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Towards a more insular world | HT Editorial – Editorials

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Migration will be drastically reduced, affecting capital inflows and jobs.

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Updated: April 24, 2020 19:24 IST

it is now inevitable that migration will be greatly reduced
now it is inevitable that migration will be greatly reduced (Sameer Sehgal / Hindustan Times)

A combination of a global pandemic-induced recession and travel restrictions, according to a World Bank report, will see remittances from India drop nearly a quarter next year. Since most remittances come from the Persian Gulf, which is also seeing the impact of falling oil prices, India will become more vulnerable. The fate of the highly skilled worker will also be questioned whether the temporary blockade of immigrants from the United States (USA) extends to H-1B visas. Not surprisingly, a virus, which requires social distancing, has stopped air travel and caused enormous destruction of demand, would have a disproportionate impact on migration. This year you will also see a big drop in cross-border student movement as the academic calendar breaks down. The pandemic has greatly accelerated anti-migration trends that are already developing thanks to the slowdown in the global economy and nativist politics. The Persian Gulf and the USA USA They remained among the few destinations where the number of Indian emigrants continued to grow. Now it is unlikely to continue.

Foreign migration benefits India in three broad ways: capital, social liberation and knowledge. When it comes to the former, the projected decline in Gulf remittances will partially offset the balance of payments (BoP) gains offered by lower oil prices. North America provides another substantial segment of remittances from India, but as immigrants are more middle class, these remittances are less likely to decline. Gulf remittances, while still a major buffer against foreign exchange, have declined in importance for India’s overall balance of payments. The region was possibly more useful because it provided much-needed jobs for working-class Indians, initially from Kerala, but increasingly from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. This will be a greatly reduced safety valve.

The role of the diaspora in the West in channeling knowledge to India is underestimated. This should be the least affected since knowledge and its business applications can be temporarily managed online. The flow of students will also resume at some point. But now it is inevitable that migration will be greatly reduced. New Delhi may have to take advantage of its geopolitical influence with the Gulf Emirates. You should also consider including migration in your trade and investment agreements and developing health certification protocols for Indian travelers. A mitigation strategy is in line for one of the world’s largest labor-exporting nations.

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