October 21, 2007


Draining talents:
A brain drain or human capital flight is an emigration of trained and talented individuals to other nations or jurisdictions, due to conflicts, lack of opportunity, or health hazards where they are living. Brain drain is a word with a bad connotation. So, it is no wonder that we hear our politicians, statesmen and intellectuals often mourning brain drain. Developing countries lose their enormous investments on higher education when skilled people migrate to other countries. There are a number of articles on brain drain from India from 1960 onwards, saying that it is increasing or stopping but it has not.

The brain-drain of Indian software and other high-tech engineers are so serious that ``there is a danger that we will be left with nothing'' in India. Somewhere between 50,000 to 60,000 of the 100,000 engineers that India's technical institutes and engineering colleges produce each year are US-bound. The growing skills' divide in India's work-force has serious social consequences. At the most, 100 million Indians, or one-tenth of the population, stand to benefit from the technology revolution in the short term. . The greatest loss to India’s future is that the brains continue to go offshore. For years, many ambitious Indian professionals went to the West to build careers. Those who stayed home got only a fraction of what their compatriots earned in the worlds financial and technology centres.
Retain our talents:
Now, soaring local salaries reflect a growing shortage of skilled workers at home, just as Indian companies are emerging as global players in the new economy. Business executives now worry that to sustain India's booming young software industry; the country must retain more of its high-tech whizkids and lure back tens of thousands of talented expatriates.
Reverse brain drain:
”Reverse brain drain” should be promoted to attract some of the brightest and talented children of India and ensure their return to their motherland. Overseas Indians should engage more actively in India’s development.
Causes for Brain-drain:
The reason that you get paid well in the US or any foreign country is because of a better investment climate over there and because the goverment is responsive of citizen needs. However, the reason that the government works in the US is solely because of the social and political activism shown by the Americans to get their governments to do the right thing. If all right-thinking americans would have left US for better prospects to some other country then you would never have had the chance to earn the dollar salary you do now. And the reason that we don’t get good prospects in India is because many people like us, instead of trying to improve the government functioning and doing their bit to create a better society, chose to prioritize their personal interests over their responsibility to the society they belong to. Nothing wrong with that, everyone has the right to do pursue their personal interests, but we shouldn’t rant what the government did for us , because essentially we are equally responsible for the government not functioning right and are responsible for brain drain.
America’s Brain-Drain: Advantage India:
With India catching up fast on technology, non-resident Indians are realizing that the action lies back home. As the American dream fades in the long queues for the elusive visa, Indian companies are camping on American soil to bring their professionals back. America is losing out on intellectual resources to countries like India and China as the immigration debate rages in the US. Snags in the immigration process have left 5 lakh immigrants waiting for green cards, putting their families and children through inconvenience as well. A study on the reverse brain drain bemoans the fact that the US trained thousands of workers who came on temporary visas, but are unable to retain them.
Moreover, as more American employees face retirement, and fewer of their citizens acquire professional degrees, the super power’s talent pool is beginning to shrink. The US has benefited immensely from foreign-born professionals, owing half of the start-ups in Silicon Valley between 1995 and 2005 to them, and Indians have contributed largely to America’s patent portfolio. As the immigration backlog mounts, the frustration amongst NRI’S in the US is forcing them to turn back home. India’s booming economy, with a choice of jobs from global companies is no less responsible for the reverse brain drain the US is facing.
India booming:
Opportunities for NRIs in the US are also coming from their own employers who are setting up research centers in India. With a vibrant economy welcoming them home, a section of NRIs are too eager to give up the life of a helpless immigrant and restore their first citizenship status.

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