International migration is an important dimension impacting economic relations between the developed and developing countries. Keeping this in mind, the Emigration Policy Division of the Ministry was established in March 2006 to facilitate and empower the emigrants from India. This Division deals with all policy matters relating to emigration of workers from India. Its key responsibilities include:
- Formulation of policies for improving Emigration Management
- Proposing legislative changes
- Implementing emigration reforms (including institutional changes and e-Governance)
- Formulation of welfare schemes for emigrants
- Promoting bilateral and multilateral co-operation in international migration
The Indian emigrant (other than the white collar worker) is fairly vulnerable to exploitation and is ignorant of relevant laws and procedures. The high cost of migration as well as the policy of localization by host countries further reduces the emigrational benefits to the worker. Therefore, the Ministry is pursuing a proactive policy to transform the emigration system and empower the emigrants through systemic interventions at the national, bilateral as well as multilateral fronts.
The various steps taken by the Ministry to transform the emigration system and empower the Emigrants are:
- Drafting of new Emigration legislation to replace the Emigration Act, 1983.
- Proposals for signing MOUs with the Gulf countries
- Schemes for skill up gradation and pre-departure orientation of potential emigrants
- Building up a framework for carrying out on-site welfare measures
- Setting up Overseas Indian Centers to coordinate on-site welfare
- Replicate the best practices of other countries like Philippines in the area of emigrant welfare
- Revamping the recruitment system to make it more professional and accountable
- Establishment of Council for Overseas Employment to advise the Government on overseas employment matters and to develop strategies and good practices in migration management through research and studies.