Social And Economic Determinants Of Migration And Economic Development Of Uttarakhand : With Special Reference To Kumaun Region

Authors: 
Mukesh Singh Negi (Research Department of Economics, Kumaun University, Nainital) and Dr. Padam.S.Bisht (Professor, Department of Economics, Kumaun University, Nainital)

Migration is the movement of people between regions/countries. It is the process of changing one’s place of residence to another place and permanently living in a different region or country. As migration has its impact on various aspects of rural areas of Kumaun region, this paper makes an attempt to draw attention on migration from rural areas of the Kumaun region. The reasons of the migration from hill areas to cities is closely related to regional backwardness, small landholding size, unemployment, under-employment and high natural growth of rural population.

People have always moved in search of work, in response to environmental shocks and stress etc. In Uttarakhand, rural to rural migration was highest in 2001, accounting for 54.7% of total domestic migration. Rural to urban migration has gradually increased from 21.1% to 32% in 2011. As per census 2011 of Uttarakhand, 1053 villages have no inhabitants and another 405 villages have a population less than 10. Out of these, 60% villages are in the Kumaun region. The number of such villages have risen particularly after the earthquakes and flash floods due to heavy rainfall in the last 4 years.

Migration is not new to Kumaun region, but the data of census 2011 and some other recent reports show that the rate of migration from hilly areas of Kumaun region has increased after 2000. Kumaun region has witnessed a spurt in migration from hills to plains over the past 5 years. Due to this heavy migration, the population of the plains of Kumaun region has increased by 30%. The fact is that, migration has lead to a negative growth rate of population in Almora district.

Almora district has been worst hit by the migration as educated people are migrating in search of better jobs and education for their children. This has lead to  complete abandonment of villages leading to degradation of farming land and making the villages inhabitable. The problem of ever increasing migration from the hill rural areas has always posed a serious concern for the economy of these districts. The major cause of migration is the lack of government initiatives to provide self-employment opportunities, failure to promote tourism and agriculture in hilly area of the kumaun region.

The main factors which influence migration can be categorized into two broad categories: Push factors and Pull factors. Push factors are those forces which compel an individual to migrate, while pull factors are those foreign forces which compel an individual to migrate. Typically, push factors have induced migration in the Kumaun region due to lack of livelihood opportunities locally, whereas pull factors have induced migration due to greater availability of livelihood opportunities elsewhere.

Objectives of the Study:

• To study the pattern of economic growth and development of Uttarakhand with special reference to Kumaun division.

• To study the causes and impact of migration in Kumaun division.

Data Sources And Methodology: To answer the above research question methodologically, the study is done in following stages. First it starts with a brief introduction of Migration, second it analyses the economy of Uttarakhand and study area, third it analyses the various social and economic determinants of migration. The study uses secondary data from a variety of sources.


Economy of Uttarakhand:

The State of Uttarakhand is the third fastest growing state in India, its gross state domestic product (GSDP) at content price more than doubled from 24,786 cr. Rupees in FY 2005 to 60,898 cr. Rupees in FY 2012, the real GSDP grew at 13.7% (CAGR) during the FY 2005-FY2012 period . The contribution of service sector to the GSDP of Uttarakhand was just over 50% during FY 2012, per capita income in Uttarakhand is 1,03,000 rupees on FY 2013 which is higher than the national average of 74,920 in FY 2013, according to the reserve bank of India, the total foreign direct investment in the state from April 2000 to October 2009 amounted to $ 46.7 million. Like most of India, agriculture is one of the most significant sectors of the economy of Uttarakhand.

Basmati rice, wheat, soybeans, groundnuts, coarse cereals, pulses and oil seeds are the most widely grown crops, fruits like apples, oranges, pears, litchis, and plums are widely grown and important to the large food processing industry, agricultural export zones have been set up in the state for leechi horticulture, herbs, medicinal plants and basmati rice, during 2010, wheat production was 831 thousand tonnes and rice production was 610 thousand tonnes while the main cash crop of the state, sugarcane had a production of 5058 thousand tonnes as 86% of the state consists of hills, the yield per hectare is not very high 86% if all croplands are in the plains while the remaining is from hills.

Study Area:
Kumaun region faces significant challenges of combining its rapid economic growth with special equity and environmental sustainability. Kumaun region has an agricultural  economy on its mountain region and dynamic industrial development in the plains. Agriculture has to be among the top contributors of revenue in Kumaun region. 60% of the village population of Kumaun region depends on agriculture.

The occupational distribution of workers is the most important determinant of social, economic, as well as environmental development of Kumaun region. The larger part of the Kumaun region is characterized by a difficult terrain, undoubting topography, remote and inaccessible villages, spare population, tiny land holders, agriculture based economy and weak infrastructure in hill areas. Though, the region is rich in beauty and natural resources, improper use of these resources and rapidly growing population has thwarted its development and consequently the Kumaun region is technically backwards and economically poor.


The economic development of any area is best reflected in infrastructure facilities. A good infrastructure can be achieved by investment in basics amenities like roads, power, water health and communications. The infrastructural development of Kumaun region has been of the important component of development planning but so far, it has been poor. A serious efforts is needed to ensure their facilities to promote economic development. Agricultural development is the most important challenges in kumaun region, because it provides livelihood security to the major proportion of population in rural areas. Only 14% of the total areas of Kumaun region is under cultivation. Kumaun region has a vast investment potential area like tourism, agriculture, forestry, pharmaceutical sector industries.


Industries of any state forms the basics of economic stand of the state. An industry of one state helps the government to compete with other state. Industries are playing a significant role in the state of Uttarakhand, especially in Kumaun region.


Important factors in the development of industries in the Kumaun region are:

• Availibility of raw materials.

• Availability of cheap labour.

• Transport facility.


The industrial set up is restricted only to plains of Kumaun region and hills do not get any special industries.  The state industrial development corporation of Uttarakhand limited has developed many industrial estate and thus helping industries for further development. SIDCUL is a multi-purpose industrial promotion which helps the infrastructural development in Kumaun region.

Major industries of Kumaun region are:

• Tourism industry

• Food processing industry.

• Handloom, Handicrafts, Wool based industry.

• Horticulture industry etc.


Some of the major projects of SIDCUL in Kumaun region includes the integrated industrial estate at Panthnagar, the integrated estate at Sitarganj and others. As the Kumaun region is home to speculator land forms, lakes, temples and mesmerizing scenarios, tourism is by far the most successful industry of the Hilly Kumaun region. The tourism industry, however still lags behind its counterparts because of lack of facilities provided,  infrastructure and negligence of the state government.


The government of Uttarakhand has not given the proper boost to the development of tourism in the Kumaun region. In the region, the main source of livelihood is agriculture, tourism,small scale and heavy industries. Due to lack of development, it is unfortunate that large number of people from hill areas are struggling for even the basic needs. The main cause of deep-rooted poverty and unemployment in Kumaun region is  the lack of availability of adequate easy and timely finance. The maximum number of workers depends on MGNERGA for employment in the rural Kumaun region.

This table shows the distribution of population in Kumaun region in different districts. All the districts have positive increase in decadal growth rate in population except Almora which shows decline in population. It is clear from table that Nainital & U.S. Nagar district shows a huge decadal growth rate in population. This is mainly due to the huge migration from other districts of Kumaun region, because the main reason behind this is the lack of economy and Job opportunities.

The above table reveals that the sex ratio has decreased in all the hill districts and increased in the plains of the Kumaun region. Champawat district shows a higher decline in the sex ratio as compared to the other districts. The main reason behind is the social factor.

Why people migrate to urban areas from rural areas:
To make the economy of Uttarakhand strong, we need to arrest migration and for that protest marches against the Govt. negligence should be held. Public seminars should be organized and bill drafted to keep the hills of Uttarakhand from losing their inhabitants. The government should itself make some policies to develop the hilly districts of Uttarakhand, so that the people no longer feel the need to migrate.
Uttarakhand has witnessed a high rate of economic growth since its formation but this growth rate is only lopsided growth. The economic prosperity has largely been limited to three districts in the plains, the hills are contributing the most to the migrant labor force, and so to develop Uttarakhand we should remove the problem of regional imbalances.
There are five factors which determine the push and pull conditions operating in the decisions of people to migrate from hills to plains in kumaun region: 
Economic factors:
The poor economic conditions and lack of employment opportunities in villages of Kumaun region are the main push factors that drift the rural population to the plains of Kumaun. The hill areas of Kumaun region are less developed, have poor agriculture conditions and grater population pressure on land, push the population to plains. Income in agriculture is lower than other sectors. Migration in Kumaun region is largely due to poverty and lack of economic opportunities in villages is more significant than others. The migration to plains is not only due to lack of economic opportunities but also because of several other factors including educational and health services, higher wages and better standard of living available in cities. 

Demographic factors:
It is also a major factor of migration from rural Kumaun to plains. Generally, there is higher fertility rate and natural population growth in rural areas as compare to plains of Kumaun.

Social and cultural factors:
Social and cultural factors also play a great role in migration. In rural areas of Kumaun region, traditional values are much stronger than plains. On the contrary, in plains the people enjoy much greater freedom and have liberty. The modern and western values are highly attractive to the youth. Therefore, this class of population is more motivated to plains.

Geographical and physical factors: Physical conditions, distances, climate and natural environment and natural calamities like floods, earthquakes, droughts and tempests have also been major factors which push the rural population of Kumaun region to plains.

Political and institutional factors:
The state policy of Uttarakhand regarding to migration have played a crucial role in the transfer of population from rural to urban.

Major causes of migration in Kumaun region:
Migration is caused by a variety of factors in Kumaun region. Some of the factors are briefly described below:

Barren Landholdings:
Landholdings in Kumaun region are typically small and segmented. According to the Watershed Management Directorate of the Kumaun division, the average landholding in the division is about 0.68 ha, which is divided into several patches. This is much smaller than the national average of 1.16 ha per farmer. This means villages that have witnessed migration in the recent past now have to deal with several plots of untended land interspersed with active farmland

Political and institutional factors:
The state policy of Uttarakhand regarding to migration have played a crucial role in the transfer of population from rural to urban.

Major causes of migration in Kumaun region:


Migration is caused by a variety of factors in the Kumaun region. Some of the factors are briefly described below:

Depleting Water Level
Depletion in the water level of the Kumaun region is also linked to migration. It is interesting to note that the three districts that have registered the highest migration rates are also the districts that have witnessed maximum depletion in water sources. Earlier, there was no shortage of water but of late there has been a seasonal shortage even in drinking water, let alone water for irrigation.

Employment:
People migrate in large number from rural to plains in search of employment. The agricultural base of rural economy in Kumaun region does not provide employment to all the people living there. Even the small-scale and cottage industries of the villages fail to provide to the entire rural folk of Kumaun region.

Education:
Rural areas of Kumaun region, by large, lack educational facilities like those of higher education and rural people have to migrate to plain centers for this purpose.

Apart from these causes there are so many other reasons which force the people to migrate. These include lack of security, health services, infrastructure and others.

Conclusion and suggestions:


Long awaited development in the hill districts of Kumaun region has pushed backward the development of these districts relatively to the other plain districts of Kumaun region. This has resulted in the persistent migrations of the major workforce from these districts which largely constitutes the male youths of these regions. This has put pressure on the economy of these districts.

We see that the Kumaun is primarily dependent on agriculture, but there are many industries, which contribute to the economy. All the major industries were established in the plains areas in the Kumaun region. We see in this paper that as 86% of the state consists of hills region in Kumaun area and only some of agriculture products like wheat, rice and potato are the key products of Uttarakhand. Agriculture has to be among the top contributors of revenue in Kumaun region from tabulation in this paper, but only some of the products are involved in agriculture. This means villages that have witnessed migration in the recent past now have to deal with several plots of untended land interspersed with active farmland.

Migration in India as well as Uttarakhand, especially in Kumaun region is a historical and present phenomenon. The major cause of migration is lack of government initiative to provide self-employment opportunities, failure to promote tourism and agriculture in hilly areas of Kumaun region. Migration to cities has recorded to highest in Kumaun regions to benefit from greater economic opportunities.

It is suggested that:
• The state govt. must focus for the development of agriculture and there should be a provision for the establishment of industries in the hill districts of Kumaun region, which will create employment opportunities in hill areas.

• The govt. should develop the higher education institutions, health care facilities etc. in the hill districts of Kumaun division.

• The geographical and physical factor is also a major factor of migration. The state government should raise the funds for these areas to develop better infrastructure.


Conclusion and suggestions:
Long awaited development in the hill districts of Kumaun region has pushed backward the development of these districts relatively to the other plain districts of Kumaun region. This has resulted in the persistent migrations of the major workforce from these districts which largely constitutes the male youths of these regions. This has put pressure on the economy of these districts. We see that the Kumaun is primarily depends upon agriculture, but there are many industries, which contribute in the economy, we know that the all these industries were established in plain areas or we can say in plains areas in the Kumaun region. We see in this paper that as 86% o the state consists of hills region in Kumaun area and only some of agriculture products like wheat, rice and potato are the key products of Uttarakhand. We know that agriculture has to be among the top contributors of revenue in Kumaun region from tabulation in this paper, but only some of the products are involve in agriculture. This means villages that have witnessed migration in the recent past now have to deal with several plots of untended land interspersed with active farmland.

References

1. Deshigkar, P (2009), Human Development Research Paper, Uttarakhand. 22-23 2.

2. Mehta, M (2008), gender assessment of kumaun region live hoods. Pp. 71-78.

3. Singh Shobhan, (2009), industrial development of backward areas of kumaun region, Himalayan Publishing House, pp.131-132.

4. Data, S.k, (2014) Uttarakhand, vision and action Programme, concept publishing company, New Delhi, pp. 82-87.

5. A new era of economic development – Uttarakhand : the next destination (2013).

6. Bisht sonali, (2015), concerns & challenges in Kumaun Region, Trishual Publication dehradhun, pp. 17-21.

7. http://www.sidcul.com/sidculwel/home.aspk.

8. http://gov.uk.nic.in/annual=districts=plan/mainpage.

9. Centre for development studies (2001-2002), (2012-2013) internal and regional disparities in India; Delhi Centre for development studies.

10. Statistical diary of uttarakhand division state planning (2014-15)

11. India census 2001& 2011, office of the registrar and census commissioner.

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