UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis | 10 May 2022

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What the article is about?

  • Talks about the importance of emigrants and ways to enhance the prospects.

Syllabus: GS-III Issues relating growth and development, employment, remittance 

Emigrants:

  • According to the Ministry of External Affairs, there are over 13.4 million Non-Resident Indians worldwide.
    • Of them, 64% live in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, the highest being in the United Arab Emirates, followed by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
    • Other significant countries of destination for overseas Indians are the U.S., the U.K., Australia, and Canada.
  • Besides being involved in nation-building of their destination countries, Indian migrant workers also contribute to the homeland’s socioeconomic development, through remittances.
    • According to a report by the National Statistical Office, urban and rural households receiving remittances (both international and domestic) have approximately 23% and 8% better financial capacity, respectively, than non-remittance-receiving households.
    • As per a World Bank Group report (2021), annual remittances transferred to India are estimated to be $87 billion, which is the highest in the world, followed by China ($53 bil- lion), Mexico ($53 billion), the Philippines ($36 billion) and Egypt ($33 billion).
    • In 2021, remittances transferred to India had seen an increase of 4.6% compared to 2020.
  • Remittances in India have been substantially higher than even Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and the flow of remittances is much less fluctuating than that of FDI.
    • Still, remittances’ contribution of 3% in GDP is lower than that of countries such as Nepal (24.8%), Pakistan (12.6%), Sri Lanka (8.3%) and Bangladesh (6.5%), as per a World Bank report. 

Way Ahead:

  • Both the cost of recruitment of such workers and the cost of sending remittances back to India should come down. 
  • Recruitment agencies should also be regulated leveraging information technology for ensuring protection of migrant workers leaving India.
  • An integrated grievance redressal portal, ‘Madad’, was launched by the government in 2015.
  • The Indian government proposed a new Emigration Bill in 2021 which aims to integrate emigration management and streamline the welfare of emigrant workers.
    • It proposes to modify the system of Emigration Check Required (ECR) category of workers applying for migration to 18 notified countries.
    • The Bill makes it mandatory for all category of workers to register before departure to any country in the world to ensure better protection for them, support and safeguard in case of vulnerabilities.
    • The proposed Emigration Management Authority will be the overarching authority to provide policy guidance.
    • Provisions of the Bill such as registration of all emigrants, skill upgradation and training, and pre-departure orientation will enhance protection measures. 
    • Besides workers, as about 0.5 million students also migrate for education from India every year, the Bill also covers such students.
    • Skilling of migrant workers has the potential to boost the domestic economy and low-cost interventions such as foreign language training can be of great help for such workers.



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