Are we sitting on an Emigration bubble about to burst?

With Global developments set to balance the immigrant rush of the 80’s & 90’s and potentially threatening to reverse the flow, what are some of the questions that the government, thought leaders and the nation need to think through.

The Global Immigrant account for nearly 3% of the total population. India’s emigrant population is approximately 33 million and it returns approximately 100 Billion USD to Indian Economy in terms of remittances ( the highest in the world). With over 1.25 Billion Indians and a 2 Trillion USD Indian GDP the figures stack up proportionately. However the size of emigrants in terms of sheer numbers and size of remittances makes it a pressing opportunity that may cease to be an opportunity and become a huge gap in the Indian economy if emigration growth ceases or reverses in the immediate future.

With the falling oil prices and growing nationalization in the Middle East countries the inflow of Indian emigrants in these countries has reduced by approximately 20% from its current base of approximately 10 million emigrants.

With the falling oil prices and growing nationalization in the Middle East countries the inflow of Indian emigrants in these countries has reduced by approximately 20% from its current base of approximately 10 million emigrants. This reduction is already causing pressing problems in economies for states like Kerala where remittances from the Gulf are close to 50%. The state needs to quickly gear up to provide jobs and absorb their families in their economy and society as that trend is bound to accelerate in the immediate future.

With high-strung and divisive campaigns significantly focused on emigration in the US and UK ( Brexit vote going to the anti immigration parties), it is bound to reduce the volume of emigration from india to these countries. With the reduction of H1B Visas, ability of spouses to work in the US and the cost of vias going up, it is bound to decrease further, making it difficult for both individuals and companies to post employees in these countries in the future. Germany, France & Netherlands are scheduled to go into election mode over the next 1 year, If the right wing anti immigration parties win in these countries there will be further cutbacks in legal immigration. Canada & Australia are two of the other economies to watch out for, though elections are further away in these countries.

As per Nascom, nearly 10 million of the workforce from IT and ITES Industry from India are stationed abroad. Even if 1/3rd of all our global migrants return back, the magnitude of the problem will be greater than shutting down the IT/ITES Industry.

As a result of these imminent pressures, if 1/3rd of indian emigrants return back to India it will be approximately 11 million people returning back. As per Nascom, nearly 10 million of the workforce from IT and ITES Industry from India are stationed abroad. Even if 1/3rd of all our global migrants return back, the magnitude of the problem will be greater than shutting down the IT/ITES Industry.

The pressing questions that face us is What will we do in that case? What sort of employment we will provide to the returning emigrant population? How will we house and feed and provide education and healthcare to their families?
What are our options and what can we do? How can we make them more secure and help them by providing meaningful avenues to work utilizing their experience and skills. Indian Government, Indian Companies and Indian Employees and Professionals need to be ready for this seeming eventuality.

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