-migration of rural men leads to Feminization in agriculture.
    • Changes in the demographic structure of rural areas- Age and skilled migration may adversely affect rural demographic structure.

Measures taken by the government of India

  1. Draft national policy on migrant workers by NITI AAYOG The creation of a database of workers in the informal sector, increase the minimum wages, and employment creation in the rural belt in order to stem migration.
  2. Code on social securityprovide insurance and provident fund for interstate migrant workers.
  3. One nation, one ration card To create seamless coverage of the PDS.
  4. E-Shram portal to register informal workers for better identification and entitlements.

Conclusion: The policies on migration should be acknowledged as an integral part of development, and policies should not hinder but seek to facilitate internal migration. Voting rights and specific labour laws should be priorities on a holistic, broader and futuristic approach. Migrants should not be treated as second-class citizens.

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