Recent Trends and Patterns of Internal Migration In India |
Migration is a significant population attribute, helpingto understand the ever changing space content and space relationship in anyarea. The study of internal migration assumes special importance in any countryin the process of development. By its very nature internal migration, that isthe movement of people within the country, is related to a process of changesoccurring within the economic organization of space. Studies on internalmigration have indicated almost a constant decline in population mobility up tosome recent past. The introduction of new economic policy in early 1990s led toan intense debate regarding population mobility. One view which argued that neweconomic policy would lead to increasing inequality between regions visualizedan increased migration rate in the country. The other viewpoint that saw free movement of capital in order to tapthe advantage of cheap labour, argued that migration rate would decline duringthe post-reform period. The latest evidences do indicate an increase ininternal population movement during the post reform period. The latest NSS data(64th Round-2007-08) shows internal migration in India has increasedto 29 percent from 25percent in 1993. Census data also indicate an increase inmigration rate by 3 percentage points between 1991 and 2001. Based on theseevidences scholars have argued that migration rate has picked up during1991-2001 after India’s economic liberalization that was initiated in 1991.This proposition regarding increase in the rate of mobility in the countryduring the decade 1991-2001 on the basis of share of life-time migrants needsto be taken with caution as change in the share of intercensal migrantsindicate otherwise. Interaction of various factors in the course of developmentcan not only accentuate the pace of mobility but would lead to emergence of newmigration patterns also. The present paper endeavours to provide a perspectiveon current trends and patterns of internal migration in India. The paper highlightsemerging issues concerning internal migration in post reform era using the datadrawn from both Census of India and various rounds of NSS.