Chennai: Ending a 15 year trend, the number of emigrants with ECR endorsement from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar has since last year surpassed their counterparts from 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 Emigration Check Required endorsement in 2011.

"It only shows a shift in social profile 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 may increasingly find overseas employment attractive, he said.

While Tamil Nadu saw a decline in numbers from 1,55,631 applicants in 2006 to 68,732 in 2011, Bihar saw an increase from 36,493 applicants in 2006 to 71,438 last year.

Kerala sent only 86,783 workers 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 Indians most with 2,89,297 workers in 2011, while the United Arab Emirates and Oman were at second and third spots with 1,38,861 and 73,819 emigrants, the official said.

The total number of emigrants from India in the last six years are 6,76,912 (2006), 8,09,453 (2007), 8,48,601 (2008), 6,10,272 (2009), 6,41,356 (2010) and 6,26,565 (2011).

Over 750 Indians from Egypt and 17,927 from Libya and 846 from Yemen returned home with the help of Indian missions in these countries, following internal disturbances there last year.

(Agencies)

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