Migration and Exclusionary Urbanisation in India
Amitabh Kundu, Lopamudra Ray Saraswati

An analysis of migration and urbanisation patterns in
recent decades suggests a distinctly declining trend. It
can be argued that the migration process has an inbuilt
screening system, which is picking up people from
relatively higher economic and social strata. The decline
in the share of migrants moving in search of
employment and an increase in business and
study-related mobility further confirms this proposition.
In contrast, poverty-induced migration has become a
less important component of mobility over time. At the
same time, in a bid to attract private capital, urban
centres have become less accommodating to the poor,
restricting their entry and thereby increasing rural-urban
economic inequalities. The strategy of spatially
unbalanced growth through “dispersal of
concentrations” advocated by the World Bank and
others, therefore, needs to be examined
with empirical rigour.

Amitabh Kundu ( teaches economics at the
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and Lopamudra Ray Saraswati
( is a research scholar at the same university.
Economic & Political Weekly


jUNE 30, 2012

vol xlvii noS 26 & 27


he Indian development scenario is viewed optimistically in the global context not only in terms of the pace
of its growth but also because it stands out in periods of
economic crisis. In the context of growth in employment, too,
the economy has done reasonably well, allaying fears of jobless growth, the key concern in the late 1990s. The fear of sluggish employment growth has, however, surfaced once again
with the data from the 66th round of the National Sample Survey (NSS) and the surveys of Labour Bureau but this, at least
partly, is attributed to enrolment increases in schools and colleges and inadequate coverage of the agricultural sector, particularly in...

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