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Women Migration In India


  • GS Mains Paper-1, Society

Why in news?

  • Recently a paper titled “Mobility in India, recent trends and issues concerning database” was released.
  • The findings of the paper on women migration call for appropriate government response and policies.

What are the highlights shown in the paper?

  • The paper takes into account the 64th round of the National Sample Survey (NSS).
  • It also takes in figures from the 2011 Census and the National Health and Family Survey (NFHS) IV.
  • As per NFHS IV, women aged 20-24 married before the age of 18 has gone down from 47% in 2005-06 to 27% in 2015-16.
  • Also, women aged 15-19 already mothers or pregnant at the survey time has become half from the 16% in 2005-06.
  • The paper highlights that the number of women migrating within India is increasing at a higher rate than men.
  • Marriage continues to play an important role in women migration.
  • But besides this, economic factors such as employment, business and education have gained in importance.
  • It shows a reduced dependence on marriage as the single factor behind women migration.

What are the related concerns in India?

  • Labour participation is the share of those employed or is seeking work relative to the working-age population.
  • India’s female labour participation rate is around 33% at the national level.
  • This is well below the global average of around 50% and East Asia average of around 63%.
  • This is partly due to the missing gender perspective on internal migration policies.
  • Migrants – Around 80% of migrated eligible female graduates choose not to participate in the organised workforce.
  • They are forced to work in construction sites and as household help for low wages.
  • Women migrants remain invisible and discriminated against in the workforce.
  • This is especially more the case with those in lower-end informal sector occupations.
  • Also they don’t have facilities like maternity leave and other such entitlements.
  • Another concern is the lack of access to proper sanitation, with serious health consequences.
  • Migrant women are also more vulnerable to sexual harassment, especially in the hands of agents and contractors.
  • Another persistent issue is the gender pay gap, which is not restricted to lower-end jobs alone.
  • India sees the highest drop in representation of women from junior to middle-level positions.
  • This is unlike several other Asian countries where such a drop occurs from middle- to senior-level positions.
  • This, in turn, impacts the supply line for higher levels.
  • Almost one-third of women employees do not resume work, in the absence of a support system at home for child-caring.

What lies ahead?

  • Government’s role in labour migration laws and policies is significant to sustain the momentum on migration.
  • The government has to ensure a gender-sensitive and rights-based approach in this regard.
  • Securing public spaces for women and creating an enabling infrastructure are essential.
  • Governments have to ensure that they are safe from stranger violence and harassment from employers.
  • Kerala model – Kerala has launched Aawaz, a free health care-cum-insurance scheme for migrant workers.
  • It covers any migrant worker employed in the state, between the ages of 18 and 60.
  • Workers are eligible for free medical treatment worth up to Rs 15,000.
  • Also, an insurance coverage of Rs 200,000 for accidental death is provided.
  • Medical treatment will be available from all government hospitals and also private hospitals empanelled with the scheme.

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 Increasing emphasis on “data” with the human judgment



  • GS Mains Paper-2, Education

Why in News?

  • There is an increasing emphasis on “data” with the human judgment.
  • It is essential to complement data for better decision-making.

How data is becoming important?

  • Most of the processes of day-to-day usage are also getting digitized.
  • There is increasing emergence of different social network platforms, blogs, etc.
  • Deployment of sensors and adoption of hand-held and wearable digital devices are also increasing.
  • Meanwhile, there is explosion in the usage of internet.
  • Anything and everything “smart” means greater data volumes at accelerating speeds.
  • All these result in huge amount of data being generated on a continuous basis.
  • It is estimated that world’s population collectively generates 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day.
  • The world is thus getting increasingly ‘datafied’ every single second.

What is the emerging view?

  • Insights from vast arrays of data will be a key business differentiator in the near future.
  • This is expected to promote popularity of business analytics, and demand for data scientists.
  • Deriving insight from data to understand their origin and making sense of the numbers are emphasized.
  • This understanding on data will then be used to make informed decisions.
  • Increased availability of data, the “big data”, can work as raw material for business intelligence.

What are the challenges?

  • It is important to understand that more data does not necessarily mean better performance.
  • It is essential that the employees are able to incorporate the data into complex decision-making.
  • Without ensuring this, investments in analytics can be useless and even harmful.
  • A lot of data come from so many sources leading to ambiguity, inconsistency and contradictions.
  • So the basic principles that make for good strategy or decision often get obscured.
  • Mechanically developing strategies “free of human judgment” would thus be a mistake.
  • As, decision making and strategy building involves a larger cognitive and sometimes social processes.

What is the way forward?

  • Numbers cannot deal with every nuance of a decision.
  • Generating insight is an inherently human trait and strategy is a way of thinking.
  • However, it is not that data are not useful, as it all depends on how the data are used.
  • So processes and human capabilities should keep pace with the computing fire-power and information they import.
  • To overcome the insight deficit, Big Data needs to be complemented by big judgment.



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