BRAIN DRAIN- The trouble with the developing nations        

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By : Bhat Mukhtar

Currently the ‘Brain Drain’ is a serious challenge in the developing countries in general and India in particular. Brain drain is a popular concept in the modern international neoliberal economy and refers to the phenomenon of skilled workers emigrating from one country to another in search of better career opportunity. Examples include doctors leaving sub-Saharan Africa and tech-professionals leaving South and East Asia. It is a situation when highly qualified and trained people leave their respective countries to permanently settle down in some other country.

Also referred to as ‘Human capital Flight’, it is a global phenomenon that was triggered sometime around the beginning of globalisation when ideas, opinions, skills in the form of labour started being exchanged between nations. The term emerged in 1960s when the skilled workforce started immigrating from the poor or developing countries to the first world countries in search of better job opportunities. This is primarily due to the fact that developing countries like India have failed utterly in providing the right kind of opportunities to talent.

This, in turn, is leading to a great loss of national wealth. In the past few decades, a lot of Indian professionals too migrated to other countries. The studies show that Indians are one of the most hard working, dedicated and sincere workers. That is why various countries and companies readily take Indians for various roles. The developed countries provide facilities, packages; scholarships etc. to the foreign professionals which are too alluring and are far better than what their countries could ever offer.

While this is the case of young students, professionals and highly skilled labour, the academically well qualified people also prefer going abroad for a higher studies and researches and find themselves in reputed institutions that facilitate their researches and in return accumulate the knowledge wealth themselves.

Some of the recent studies have shown that as many as 12% of the scientists and 40% of the doctors in the United States are basically Indians who are highly reputed and are living luxurious lives apart from the institutional care that is offered to them for their expertise in their respective fields. The government of India, realizing the tedious and long lasting impacts of brain drain, is putting the best foot forward to atleast minimize the phenomenon if not to curb the trend in its entirety. There is a lot that needs to be done as the flow cannot stop until the government of the day doesn’t realize that it has to create an ambience for such brains to stay home and contribute, by virtue of their talents, to the overall betterment of the society. All the best brains that are finding more takers in the developed nations, must not be lost just because we have a structural problem in our country and that we have failed to create conducive atmosphere for them to stay back and make life better for their people.

The writer is a research scholar at Kashmir University, Department of Political Science.

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