January 11, 2018
1 year

Impediments to inter-state migrations dampen growth and perpetuate pockets of poverty. Do you agree? Give reasons in support of your answer. (200 words)

Refer – The Indian Express

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IAS Parliament 1 year


·         Barriers to internal mobility include physical distance and linguistic differences.

·         Differences in economic and social features among different states are also among notable reasons.

·         Despite these, there are a range of other factors that works as disincentives to inter-state migration.

·         Social Benefits - A majority of social entitlement programmes are administered by state governments, even when they are centrally funded.

·         In essence, many of the social benefits and entitlements are not portable across state boundaries.

·         Access to subsidised food through the public distribution system (PDS) is a major reason.

·         Evidently, in states where the PDS offers higher levels of coverage, unskilled migrants are less likely to move out-of-state.

·         Even admissions to public hospitals, schools, etc are administered through ration cards issued and accepted only by the home state government.

·         This eliminates access to productive opportunities available across the country thus, dampening growth and perpetuate pockets of poverty.

·         Education - Many universities and technical institutes are administered by state governments.

·         Notably, state residents get preferential admission in these through “state quota seats”.

·         The “domicile certificates” necessary for this require continuous residence in the state, ranging from 3 to 10 years in different states.

·         Employment - Though accounting for only about 5% of total employment, public sector employs more than half of the higher-skilled.

·         However, in most states, more than three-fourths of government jobs are with the state rather than the central government.

·         Here again, state domicile is a common requirement for jobs in state government entities.

·         Moreover, states are increasingly expanding and promoting the “jobs for natives” policies in the recent period.

·         E.g. Karnataka recently directed both public and private sector firms to reserve 70% of their jobs for state residents or would lose access to state government industrial policy benefits.


·         India's “fragmented entitlements” should be integrated to offer citizens access to social benefits irrespective of the residing state.

·         This is essential to boost growth and check poverty, by facilitating access to productive opportunities available across the country.

·         A nationally portable identity could prove to be an important step.

·         States should rationalise the discriminatory policies and become more inclusive in offering employment and education.