What is the India Centre for Migration (ICM)?

What is the India Centre for Migration (ICM)?

In a pace of globalizing world characterized by a frequency of people across borders, there is a need to bring a strategic dimension to the process of emigration of Indians in search of employment. Therefore, The Ministry set up India Centre for Migration (ICM- formerly known as Indian Council of Overseas Employment) as a ‘not for profit’ society under the Societies Registration Act 1860, in July 2008. The Centre serves as a research think-tank to the Ministry of External Affairs, Govt. of India, on all matters relating to ‘International Migration’. The Centre undertakes empirical, analytical and policy-related research, and undertakes pilot projects to document good practices.

ICM undertakes research and studies on migration of Indian workers for overseas employment and supports informed policymaking in MEA. It also partners with individuals, institutions, and governments to drive empirical, analytical and policy-related research; enhance capacities and pilot good practices in international migration and its governance.


Lead research and analysis on international migration to support informed policy making and enable strategic interventions for a coherent and harmonized response to the transnational movement of people from India.


  • Build and maintain a database on emerging country/sector specific employment opportunities abroad.
  • Identify labour supply gaps in overseas labour markets and the skill sets required by Indian workers to fill those gaps.
  • Initiate programs for skill development and skill upgradation in consultation with professional bodies and the private sector and promote employment opportunities abroad.
  • Initiate pre-departure orientation programs for various categories of workers.
  • Coordinate with other employment promotion agencies, including the state manpower development corporations, project manpower suppliers and foreign employers.
  • Initiate and support the study, monitoring, and analysis of the trends and dynamics of the international labour market, problems faced by the emigrant Indian workers in India and abroad, benchmark the best practices of other labour-sending countries and recommend policy initiatives/strategies.
  • Administer needs-based welfare support for overseas Indian workers including through institutional arrangements of a welfare fund for the purpose.

Main Objectives

  • To serve as a ‘think tank’ to devise and execute medium to long-term strategies for promoting overseas employment of Indians.
  • To regularly monitor, study and analyze the trends in the International Labour Markets as well as strategies of various labour-sending and receiving countries.
  • To develop and sustain a national strategy to be globally competitive as a labour supplier.
  • To commission studies on the international labour markets and identify emerging overseas employment opportunities for Indian youth.
  • To position potential overseas Indian workers as ‘consumers’ of employment services provided by the private recruitment industry.
  • To project India as a supplier of skilled, trained and qualified workers
  • To adapt training material developed by International Labour Organization and International Organization for Migration for specific states/country and gender.
  • To administer need-based welfare schemes for overseas Indian workers.

The Centre has a two-tier body comprising of a Governing Body and an Executive Directorate. The Governing Body is headed by Secretary (CPV & OIA), MEA, who is the Chairman. Other ExOfficio Members are the Secretaries or their representatives from Department of Economic Affairs (Ministry of Finance), Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and Ministry of The Ministry and Secretaries of three State Governments by rotation and four experts as external nominees by the Government. The Chief Executive Officer functions as Member Secretary of the Governing Body. The Governing Body provides the broad policy framework for the programmes and activities of ICM.

Currently the Centre has MoUs with the European Commission (EU); European University Institute (EUI), Florence, Italy; International Labour Organisation (ILO), New Delhi; UN Women, New Delhi; Overseas Diaspora Initiative (ODI), New Delhi; Centre for Development Studies (CDS), Thiruvananthapuram, and International Organization for Migration (IOM), New Delhi. The Centre published research papers on the India-EU migration, labour market assessment report of 6 EU countries, and a report on Remittances from the GCC countries to India.

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