Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Pravasi Bharatiya , a publication produced by IANS for the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (also is now in Volume 1 Issue No 6. An article caught my eye: it said the Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram (in Kerala) is to undertake a study of Indian international migration, supported by the MOIA.

Rs 14.7 million has been given as a grant for the study, and Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said Kerala accounted for 55 per cent of the total outflow of migrants from India to the Middle East. Available figures being cited say "more than two million Keralites currently work outside the country, close to 90 per cent of them in the Gulf."

There was talk about the need to learn "foreign language skills apart from English", and this new research unit is to be headed by S Irudayarajan who is credited, with the CDS, of having "done pioneering workon the impact of migration from India.

"In the next five years, the unit would conduct studies on migration, similar to what we did in Kerala, in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Punjab and Maharashtra -- the states that send people abroad," Irudayarajan is quoted saying. Not a Goa in sight....

Some work proposed includes analysing recommendations of the Global Commission on International Migration... analysing the role of the International Organisation for Migration... preparing country briefs on major labour-importing countries (importing? these are people not goods!) ... countrywise analysis of emerging opportunities... state-wise analysis of major sourcing states of nature and type of emigration ... analysis of emigration data maintained by the eight Protector of Emigrants (PoE) offices across India ... and initiating a pilot study on "replacement migration".