Labour Migration in India: Perspectives and Policies for Practice

Understanding what migration means to migrants and interrogating State policies related to labour migration.

Labour Migration in India brochure 5 May with edits Page 1

Internal labour migration is an overwhelming reality underscoring India’s developmental landscape. Millions of people are on the move across the country, in search of a livelihood and adequate means of survival. While migration opens up new vistas of work and employment, creating new opportunities for many, it also pushes people into unequal and highly exploitative work regimes. On one hand, migration gives people an exit option from issues that ail a rural society (such as agrarian distress and caste violence), but on the other, migration has its own methods of exploitation. The recent pandemic has highlighted the vulnerabilities of migrants’ lives even further, questioning their belongingness to the city where many have spent several years.

Despite migration being widespread, it remains poorly understood as a socio-historical, cultural and an economic phenomenon. There is a compelling need to build a critical understanding of migration from different vantage points, locating migration at the cusp of changing nature of work, market and state interventions.

In such a scenario, it is important to understand what migration means to the migrants themselves. What do different patterns of labour migration really tell us about the changing nature of work and about migration itself? Can rapid urbanisation and the growth of cities become a beacon of hope for migrant workers? These questions can help the participants dive further into the issues of working conditions, safe migration and strategies of organising the migrants, with a focus on women migrants and informal work. This will enable them to interrogate the State policies related to labour migration.

Keeping these issues in view, and the contradictions that surround labour migration, Azim Premji University, Bangalore is offering a certificate course for development practitioners.

The course will explore critically, and in-depth, the debates and diverse viewpoints through which migration in India is understood and represented. The learning objectives of the course are to: 

  1. Explore theoretical frameworks and empirical knowledge on labour migration.
  2. Critically analyze the dynamics of internal labour migration in India as a contemporary social and economic reality.
  3. Explore key development agendas from a migration lens and analyze the related policy frameworks.

This course is open to early and mid-career professionals who are working in the domain of migration and related domains like urbanisation, informal labour, labour rights and others interested in learning more about migration in India. Depending upon availability, some seats may be open to research scholars studying labour and migration. All applicants must possess a working knowledge of English. Applicants will be shortlisted based on their written applications. The last date for submitting applications is June 10, 2024. The selected candidates will be informed by 12 June 2024.

Participants should expect a rigorous six-day program in terms of participation, self-learning and assessment. Participants will receive a Certificate of Participation’ from Azim Premji University upon attending all the sessions.

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Course Faculty