UP, Bihar sent most number of unskilled workers to ‘Emigration Check Required’ nations

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on February 11, 2020

‘States sending out least educated, unskilled people as workers is a reflection on their governance and policies’

Over 40 per cent of those who emigrated abroad as workers with Emigration Check Required (ECR) endorsement in the last three years (2017 to 2019) were from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The Ministry of Labour and Employment data tabled in the Lok Sabha today show that 10.99 lakh people went abroad during this period to 18 ECR countries including Gulf nations.

Karnataka, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Assam’s share of total ECR-endorsed emigration is just one per cent each of the total emigrants. No substantial ECR emigration was reported from Haryana, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Himachal Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Contribution of these States in ECR emigration is not even one per cent of the total emigration.

Of the emigrants over 97,000 were from Tamil Nadu, followed by West Bengal (94,000), Rajasthan (91,000), Punjab (62,000), Andhra Pradesh (51,000), Kerala (50,000) Telangana (44,000), Odisha (28,000) and Maharashtra (23,000).



Experts say that the changing socio-economic and educational profile of citizens reflects in the list of ECR emigration.

A few years back Kerala and Tamil Nadu dominated the list but the number of ECR emigrants from this part of the country has drastically declined.

Uttar Pradesh and Bihar sending out less educated, unskilled people as workers in huge numbers reflect the governance and government policies in the State.

The Ministry of External Affairs maintains data in respect of ECR passport holders, travelling legally to any of the 18 ECR countries — United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Malaysia, Lebanon, Bahrain, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Yemen, Libya, and South Sudan — for employment.

The Emigration Act, 1983 provides that no citizen of India shall migrate unless he obtains an emigration clearance from the Protector of Emigrants. “Similarly, it has been recognised that certain countries do not have strict laws regulating the entry and employment of foreign nationals. They also do not provide avenues for grievance redress. Thus, they have been categorised as Emigration Check Required (ECR) countries,” the Ministry of External Affairs website mentions.

It adds that all persons having ECR-endorsed passports and going to any of the 18 ECR countries for taking up employment require emigration clearance.

Published on February 11, 2020

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