Although the ability to collect migration figures regularly has improved, significant gaps remain in the quantity,accuracy, timeliness, disaggregation, comparability (over time and across countries) and accessibility of migration-related data. There is a lack of comprehensive data on migration within India, its nature, pattern and characteristics, which also includes a lack of consistent definition, worthy of capturing the different dimensions of such a migration. The realities of such an intra/inter-state movement have led to various micro and a few macro studies being conducted, together with many civil societies coming forward to work at major source and destination areas and often in partnership with the appropriate governments. This movement has led to a marked increase in awareness around internal migrants and the advocacy on the part of such initiatives has led to significant changes in the ground realities of a few such sections of the migrant population; however, a large section is still out of such welfare nets. The government on its part has been undertaking a few studies around migrants, and has announced schemes for their health and pension needs along with necessary changes in the implementation of the existing programmes to make them more inclusive of the migrant lives. All of these, however, have not marked any significant success on the ground, owing to a lack of concerted efforts by the different departments involved for their implementation, poor Centre-State coordination and most importantly, a lack of data on reality associated with the targeted beneficiaries. This paper looks into such issues, recent developments and good governance practises, together with a review of the relevant events during COVID-19 and recommends a model towards a more comprehensive database and digital facilitation along with an integrated model for the welfare needs of migrants in India.
CPPR Occasional Paper: Marking Those on the Move: Review of Existing Paradigm and Towards a New Framework by Bhaskar Singhania, Research Intern, CPPR-Centre for Comparative Studies.