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Asia-Pacific Population Journal

For over two decades, the Asia-Pacific Population Journal (APPJ) has been taking the pulse of population and social issues unfolding in the region. Published by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), APPJ brings out high quality, evidence-based and forward-looking articles relevant for population policies and programmes in Asia and the Pacific. Prominent population experts, award-winning demographers, as well as lesser known researchers have been contributing articles, documenting over the years the evolution of thinking in this important sphere.

English

Internal migration in India: Are the underprivileged migrating more?

India embarked on its new economic policy, popularly known as the liberalization of the Indian economy, in 1991. The basic features of the new economic policy were a reduction in government expenditures in order to reduce fiscal deficit, an opening up of the economy for export-oriented growth, the removal of government control and licensing, and a push for private participation to enhance competition and efficiency. Both supporters and critics of the new economic policy believed that economic reforms would increase internal migration. Proponents believed that the new impetus would boost the economy and job opportunities, leading to increased pull factors conducive to accelerated rural-to-urban migration. By contrast, the opponents of this policy were of the view that economic reforms would adversely affect the village and cottage industries and impoverish rural populations, leading to increased rural-tourban migration (Kundu, 1997). Although there was considerable success in achieving economic growth, from 2 to 3 per cent of growth in gross domestic product in the pre-reform era to over 6 per cent during the period 1991-2001, the impact of this enhanced growth on internal migration in general and rural-to-urban migration, in particular, has not been assessed. The latest census of 2001 reveals several interesting results in relation to internal migration, its regional pattern and the contribution of rural-to-urban migration to urban growth, as discussed by Bhagat and Mohanty (2009). They argue that the push factor has not significantly influenced internal migration. As a result, it appears inaccurate to state that the poor and disadvantaged are migrating more than those that are more well off.

English

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