Chennai: Breaking a 15-year trend and indicating a change in social profiling, the number of emigrants with ECR (Emigration Check Required) endorsement from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar has since last year surpassed Kerala and Tamil Nadu, so far the largest feeders for overseas employment.
According to the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are the states which sent the largest number of workers abroad with ECR endorsement in 2011.
"It only shows a shift in social profiling in the southern states. This could mean that more workers from Tamil Nadu and Kerala are qualifying themselves educationally and do not need ECR endorsement anymore," a senior ministry official said.
On the other hand, more workers from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar might increasingly find overseas employment attractive, he said.
While Tamil Nadu saw a decline in numbers from 1,55,631 in 2006 to 68,732 in 2011, Bihar saw an increase from 36,493 persons in 2006 to 71,438 persons last year. Kerala sent only 86,783 persons last year, as against 1,20,083 in 2006, while the numbers from Uttar Pradesh went up to 1,55,301 last year from 66,131 in 2006.
As per the new guidelines, the blank page two on passports is deemed to have been ECNR endorsed, which otherwise would specifically state "Emigration Check Required (ECR)." Of desired destinations, Saudi Arabia continues to attract more Indian workers with 2,89,297 persons in 2011, while United Arab Emirates and Oman were at second and third spots with 1,38,861 and 73,819 persons, the official said.