The changing pattern of internal migration in India: issues and challenges

Sandhya Rani Mahapatro, Institute for Social and Economic Change

This paper is an attempt to understand the emerging migration patterns in India and issues underlying it. With globalisation, urbanisation and accompanying changes in socio-economic conditions, migrants are attracted to urban areas in recent times. The emerging migration pattern depicts confinement of migrants in lower socio-economic class in Urban India in response to the macro economic reforms. The latest NSS data (2007/08) on migration reveals a gloomy and divergent picture of recent migrants who have migrated prior to five year.Inter-state migration among males to urban area shows precedence growth reflecting migration of people from lower socio-economic class. The negative inter relationship between per capita income and inter state migration rate further confirms it. A steady increase of urban migrants in lower economic class indicating migration is dominated by poorer sections.This finding is completely different from the last NSS round where a direct relation between economic status of the individual and inclination to migration has been noticed. The reason for such divergent pattern of migration within a period of 10 years really needs to be investigated. Higher migration of lower social groups takes place to urban area compared to earlier period. All these variations in migration pattern are attributed to rural-urban disparities in socio-economic development and increasing urbanization. Given the current development and growth of urbanization, increasing regional disparities, it is likely that migration to urban area will accentuate more in future due to the changing nature of the economy. Hence, an enquiry into the changing pattern of migration is critical to explore the emerging issues, identify the challenges and main precedence required at policy level for urban development. At policy level the major challenge is to formulate migration policies which must be linked with employment and social services, to enhance the well-being of the migrant living in urban area.

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Presented in Session 44: Rural to urban migration 2