//Survey of non-resident Keralites to begin in March

Survey of non-resident Keralites to begin in March

By Sanu George, IANS, Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 4

A survey of non-resident Keralites – is set to begin in March and will shed light on the number of emigrants from the state who are outside India.

The Migration Research Unit funded by the Ministry for Overseas Indian Affairs attached to the Centre for Development Studies – here will conduct the survey.

S. Irudayarajan, head of the Research Unit, said the survey will begin in March and the report will be published in July. The study is being conducted for the Kerala government and funded by the Non-Resident Keralites Affairs Department.

'The field survey would be done by the Kerala Statistical Institute and would cover 10,000 households from 200 village councils. The questionnaire is being readied,' Irudayarajan told IANS.

This is the third survey being undertaken by Irudayarajan and noted demographer K.C. Zachariah who carried out the first one in 1998 and the second in 2003.

In the last survey, it was found that Kerala's total number of emigrants increased from 1.36 million in 1998 to 1.83 million in 2003 and among them close to 90 percent were in the Middle East.

'We are also looking into the details of remittances, apart from other socio-economic factors,' said Irudayarajan

According to their earlier estimates, remittances collected from non-resident Keralites shot up from Rs.136.52 billion – to Rs.184.65 billion -.

'In our first study it was found out that the maximum number of migrants was in Saudi Arabia and in the subsequent one it was in the United Arab Emirates. The study will help the state government devise new polices for the welfare of NRKs,' said Irudayarajan.