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India’s Vast Potential for Exporting Labour


India’s demographic advantage—a sizable, youthful population that speaks English—offers a special chance to meet the rising need for labour on a worldwide scale.


GS Paper-1: Effects of globalization on Indian society

Mains Question

Analyse the possible economic advantages of immigration for India in light of both its sizable population and the demand for both skilled and unskilled labour on a global scale. What steps can be made to maximise this potential and guarantee long-term domestic stability? (250 Words).

Key Points:

  • Germany projects a seven million workforce deficit by 2035, with hundreds of thousands of open positions in that year.
  • Industrialised nations like the US and Japan are becoming more aware of the need for foreign expertise to keep up their economic and technological dominance.
  • India’s enormous population, especially its youthful element, presents it as a possible permanent provider of unskilled, semi-skilled, and high-skilled labour. Industrial economies are aggressively striving to attract talented immigrants.

Are you aware?

  • The majority of Indian migrants are housed in the UAE, the US, and Saudi Arabia.
  • Remittances from India’s 32 million strong global diaspora are anticipated to reach $100 billion.
  • Mexico and Russia both had 11 million diaspora residents, along with China (10 million) and Syria (8 million).
  • Since 2011, over 1.6 million Indians have given up their citizenship, with 1,83,741 doing so in 2022.
  • The biggest incentive for Indians to relocate overseas and obtain citizenship in other nations continues to be the United States.
  • The United States (78,284) received the most citizenship transfers from Indians, followed by Australia (23,533), Canada (21,597), and the United Kingdom (14,637).

Why is the globe currently experiencing a labour shortage?

  • Ageing Population: With a dropping birthrate and rising life expectancy, many nations are dealing with an ageing population. Due to the demographic change, fewer people are now employed, which has created a labour shortage.
  • Skills Mismatch: There is frequently a discrepancy between the skills that the available labour possesses and the talents that industries need. A need for workers with particular talents has arisen as a result of technological improvements and shifting market needs, creating a dearth of competent people in some industries.
  • Economic expansion: In many nations, rapid economic expansion has boosted demand for workers across a range of industries. A lack of competent labour has resulted from the rise of industries including technology, healthcare, and construction.
  • Low Birth Rates: Because of low birth rates in some nations, there is a smaller pool of young people entering the workforce. This demographic trend makes it harder to find workers, especially in industries that need a lot of them.
  • Immigration Regulations: Strict immigration regulations or policies can control the influx of foreign workers into nations that are experiencing a labour shortage. Political factors or worries about the effect of immigration on local jobs may have led to the implementation of these rules.
  • Globalisation: Increasing globalisation has given firms around the world access to new markets and opportunities. The need for workers in various places increases as businesses expand their operations internationally, creating a labour shortage in some sectors.

India’s Issues, Possibilities, and Consequences Increasing Your Supply of Workforce to Ageing Societies:

  • Obstacles: o Brain Drain: The exodus of highly qualified people could reduce India’s talent pool and impede domestic innovation.
    • Socio-economic Impact: Mass emigration may result in labour shortages in specific areas, affecting home businesses and driving up wages.
    • Social Disruption: Emigration may cause family division, a brain drain from rural areas, and migrant cultural dislocation, all of which have an adverse effect on social cohesion.
    • Economic Dependence: A country’s vulnerability to changes in the external economy can increase if it relies too heavily on remittances as a source of foreign cash.
  • Opportunities include: o Remittances: Indian immigrants who send money home can help the nation’s foreign exchange reserves, encourage consumption, and fund development initiatives.
    • Skill Development: Immigrants who return to India after acquiring useful information and experiences overseas can support innovation, entrepreneurship, and knowledge transfer.
    • Economic Growth: Domestic investment, entrepreneurship, and economic growth can all be boosted by remittances and the return of skilled migrants.
    • Social Transformation: Indian immigrants’ absorption into host societies can promote cross-cultural dialogue, improve India’s standing abroad, and fortify inter-ethnic ties.
  • Economic diplomacy: Indian immigrants make a major economic contribution to their host nations, strengthening bilateral economic relations and influencing foreign policy decisions.
  • Diaspora Engagement: The Indian diaspora serves as a conduit for cultural interchange, business alliances, and diplomatic ties between India and their host nations.
  • Political Influence: Indian immigrants having clout and sway in their host nations can influence international affairs to suit India’s objectives.
  • improving soft power
  • Cultural Influence: Indian immigrants promote India’s voluminous cultural history through festivities, gastronomy, music, dance, and the arts, broadening understanding of Indian culture around the world.
  • Education and Research: Immigrants from India support research, innovation, and academic excellence in their home nations, which helps to advance India’s standing in areas like science, technology, and academia.
  • Sports and entertainment: Indian immigrants who succeed in the sports, entertainment, and film industries serve as cultural ambassadors, promoting Indian artists and stories around the world.
    • Spreading India’s Principles:
  • Social Contributions: Immigrants from India take part in charitable endeavours, neighbourhood improvement projects, and social initiatives that are a reflection of India’s compassion, inclusion, and social responsibility.
  • Yoga, Ayurveda, and Spirituality: Indian immigrants support India’s holistic approach to health and wellbeing by boosting the acceptability and popularity of traditional Indian practises like yoga, Ayurveda, and meditation.
  • Support for Global causes: Immigrants from India regularly participate in international forums and speak out in favour of causes like gender equality, climate change, and human rights, demonstrating India’s commitment to tackling global problems.
  • Immigration might be the magic solution India needs to realise its demographic dividend and guarantee long-term domestic stability.
  • India, which has the largest population in the world with 500 million workers, faces the difficult burden of finding suitable jobs for the 12 million new workers who enter the labour force each year.
  • We face the bleak prospect of underemployment for hundreds of millions of Indians because to high levels of learning poverty, a failing educational system, and a high rate of information.

What legislative actions are possible?

  • Skill Development: Focus on programmes that will give the Indian workforce the in-demand skills by coordinating training with industry demands and international labour markets.
  • Simplified Immigration Regulations: Establish transparent and effective immigration regulations to draw in and keep talent from abroad while facilitating skilled workers’ residency, work permits, and admission.
  • Collaboration in education: Encourage alliances between Indian and foreign universities to improve learning opportunities, advance information sharing, and develop a talent pool that can satisfy global demand.
  • Language Instruction: Offer language instruction programmes to improve Indian immigrants’ employability in their new countries and to promote efficient communication and integration.
  • talented Labour Retention: Put policies in place to encourage talented professionals to remain in India by fostering a positive work environment, offering them career possibilities, and offering them competitive pay.
  • Social Security and Welfare: Create systems to guarantee the protection and welfare of Indian migrants overseas, including their access to medical treatment, legal counsel, and social security benefits.
  • Diplomatic Engagement: Ensure the protection of Indian workers’ rights and advance their welfare by stepping up diplomatic efforts to secure advantageous immigration arrangements with host nations.
  • Support for Entrepreneurship: Offer assistance and incentives to returning immigrants so they can start enterprises, promote domestic innovation, and generate employment possibilities.


  • While addressing brain drain, social disruption, and economic dependency, India can leverage remittances, skill enhancement, and global engagement for economic growth and social transformation.
  • Implementing policy measures focused on skilled labour retention, skill development, social security, diplomatic engagement, and entrepreneurship will support economic growth and social transformation.

February 2024