Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs


The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) has several functional research partnerships. They are:

During the last six years of the partnership with the Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, following research studies have been completed:

1. Handbook for Emigrants: This handbook has been prepared on the request of the Emigration Services Division and includes information on passports, the difference between Emigration Clearance Required Passports and Emigration Clearance Not Required Passports, recruitment practices and procedures, airport procedures, emigration clearance, banking and money management, and the Indian Government’s emigration services both in India and abroad.

2. Assessment of NORKA-ROOTS and the applicability of a similar organization to other states in India: During the past 10 years, NORKA-ROOTS has worked for the welfare of prospective emigrants, return emigrants, out-migrants, and return out-migrants. This study has done a critical assessment of the services provided by NORKA ROOTS with the objective of feasibility of application of NORKA ROOTS to other source states in India. The study also recommends a national policy framework to complement state-level initiatives in this respect.

3. Pre-Departure Orientation Training (PDOT) Manual: This manual has eight chapters covering issues like: (i) Introduction on migration and remittances; (ii) Trends and patterns on international migration from India; (iii) Remittance Management issues, (iv) Guidelines to be followed before going abroad; (v) Institutional framework available in India to protect unskilled migrants; (vi) Three phases of life cycle of migrants—pre-departure, at destination and at return; (vii) Psychological and social costs of migration and (viii) Best practices in dealing with migration from different countries across the globe.

4. Kerala Migration Survey (KMS) 2011: KMS is the fifth in the series on migration monitoring studies in Kerala. The survey covered 15,000 households and estimated the number of emigrants from Kerala at 2.281 million as on March 2011. Emigration from Kerala has experienced an increasing trend since 1998. The rate of growth of remittances has slowed down in recent years in tune with the slowing down of emigrants from the state since 2008.

5. India Migration Reports: India Migration Reports 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. India Migration Report is an annual series of Reports being published since 2010 with its fourth publication i.e India Migration Report 2013. These Reports are released during PBD every year. Brief on these annual series is given below:

a. India Migration Report 2010—Governance and Labour Migration: This is the first in the annual series of India Migration Report. It analyses four significant themes: migration, remittances, gender and policy. More specifically, the articles provide a history of emigration, examine the need to manage the vast flow of remittances which contribute significantly to India’s GDP, understand cross-border migration, highlight the gender dimension of migration and critically evaluate the present policy framework. 

b. India Migration Report 2011—Migration, Identity and Conflict: This Report focuses on the implications of internal migration, livelihood strategies, recruitment processes, and development and policy concerns in critically reviewing the existing institutional framework. The essays provide a district-level analysis of the various facets of migration with a focus on employment networks, gender dimensions and migration-development linkages, with concrete policy suggestions to improve living and working conditions of vulnerable migrant workers.

c. Indian Migration Report 2012—Global Financial Crisis, Migration and Remittance: This Report examines the trends, patterns and determinants of emigration and return migration and remittances and their resilience in the context of Global Financial Crisis. The study is based on rigorous quantitative and qualitative analysis and field work in Gulf region and South Asia.

d. India Migration Report 2013—‘Social Cost of Migration’: This Report looks at the social cost of migration from the viewpoint of impact of migration on the elderly and ageing parents, economic impact of migration on the family and social costs of migration in terms of adapting, adjusting and accommodating.

6. Journal on Migration and Development: Two issues of Journal on Migration and Development have been published.

Among the important substantive work and activities undertaken and completed during 2006-2011, following deserve special mention:
i) Kerala Migration Survey 2007 and 2008
ii) Goa Migration Study 2008
iii) Return Migration Survey 2009
iv) Financial crisis in the Gulf and its impact on South Asian Migrant Workers
v) Background Report for the National Migration Policy
vi) Recruitment practices in India
vii) Organization of Residential Capacity Building Workshops for Researchers 

Following studies are currently underway:
i. Pilot study on Returnee Professionals: Study initiated in January 2012. The backdrop of the study is the phenomenon of high skilled professionals return to their homeland in the context of the global economic downturn. The study has collected quantitative data on demographic and socio-economic profiles of returnees and their family and their post return settlement issues. It aims to reveal the factors underpinning return and outline the process of reintegration. Taking the period from January 2006 to January 2012, surveys have already been conducted in nine cities of India. Analysis and report writing concluded.

ii. Costs and Choices Influencing International Student Migration from India: Study initiated in August 2012 is expected to complete in August 2013. India holds an important position with respect to international student migration. This study intends to understand the costs and choices affecting international student migration. The study is based primarily on a survey of respondents via short questionnaire canvassed from prospective students, current students, current students, parents of international students from India and return student migrants and semi-structured interviews with multiple stakeholders, i.e banks providing educational loans, concerned Indian Government officials, companies like VFS, education/career consultants and alumni networks in India. The questionnaires for the study has been approved and data collection from prospective students leaving for the United States, from embassy officials, British council and United States Educational Foundation of India (USEFI) and Educational agents in Delhi and Chandigarh have been completed.

iii. Wage Differentials between Indian Migrant workers in the Gulf and Non-migrant workers in India: Study initiated in August 2012. Wage differentials among unskilled labourers in India and the Gulf have narrowed down considerably in the last decade. This study compares the opportunities and salaries offered in India and in the Gulf in the same occupations and will reveal resultant differences in the savings of Indian migrant workers in the Gulf relative to non-migrant workers in India in the same occupation. All the surveys in Kerala and UAE have been completed. Data compilation, analysis and writing of the Report is concluded.

Under the Annual Seminar, two seminars have been organised by RUIM , the first at Thiruvanthapuram on March 26, 2012 and the second at Ahmedabad on March 23, 2012 in collaboration with GIDR (Gujarat Institute of Development Research). 

Proposed studies for 2013-14 include:
# India Migration Report 2014: Diaspora and Development
# Involuntary resettlement: A Cross Country study on Urban Inequality and Poverty – Sri Lanka and India
# Refugees in India: A Reader
# Kerala Migration Survey 2013
# Deserted no More: A Treatise on Indian Emigration to Saudi Arabia
# Politics of Migration: Indian Emigration in a Globalized World

So far one Report has been on “Return Emigration of Indian Emigrant Workers from the West Asia.”
Major findings of the study are:
# A country-wise analysis of the return of the emigrants revealed that except a few, all of them had returned from the Gulf countries viz., United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, and Bahrain, majority of them being from UAE (54.52 percent).

# The return emigration issue in Kerala is basically a problem of return emigration of contract workers from West Asian countries viz., UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain. Out of the return emigrants, 98.5 percent returned from the West Asian countries.

# The changes that have been taking place during the post global crisis period in the economy and labour market in UAE serve as the principal reason for large-scale return of emigrants to Kerala. The global crisis year of 2008 was a major turning point in the history of emigration in the West Asian countries. The survey results suggest that 71 percent of the return emigrants returned during the post global crisis period between 2008 and 2011.

# The return emigrants worked only for a brief period in the Gulf countries. Thirty percent of the emigrant workers returned after working for a brief period, between one to three years. Another 11 percent returned within three to five years.

# The survey results indicate that the declining trend in wages, low wage-rate and resultant fall in their savings, expiry of contract, compulsory repatriation, low salary, non-payment of salary, cruel behaviour of the employer are the major factors which contributed to the return of the emigrant workers. Health issues like sickness, accidents, lack of treatment facilities, unhealthy climate etc., are the causes of return of a sizeable section of emigrants. 

# l Information about the membership in pension schemes for migrants shows that only a few return emigrants have joined the schemes. Lack of awareness about the pension schemes is a reason for the poor response.

# l The survey results suggest that the emigration has not contributed to an improvement in the socio-economic status of 40 percent of the return emigrants due to higher initial cost of migration, low salary, low savings and brief period of employment in Gulf. 

A study on “Need Assessment Study for 11 Ministries/Departments of Government of India” is being conducted at the National Institute of Administrative Research (NIAR), Mussourie. The study is ongoing and report will be submitted in September 2013.

Final report for two of the three projects submitted. They are:
1. Indian Born Population in the United States: Distribution and Characteristics
2. Characteristics and Uses of International Remittances: A comparison of non-Resident Account Holders with Average Migrant Households.


July 2013

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