Kerala Migration Survey 2023

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The story of migration is deeply rooted in the state of Kerala. Kerala has seen a large outflow of people since the 1970s and has formed a strong migration corridor with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries wherein millions of Keralites have migrated for jobs to these Gulf nations. The Kerala Migration Survey (KMS) was initiated in 1998 under the leadership of Professor K.C. Zachariah and Professor S Irudaya Rajan. The primary purpose of this survey is to collect data on Emigrants (EMI), Return Emigrants (REM), Out Migrants (OMI), and Return Out Migrants (ROM), and their remittances. The survey will also focus on the effect of migration on the migrant’s household. This survey can also help to understand the socio-economic implications of migration.

The longevity and Constant periodicity of the Kerala Migration Survey have also helped build a panel dataset with close to 6,282 households till 2018.  This will be the first of its kind in the world and can help present a strong case for the Kerala Migration model to be followed. For KMS 2023, we will be taking 3,900 households as a new panel dataset. Thus the old and new panel datasets will be together around 10,000 households panel dataset.  KMS’s 25-year track record of success has inspired and been replicated in several other States, including Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, and Goa. It is currently being launched in the States of Kerala and Jharkhand as well.

The Kerala Migration Survey of 2023 will be carried out by the Gulati Institute of Finance and Taxation (GIFT). And the International Institute of Migration and Development (IIMAD) will provide all technical and field support including the design and execution of the study, preparation of questionnaires, database, data analysis, and report writing. The ninth round of KMS focuses to survey 20,000 sample households, which is an escalation from the 15,000 sample households of KMS 2018, and is divided into two phases, namely, phase I and phase II. Phase I will cover the main module, whereas phase II will cover other modules.

Objectives of Kerala Migration Survey 2023

  • Main objective is to estimate current and return migration in the light of post-pandemic situation;
  • To profile emigrants and return emigrants;
  • To identify the major issues and challenges faced by workers from Kerala at the destination countries;
  • To understand the issues of current migrants with respect to job loss, wage theft amid COVID-19;
  • To examine the determinants and characteristics of return migration as well as reintegration and rehabilitation strategies at different levels of governance;
  • To examine the impact of COVID-19 on return migration into Kerala and challenges associated with it;
  • To examine the health problems of the household members including return migrants;
  • To identify the impact of COVID-19 and global lockdown on the intending migrants;
  • To suggest policies and program for future strategies, including avenues for re-migration.