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Hyderabad: A well thought-out answer can go a long way in impressing your examiner. In the previous article on writing an answer in the Main exam, I gave a previous year’s question to try and attempt. I have told you to try to create a framework – introduction, body and conclusion for the given question-and jot down all the relevant points you know about it. I hope you have done it, now we will discuss the answer for the question in this article.

Question given last week:
Discuss the changes in the trends of labour migration within and outside India in the last four decades. This question is from the Indian Society (General Studies Paper -1 –UPSC 2015).

Topic: Urbanisation and Migration



Start by quoting data on migration by citing UNDESA report


Part 1: Explain changes of labour migration trends within India
Part 2: Explain changes of labour migration trends outside India
Conclusion: Conclude by mentioning cultural exchange and New York declaration
As per the UNDESA report more than 18 million Indians reside outside and around 480 million outside their State within India. The causes may be multifaceted from oil boom to agriculture expansion.


Changes of labour migration trends within India:

1) Spatial changes: Maharashtra and Gujarat used to receive huge migrants and now newer destinations like Delhi, Jaipur and South States are seeing migrant inflow.

2) Sectoral variation: Initially, States like Punjab and Haryana used to receive migrants due to agriculture jobs. But service sector jobs dominate in deciding migration now.

3) Women migration: Initially, internal migration was dominated by male. But now female migrants dominate internal migration with >;2/3rd of total migrants.

4) Circular migration: The short-term or temporary migration and repeated migrations between home and employment place has gained attraction overtime.

5) Climate-induced migration: Initially, the migration was centred only around socio-economic and political reasons. But, now climate and geography are playing a role too.

Changes of labour migration trends outside India:

1) Middle East migrant variation: The oil boom attracted migrants from India to Saudi Arabia and UAE. But the 1973 oil crisis reduced comparatively inflow to West Asia.

2) Unskilled to skilled migration: Initially migration from India was dominated by unskilled or semi-skilled persons. But later it was dominated by skilled persons to USA, UK.

3) Gender variation bridged: Share of women in international migration has also increased. Ex: Jobs as nurses in countries of West Asia.

4) Newer destinations: Along with the Middle East and developed nations, Indians also migrated to countries like South East Asia, Australia etc.

5) Permanency in trend: Those persons, who migrated from India, migrated on a permanent basis rather than temporary migration, making destinations their new home.

6) Reverse migration trend: Due to increased protectionist policies of nations like Nitakat in Saudi Arabia and H1B restrictions in the US, there has been a reversing trend.


Labour migration not only helps the home State through remittances, but also forms a cultural link between two States improving coordination, unity and leads to economic growth. Outward migration also helps to increase India’s soft power in the global arena.

To gain maximum marks, one need to address all the parts asked in the question, let’s say

Part 1: Explain changes of labour migration trends within India
Part 2: Explain changes of labour migration trends outside India
The marks will be allotted for these two parts asked in the question. Ignoring any of the parts will end up in scoring less marks in the main exam.

For the next week, practice a question on ‘How different would have been the achievement of Indian independence without Mahatma Gandhi? Discuss.’ Try to brainstorm on it and try to think about the following questions-What is the role played by Mahatma Gandhi in India’s freedom struggle by stating the core values of Gandhiji? How the course of independence would have been different if the freedom struggle was devoid of Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals and values?
By thinking on these lines, you will get the points to write the answer. Next week, we will analyse how to address the above question in a detailed manner.
Anirudh Billa
Polity Faculty & Answer writing expert




Author: Howard Caldwell