The concept of brain drain is of a recent one that has ever strongly emerged since the last few decades. The phrase brain drain refers to the increasing tendency of the young, energetic, capable and talented youth of a country to migrate to another country in search of their fortune ” rather better fortune. They forsake their motherland for they seek better opportunities in other countries. This has become a characteristic more of the intelligentsia of the nation”the doctors, engineers, scientists, M.B.As, C.As, lawyers and other professionals. Investment in education in a developing country may not lead to faster economic growth if a large number of its highly educated people leave the country.
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) estimates that India loses $2 billion a year because of the emigration of computer experts to the U.S. Indian students going abroad for their higher studies costs India a foreign exchange outflow of $10 billion annually. Our country is gradually being deprived of its intellectual capacity.
Brain drain is also regarded as an economic cost, since emigrants usually take with them the fraction of value of their training sponsored by the government. Our nation, if this continues, will be rendered intellectually impoverished and impotent. This, in turn, is leading to a great loss of National wealth. But, have we ever thought of the reasons behind such a great movement of brain outside the country?
Like always, we prefer to harp upon the problems rather than find a solution. Why does India, a great and domineering nation in Asia, have to face such a grave and serious problem? Why is our youth allured by the stranger meadows and horizons? Why do they prefer to work hard and be honest there, instead of here?The first answer to this problem is that we have.. no plans to return to India. The reasons arent hard to fathom: a handsomely paying job in a great professional environment. But, Bandyopadhya, isnt alone who has decided to stay back in the US.
In fact, he is just one among 94.8 percent of Indians who study abroad to earn doctorates in science, engineering, and health and dont return home according to a research study released in October 2012 by Wan-Ying Chang and Lynn M. Milan of the National Science Foundation. The study, if anything, is latest evidence that brain drain isnt stemming, something over which our policymakers must ponder on the occasion of National Science Day.
In 2010, India with an estimated stock of 11.4 million emigrants was only second to Mexico (11.9 million) as a source of immigrants, according to a research paper, Indian Human Resources Mobility: Brain drain versus Brain gain published in 2012. India and the Philippines supply most foreign-trained doctors and nurses to the English-speaking countries within The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Citing lack of growth opportunities in the country, Dr. Sudeshna Mitra, assistant professor at IIT Kharagpur points, It is true that a lot of improvement has been made at the infrastructure level over the past ten years but if we compare it with the developed countries of the world, it is still not up to the mark, hence it will be really difficult on our part to stop ambitious people leaving the country.
Brain-drain works both within and outside the country. Dr. Arvind Agrawal, professor at Department of Sociology, Central University of Himachal Pradesh, says, There are two kinds of brain drain going on in the country. The first is the internal and the second is the external. As far as the internal brain drain is concerned, it is mostly confined to the states. A state like Rajasthan which has to its credit a list of many good schools but lacks good English medium colleges, hence students after completing their school education move out to big cities and ultimately get settled there.
Both internal and external brain-drain point to lack of opportunities.
External brain drain is defined as one when students move out of the country for higher education and settle there permanently, further explains Dr. Agrawal.As per the Thomson Reuters Report 2012, Indias share in global research output is about 3.5 per cent. Indias largest global share of publications was in the field of Chemistry (6.5 percent) followed by Materials Science (6.4 percent), Agricultural Sciences (6.2 percent), Pharmacology & Toxicology (6.1 percent) while the relative share in the field of Physics and Engineering was 4.6 percent and 4.2 percent respectively. One of the most affected sectors is genetic engineering and biotechnology which copes with shortages of junior staff, as approximately 90 percent of post-graduates in this field go to the US after completion of their studies in India.
The quality of a nations higher education vests in the research and development, which in Indias case also is an area of concern and a major factor for brain drain. Concurring with the above, S. R. Ahlawat, professor at Department of Sociology, M.D University, says, We have not been able to provide the right kind of research environment in which the students can really contribute to enhance their knowledge.
India with 68,000 students in 2009 accounted for the largest number of foreign students in the area of Science and Engineering in United States, followed by China with 54 000 students according to the Indian Human Resources Mobility: Brain drain versus Brain gain research paper.
Developed countries provide good environment and easy accessibility to quality of life which provokes people to get settled there permanently, warns Ahlawat at M.D University.
Indian Universities have by and large failed to figure in the list of top 200 educational institutions of the world according to the QS World University
Rankings for 2012. The Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) rankings ” the most reputed global rankings of institutes for higher education had featured IIT-Bombay in 2010 which was ranked 187, but dropped to 227 in 2012.
Highlighting the solutions to overcome the scenario, Dr. Agrawal at Central University of Himachal Pradesh, says, Most of the state universities are run on political interference which acts as a hindrance in the growth of these institutions, hence it is a high time that there should be a semblance of order and growth and the prime focus should be to promote basic and fundamental research to save the quality.