Mega challenges of rural-urban migration -Santosh Mehrotra
-The Hindu Business Line
A dispersed pattern of urbanisation leads to sprawl with higher motorisation and pollution. A new urban vision is needed
India’s demographic dividend cannot be realised if young entrants to the labour force as well as potential migrants from agriculture do not gain new livelihoods. Hastening of the structural transformation brings with it three mega-challenges for policy-makers: employment of migrants; growing urbanisation; and ensuring better education and vocational training for increasing labour force entrants. India’s planners must manage these three processes much better over the next two decades as India’s demographic dividend draws to a close by 2040.
Facets of migration
Never in India’s post-Independence history till 2004-05 did the absolute number of workers in agriculture fall; the Lewisian turning point took over a half-century to arrive. During 2004-05 and 2011-12, non-agri job growth was as high as 7.5 million per annum. At the same time, the number of young entrants into the labour force was only about two million per annum. The remaining five million plus workers were migrants from agriculture, and were mostly absorbed in construction activity.
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