With the Middle East, which was once the dream of many a Keralite, no longer that attractive on account of falling oil...
With the Middle East, which was once the dream of many a Keralite, no longer that attractive on account of falling oil prices and with no proper records of the actual number of returnees, a new diaspora study covering 25,000 households has been launched to find out what the actual scenario is. The study aims to not only analyse not just the present trends in migration but also the medium and long-term consequences of important developments like the global financial crisis of 2009, the drop in oil prices and the stricter immigration policies increasingly followed by countries worldwide and its impact on Kerala’s economy.
S. Irudayarajan, who heads the study by the Migration Unit at the Centre for Development Studies (CDS) in Thiruvananthapuram said its single purpose is to examine ground realities and not to go by unfounded reports that there is a mass exodus from the Middle East. “This new survey has been titled Kerala Migration Study-KMS@20. It is the eighth a series that begain in 1998. The study would be done in 25,000 Kerala households spread over all the 14 districts and the first results would emerge in April,” Irudayarajan told IANS. KMS is widely regarded as a reliable and authentic source of data for researchers and policymakers. Following the success of the Kerala model, similar initiatives have been launched in Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Goa and Gujarat, from where large numbers of people have spread out across the globe. Irudayarajan pointed out that structural changes in the global oil market and the consequent fall in oil prices have posed fresh challenges to the oil-producing countries in the Middle East in the last few years. “The repercussions are being felt in Kerala’s economy and society which has been a consistent supplier of workers and a receiver of large amounts of remittances. Additionally, the governments in Gulf countries have been progressively evolving institutional arrangements and programmes aimed at promoting the employment of their own nationals,” Irudayarajan said.