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Migration in India

Essay by Rohan Thakkar  •  February 10, 2018  •  Essay  •  1,454 Words (6 Pages)  •  323 Views

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The study conducted describes the prevailing migration in the Indian economy, which is described as the most strategic decision taken by the poorer section to earn a better livelihood. It also focuses at how the earnings of the migrants are used up under the various heads of expenditure. Moreover, the reasons for migration from agricultural sector to service oriented sector (tertiary sector) are also been discussed. The another aspect studied over here is regarding the reformation of gender relations and its implication on the migration decision for female. The two major heads studied under this topic are regarding the patriarchal society in India acting as a major constraint for female migration and the educational gap between husband and wife, but here the educational difference acts as a barrier as well as a passage for female migration decision.


Migration refers to movement of an individual or a family from one place to another in search of improved livelihoods, which is also a key feature of human history (Srivastava and Sasikumar, 2003). Basically, in migration an individual or a family might move to a shorter or a longer distance for more or less duration (Kosinski and Prothero, 1975; Massey, 1990; Stone, 1975).

Basically, migration has two major types- Temporary Migration and Seasonal Migration. It is oftenly found that the word ‘Temporary Migration’ is used interchangeably with seasonal, circular, short term etc., but this term particularly refers to that situation where a person moves his / her economic activity from one place to another but not his permanent residential place (Bilsborrow et al., 1984). Researchers and statisticians identifies and differentiate the temporary migration on the basis of the span of stay. The maximum time span considered for temporary migration is generally six months (Mberu, 2006; Pham and Hill, 2008; Srivastava and Sasikumar, 2003).

On the other hand, seasonal migrants refers to those groups of people who combines in several places mainly according to the seasonal labour requirements. This phenomenon majorly occurs in rural areas during the lean period. Lean periods can occur due to natural disasters like- droughts, cyclone, floods etc. or can also occur due to agricultural cycles. During such periods, people from rural areas move to nearby towns and cities for a short duration in search of better livelihood to maintain their income level. In India, the definition for seasonal migration given by the NSS in its 64th round states that, those people who had stayed away from their town / village for 1 month or more but less than 6 months during the last 365 days (1 year) in search of employment / for employment are considered as seasonal migrants.

It also has greater economic as well as social implication for the country as a whole as India is a diverse country with numerous religions and societies and all of them having different mindsets.


In a developing economy, particularly rural households, temporary migration plays a vital role, not only by securing household survival but also by providing income to household members. The previous statement contradicts the actual situation as, migration though secures survival of households and act as a source of income, but the major part of income earned through migration is diverted towards the repayment of floan and the majority of left out is spent on day to day consumption (Vijay Korra, 2011).

Indian economy is passing through a period of robust growth since 2003-04. The same was also accompanied by structural changes in output and employment which favoured the non-agricultural sector (Mehrotra et al., 2014). The major reason for the movement of workforce from agrarian sector to the non-farm sector is mainly due to mechanization in agricultural sector and also due to low wages in agricultural/rural sector.

Moreover, it is found that people belonging to richer section reported in migrating internationally as compared to those of poorer and lower middle section migrating within the country. Households which have reported migrations are likely to receive remittances. It is found that, such receipt of remittance positively influences the economic conditions of the households and thereby allows them to invest more on the human capital formation (i.e. on education) and household durables, thereby, improving the standard of living of the citizens.

Since the remittance receipt allows increment in the overall budget of the household, thus, the share of budget allocated to health and education, along with state intervention on formation of human capital, the remittance receipts will accelerate growth. Moreover, provision for effective health facilities and also the increment in the public expenditure on the basic, common and technical education would reduce the marginal spending of household on human capital. This will imply increasing surplus in their hands which they could channelize it into more productive increments and savings.


India is a patriarchal society (a society with male chauvinism), which implies that the relation between different genders in the household is determined by the cultural norms, practices and ideology determined by the patriarchy. Thus, the rights, roles and responsibility of a women within the family is influenced by the persisting culture of the male. Thus, gender relations here are unequal and it is the household which determines the decision



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