A model problem
Mains Paper 4: Society
Prelims level: Not Much
Mains level: Migration labour force
- The Gulf had, for long, funded the Kerala development story by
absorbing its labour and providing remittances.
- But the recent changes in migration trends pose challenges for the
state of Kerala in terms of the economy, labour and welfare.
- Reason behind migration
- Nearly a quarter of the households in Kerala have a migrant, and
90% of migrants from the state are in Gulf countries.
- Kerala’s outward migration has co-existed with inward migration of
labour from northern and eastern India.
- Nearly 2.5 million migrants, mainly from WB, Odisha, UP, Bihar,
are a part of the workforce in Kerala, in relatively low-paying jobs.
What are the recent changes?
- The overall migration from the state has been showing a negative
trend in the last 5 years.
- Over the past decade, the number of people migrating to the Gulf
- It stands at 1.89 million in 2018, down from 1.94 million in 2008.
- On the other hand, the number of reverse migrants has gone up in
the same period.
- The factors forcing reverse migration of Keralites from the Gulf
region include -
- economic slowdown in the Gulf countries
- state policies favouring replacement of migrants with local labour
- influx of workers from Africa and countries such as the
- The prolonged slowdown since 2008 and visions of a post-oil
economy influenced some of the labour polices.
- E.g. Nitaqat in Saudi Arabia encouraged employment of local labour
- Also, over the period, the high remittances facilitated Kerala's
welfare society and significantly, the wages remained higher.
- But now, cheaper labour is available from other countries in the
Gulf and from other states of India in Kerala.
- With this, Kerala labour has become non-competitive in both the
Gulf countries and within Kerala.
- Moreover, demographic changes, especially population reduction in
the migration prone age-group, also affect the migration scenario.
- The change of migration trend has serious repercussions for
Kerala’s economy and society.
- Any large-scale change in the numbers are sure to influence
spending patterns at home, and thereby, Kerala’s service economy.
- Fortunately, the rising dollar-rupee exchange rate has prevented a
fall in foreign remittances to Kerala.
- However, the return of a large number of migrants, many of them
blue collar workers, could affect employment in Kerala.
- The trend may also impact the consumption and retail trade in the
- Moreover, the low-skilled among them have to now compete with the
non-Malayali internal migrants.
- The state government realises the implications of this trend and
has been introducing policies to balance the reverse migration's impact.
- The recent state budget has proposed new pension, savings and loan
schemes for expatriates.
- Loans, technical advice to start businesses, have been offered to
integrate the returning migrants in the local economy.
- However, it is too early to say if these steps are sufficient to
address the looming crisis.
Q.1) Consider the following statements regarding Core Investment Companies
1. They belong to the category of NonBanking Financial Company.
2. They are all mandatorily required to be registered with the Reserve Bank of
3. Only a Systemically Important CIC can accept public funds.
Which of the statement given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Q.1) Why the changing migration trends in Kerala?