Q.1) Anti-defection law has not been very effective in curbing the defections. Discuss the reasons and suggest the measures to make the law more effective. (15 marks - 250 words)

Why this question? - The Bahujan Samaj Party(BSP) has approached the Supreme Court of India to win back its 6 MLAs, who have joined the ruling party in Rajasthan.

Introduction - A brief about the 10th schedule.

Body -

  • Salient features of 10th sch and 91st Constitutional amendment.
  • Issues associated with defection
  • Challenges faced by the anti-defection law reducing its effectiveness.

Way forward - Highlight the recommendations of NCRWC, Law commission, Kihoto Hollohan etc.

Conclusion - Summarize based on above discussion.


Q.2) The COVID -19 pandemic has induced reverse migration from the Gulf region towards South Asia. Discuss. 15 marks (250 words)

Why this question:

The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic distress has considerably impacted the South Asian Migrant workers in the Gulf region.


South Asians constitute the largest chunk of migration into Gulf region, with India occupying the numero uno position amongst south asian nations.


Can tell about some features of workers:

  • Males dominate the workforce and are employed in construction sector
  • Live in small room with multiple people for saving money
  • Send huge remittances to their countries of origin
  • Doesn’t have robust government security net like the natives of gulf region

Pandemic is inducing reverse migration:

  • Shortage of food and other basic necessities
  • Salary Cuts and Retrenchment (Most prominent in construction sector)
  • Lack of access to medical services and medicines (Earlier Kerala Government was providing this but suspension of air travel halted the process)
  • No safety net, welfare mechanisms, or labour rights
  • COVID-19 spike in these labour camps 
  • Growing demand for nationalisation of labour in gulf region

Steps Taken for the Workers:

  • The Indian Government has repatriated over 7 lakh NRIs from various destinations under the Vande Bharat mission and a similar move is followed by other south asian economies.
  • It has also announced the SWADES initiative that focuses on skill mapping of citizens returning from abroad.
  • The Kerala Government has announced Dream Kerala initiative to utilise the diverse skill sets of migrants.
  • The Kerala High Court in July directed the Government to set up a mechanism to assist workers in seeking compensation from their immigrant country.
    • The order was based on a petition filed by Lawyers Beyond Borders, an international network of legal experts.
  • Bangladesh has announced a special package for the resettlement of return migrants which includes money on arrival, money to launch self-employment projects, and compensation for the families of those who died abroad from COVID-19. 
  • The Overseas Employment Corporation in Pakistan has come out with special programmes to upgrade the skills of returnees.

Way Ahead:

  • The countries of origin are now faced with the challenge of rehabilitating, reintegrating, and resettling these migrant workers. 
  • The past three major crises in the Gulf – the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, the global economic crisis, and Nitaqat in Saudi Arabia – had not triggered a massive return migration. 
  • The need of the hour is a comprehensive migration management system for countries that send workers as well as those that receive them. No South Asian country except Sri Lanka has an adequate migration policy. 
  • The pandemic has given us an opportunity to voice the rights of South Asian migrants and to bring the South Asia-Gulf migration corridor within the ambit of SAARC, the ILO, and UN conventions.