International migration between India and Nepal: What the age-old friendship tie means for both the countries
The term out-migration means ‘when a person from the perspective of the country of departure moves out from their country of nationality of usual residence to another country, so the destination country becomes their new country of usual residence’ (Perruchoud, 2011). Amongst various forms of migration international migration is one of the migration forms experienced by every country, and the global economic conditions are the drivers of people’s movement. Wage differentials across nations influence the labour market and people bear the cost of traveling to earn more money (Weiner, M. 1992). Migration is a means of achieving economic efficiency and equality in society. With the remittances out-migrants fulfils their dreams at their place of origin and the upward social mobility happens. Neighbouring countries with interpersonal ties like friendship or good migration networks have an essential role in the migration of labours than other regions of the sending country and the availability of employment at the destination. This impact provides a ‘Spillover effect’ of migration across international borders rather than migrating within the same geographical location (Nowotny, K., & Pennerstorfer, D. 2019). In goal number 17th of SDG global partnership for sustainable development has a target (17.18) on ‘data monitoring and accountability’. Where migratory status and geographic location along with other factors like gender, age, etc were given importance. In the objectives of GCM also legal identity and documentation, recruitment and decent work, reducing vulnerabilities, managing borders, screening and referral, access to essential services, and remittances were considered for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration. India is geographically enriched but those residing near the international borders find it easy to migrate internationally as of low distance to earn their livelihood. India shares an overarching 1751 kilometres border with Nepal, 699 kilometres borders with Bhutan, are porous borders that run along West Bengal, Bihar and other states. India has a friendly border with Nepal which enables people of both the countries to cross the border without Visa (Behera, 2011). The total number of international migrants from India at mid-year 2020 is (4.9 million). From NPHC 2011 it has been found that 88 percent of immigrants in Nepal are from India. In the dilemma of international migration and short-term travel flows are inversely tied in with the distance between home and destination countries. The distance can refer to the cultural gap between home and destination countries and the geographic stretch (Hutzschenreuter, 2016). Migrants are facing humiliation at the place of destination. They were indulged into hazardous jobs in plywood and hydroelectric power plants. Livelihood during COVID pandemic is also a significant concern in the current time. At the time of the pandemic, the international migrants experienced negligence as a form of alienation in the foreign country.
By looking at world bank bilateral migration data one can find out there are various migration corridors like-Mexico to USA migration. Considering countries having migration corridors with India, there are several countries like-Bangladesh to India migration corridor, Pakistan to India migration corridor, Nepal to India migration corridor. Maximum of them is out-migration corridor from India to other countries e.g., India to UAE, USA, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Nepal, United Kingdom, Canada, Oman, and Kuwait. Considering these anomalies in international migration with reference to India as an origin nation, Nepal become top destination for Indian out-migrants in the South Asian region. This is because international migration with Nepal is free movement of people across international border of India and Nepal. People went to Nepal for work and employment along with other reasons for migration from India (Behera, 2011). India to Nepal is having a higher number of people (8 lakhs people) as out-migrants than the reverse scenario of Nepal to India only (5 lakhs people) as in-migrants. If we consider the out-migration scenario from India to neighboring countries in the South-Asian region migration stock from India to Pakistan is highest (28 lakh people) out-migrants, followed by Nepal (3 lakh people) as out-migrants, which is then followed by Srilanka (39 thousand people) as out-migrants, Bhutan (20 thousand people) as out-migrants, Bangladesh (13 thousand people) as out-migrants, and last but not the least Maldives with (951 people) as out-migrant people from India. While considering migration based on gender, i.e., male and female migrants. The result is almost similar for male and female migrants like that of total migrants from India. The only country with female domination is Nepal with (over 2 lakhs population) as female migration stock. Recently the COVID-19 pandemic had a great impact on the movement of people. For sure the usual resident of a nation suffers hardship due to lockdown induced immobility measures, but those migratory people suffer the worst. As without work they become unemployed, over to that they were unable to return to their home. In response to that Government of India took an initiative to bring back the citizens who are international out-migrants from India. Vande Bharat mission was launched and people were registered for repatriation through air travel. In table 3, the top ten countries where Indian nationals registered for repatriation programs in a large number were shown. As obvious first five countries UAE, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait were from the Gulf region, followed by USA and UK. Indian nationals from Nepal have also registered and waiting to avail repatriation through the Vande Bharat mission in a huge number (26 thousand). Indian nationals registered for repatriation programs in the South-Asian region, Nepal stood at the top with (26 thousand people). This is then followed by Bangladesh (11 thousand), and other countries with numbers less than 10 thousand. like Maldives, Srilanka, Bhutan, Pakistan, Myanmar, Afghanistan. Flights have operated under Vande Bharat Mission in various countries across the world. Different phases with respect to time and place have done. Phases, as categorized by the government of India, constitute from Phase 1 to Phase 10. But in between these, there was some additional phase in some category, like for phase 2 (phase 2 additional, phase 2++), for phase 8 (phase 8+), and for phase 9 (phase 9+). In phase 2 and phase 6, two flights (AI0214 and AI1214) has operated from Nepal to India, each carrying 168, and149 passengers in the month of May and September 2020. The real mission under which repatriation of people began from Nepal was the last week of December 2020 to the last week of March 2021. Carrying nearly 14 thousand people from Nepal to India through AI flights, in phase 8+ phase 9, phase 9+, and phase 10. Flights have operated from (Tribhuvan international airport, Kathmandu) of Nepal to (Indira Gandhi international airport, Delhi) of India.
Discussion/Conclusion Mobility between India and Nepal is legal under the open border treaty of 1950. Nepal has long been the primary destination for Indian workers from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal. India has long been a transit and destination for the mobile population of Nepal and other South-Asian neighbouring countries. The government primarily depends on the Foreigners Act of 1946 to restrict the movement of legal foreigners within India and regulate cross-border mobility (Kansakar, 2005). The majority of the manual workers migrate with their family to work in brick-kiln industries. The industries, where Indians are mostly employed constitute a large number of workers mainly from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal. The recent prohibition of alcohol consumption in Bihar and relatively higher earnings in Nepal were identified as motivating factors for Indian workers to work in Nepal. Channels of migration are migration through family members, relatives, and friends. The main difficulty for Indian workers in Nepal is particularly difficulty in accommodation and difficulty in developing relationships with the employer and native citizens of Nepal, sometimes Indian migrants find it difficult to work hand in hand with the workers of Nepal, because of language and cultural barriers. Natural calamities in Bihar, like flood situation in the Kosi River is another reason for Bihari people to migrate to Nepal, and many Indian brides were married with Nepali citizens. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth-century development of commercial centres in Nepal came out as a result of the extension of Indian railways up to Indian border towns near the Indo-Nepal border, helps in trade and commerce between India and Nepal. Indian immigrants also migrate for agricultural purposes and settle down in Terai regions of Nepal. As in land reform law of Nepal it was mentioned that no tenant can be removed from a specific plot of land, when he/she has grown at least one crop in that piece land (Ojha D P, 1983). The Nepali committee acknowledges that the Indian government has been kind in allowing Nepalese to enter India in search of Employment. Now that people from India are also moving toward Nepal. Still, Nepal is unwilling to permit free immigration due to the country’s small size, population, and a weak economy (Thapliyal S, 1999). Perhaps looking more closely at South Asia, where most receiving countries don’t want to receive international migrants from the neighbourhood. Unwanted migration occurs in this area from Bangladesh to India, Nepal to India, and India to Nepal because there are no natural obstacles along their border. Indo-Nepal connection is dictated by their physical closeness and shared socio-cultural traits. Policymakers still try to maintain an open border, because of historical, geopolitical, and socio-cultural linkages between Nepal and India (Das, 2008; Nayak, 2020; Pattanaik, 1998). There has been several studies conducted on the issue of Nepalese immigration to India. But there is limited studies on Indian immigration to Nepal, conducted under contributions to Nepalese studies CNAS, Tribuvan University (Dhahai D R, 1983; Subedi B P, 1991). This study fulfills a vital gap in South Asia’s migration studies by addressing the Indo-Nepal Migration scenario for the first time. Past economic developments in Nepal have a historical linkage with migration of Indian born people to Terai regions of Nepal. Terai region remained undeveloped because of the presence of Malaria, so the Nepalese government took deliberate policy in the beginning of 19th century to encourage migration from India to Nepal to open-up the Terai region for development. There is a geopolitical interest among both the countries for a friendly border. Being a landlocked country Nepal depends on Indian ports for import and export, as its northern side is bounded by high mountain peaks. Also, the Geo-cultural unity of the people of India and Nepal is reflected by open border and permits free movement of citizens of both the countries without visa & passport formalities (Dahal, 1983). International migration is a process of crossing the border of a country to move to a different country. This movement can be permanent or semi-permanent in nature. People either move voluntarily or involuntary movement can be seen due to natural of artificial factors (Peterson 1978). The similar geographical characteristics facilitates the Indo-Nepal voluntary migration. Historically India has witnessed some international movement across countries in Asia and south Asian countries. During partition a huge efflux happened, Indian born people went to Pakistan due to religious similarity. In Nepal Janga Bahadur Rana first introduced civil code of Nepal, where he put a provision that foreign people living in Nepal can purchase and sell lands. This civil code resulted into large scale migration of Indian businessman and entrepreneurs to Nepal, which was then followed by migration of factory workers and manufacturing labourers as well (Saxena, 1971).
 Sustainable Development Goal
 Global Compact for Migration
 Nepal population and housing census