The India Migration Report

At the 20th Conference of International Association of Historians of Asia (IAHA) held at JNU in November 2008, the idea of having an annual report on Indian migration was mooted, and further developed during the International Conference on India-EU Partnerships in Mobility that was jointly organised by JNU and the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs in February 2009.

The inaugural issue of the India Migration Report is now out, and the timing is appropriate, with this year's Pravasi Bharatiya Divas scheduled for 7 – 9 January, 2010. The Report has been edited by Binod Khadria who is Professor of Economics at the Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies, School of Social Sciences, JNU, and who is also Project Director of the International Migration and Diaspora Studies (IMDS) Project.

"India has the distinction of being recognized as an important country of origin of migrants in many receiving countries of the world. India also receives a large number of immigrants, mostly originating from its neighbouring countries in Asia and some from other countries as well. However, despite having significant stakes in international migration of human resources the issue of mobility has largely remained a neglected area in the academic and policy circles in India. Hardly any regular and comprehensive institutional mechanism for collecting, maintaining and disseminating systematic information on international migration exists in India excepting a few individual initiatives here and there. It is only in the closing decades of the 20th century that migration has started drawing greater attention of stakeholders in the policy sphere, in academia and the civil society in India.

In this context, publication of the India Migration Report aims to make a small beginning towards bridging a vital gap. The 2009 Report provides an overview of migration from India to the major destination countries as well as immigration to India. The focus of the report is to put together issues and concerns of significance in the contemporary contexts of migration - both continuing and emerging - and bring out a systematic, regular and futurististic source of analysis and information on international mobility of people involving India. A modest attempt today, it is hoped that the Report will help us build upon the available data and generating new avenues."

Reactions to the report have been very positive. Here are quotes from two of our more famous migrants, Amartya Sen “It seems very interesting, and I look forward to benefiting from the report.” and Jagdish Bhagwati “I look forward to reading it.” The Press has also been welcoming. The Hindu calls it “A new look at migration issues in India.” Mint says “…the first of its kind.” And in its february issue, Geography and You – a development and environment magazine says “This report will help young Indians unravel what involves the migration of human capital to distant shores.”

Need the report? In our Institutional Lists, under JNU Reports. In paperback, 160 pages, Rs 995. ISBN: 9788190978002

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