Brain drain: Boon for developed countries, but bane for India - Brain drain has become a major concern of the developing countries, especially, India. The term, which emerged in1960s when the skilled workforce started emigrating from the poor countries to the rich countries in search of better job opportunities and living conditions, has become a hot topic of discussion over the years.
When the expatriates are going abroad in search of greener pastures, India has been losing its major skilled workforce that includes doctors, engineers, scientists and technicians. If we analyze the brain drain trends in India, we could find that there are many reasons why the country fails to hold back its talented youth. Check the reasons of brain drain to developed countries from below:
Brain Drain: Reason 1
Higher Education Scenario in India
In recent years, the cut-offs for admissions became close to 100% in the best Indian universities. While the institutes are in the race of getting the best students in the country, the ambitious youth who fail to meet the “irrational” demands had to compromise on their dream of occupying a seat in any of the prestigious Indian universities. This leads them to explore the scope of higher education abroad. Most of the students who try their luck in higher studies abroad get into good universities as they have an edge over the students from other countries in terms of skills and knowledge.
While this is the case of young students, the academically well qualified people prefer going abroad for higher research because they don’t get the best chances, resources and facilities for research in India.
A recent study conducted by Indian Institute of Management- Bangalore (IIM-B) shows that the students going for higher studies abroad has increased by 256% in the last 10 years. When 53,000 Indian students went abroad for higher studies in 2000, the figure shot up to 1.9 lakh in 2010.
The US is the most sought after destination for students, followed by the United Kingdom. There are many Indian students exploring study opportunities in countries like Australia, Germany and France as well.
Brain Drain - Country-wise data on the number of students going abroad for higher studies
Students going abroad (per year)
Republic of Korea
Source: UNESCO’s Report- Global Education Digest, 2009
A report by Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) pointed out that when a large number of students flocking to foreign universities, it costs India a whopping Rs. 95,000 crores per year.
The report further noted that there is a huge difference in the fees paid by students studying in the premier institutes in India as compared to students who study aboard. While an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) student has to pay an average fee of $150 per month, the fee paid by an Indian student studying abroad per month is anywhere between $1,500 and $4,000.
Still, it is a matter of concern that despite the highly subsidized rate of higher education, especially in engineering and management, India fails miserably in attracting the best brains.
Brain Drain: Reason 2
Better opportunities abroad
Most of the students prefer staying back in the host country due to better work opportunities and fat pay packages. After getting good global exposure and getting introduced to the high quality life and facilities, the students become reluctant to return to the home country.
These days, most of the developed countries act like organizations. When they fail to find good, talented and skilled workers in their country, they attract the highly skilled and qualified people from other countries. It’s very obvious that the skilled Indians prefer US Green Cards and EU Blue Cards over the not-so-attractive pay checks and average living conditions of a developing country like India.
Here, India is the loser and developed countries like the US and UK are gainers.
Brain Drain: Reason 3
Time for a reality check?
Over the years, India has become a major supplier of skilled and talented young people to the Western countries, particularly European Union. The major destinations for Indians in the EU in the beginning of the century were limited to the UK, Germany, Italy, Austria and Spain. But now, more and more Indians are immigrating to countries like Poland, France, Ireland and Sweden. A good number of these immigrants reach the host countries as students.
Comparison between first residence permits issued to Indians and total number of issues in EU in 2009 and 2010
Highly Skilled Workers
Other Economic Reasons
Source: Population Database – Eurostat
While 5,615 permits issued by the UK for Indians were for highly skilled workers, Italy issued 3,479 permits for Indian seasonal workers. These highly skilled migrants and seasonal workers become permanent residents of the host countries as the long term socio-economic benefits lure them.
Brain Drain: Reason 4
Wake up call for India
The increasing trend of brain drain of the skilled workers finally persuaded the government to take action. After witnessing a huge brain drain of doctors (among the 3,000 medical students went abroad in last three years, none returned), the health ministry has suspended issuing “no obligation to return certificates” to the medical students going abroad for higher studies.
Further, from 2015 onwards, the medical students going to the US for higher studies will have to sign a bond with the government, promising to return to India after completing his / her studies. If the student doesn’t fulfil the bond obligation, the ministry can write to the US and the permission for the student to practice in the country will be denied.
While India is putting the best foot forward to curb brain drain, there are signs of reverse brain drain where a few best brains are returning to India. With better economic policies and the human capital to execute them, there is still hope for India.
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Brain Drain Essay
One of the major concerns of today's companies is the shortage of labor, especially in management. The baby boomers are nearing retirement age in the United States and the birth rate is dropping. These circumstances, coupled with the booming economy are the main causes of the labor shortage. There is a high demand for labor but the once seemingly bottomless pool of employees and managers that companies drew from has started to dry up. What are the factors that contributed to the problem and how are today's corporations going to handle this problem?
The type of labor needed in today's society has been undergoing a constant change. There is an increase in demand for workers but there is a much greater demand for educated white-collar workers, especially management material. Projections state that the growth in managerial positions will increase 20% by the year 2010 yet the population aged 35-50 will decrease nearly 10%. What these figures say is the already diminishing supply of executives is going to dwindle even more over the next 10 years. There is a shortage of blue-collar workers now and there will also be an even greater shortage of them in the future. In order for employers to find people who are willing to perform unskilled, repetitive jobs they are going to have to be willing to raise the level of compensation offered to employees. If McDonalds needs someone to flip hamburgers they better be prepared to pay double to triple minimum wage. There are a wide variety of employment opportunities and today's workforce can afford to be selective when choosing a job. The demand for employees is high while the supply is low.
The figures on the change in average population ages and growth in industrialized nations is beginning to make the corporate world stand up and take notice. If the trends continue as they have been for the past thirty years, the shortage of labor is going to continually get worse with each year that passes. The predictions from the United States Census Bureau state that between 1990 and 2000 the increase of the American population over 60 will be 10.5% but in 2010 to 2020, the increase will be 32.5%. The change in the 60 plus population in the United States is projected to nearly triple in thirty years. Compare these figures to the increase in under sixty-year-old population. From 1990 to 2000, the increase in under sixty year olds will be 6.5% and it is projected to drop to 2.8% by 2010. If you look at the changes in the workplace you will see that the average age of an employee is steadily rising as the average age of retirement continues to drop. The projected increase in 55-64 year olds in the workforce from 1996 to 2006 is a staggering 54%. The projected change in the 25-34 year old bracket is -8.8%. These trends are not only true in the United States. Japan is also going to be coping with similar problems. Today the people over age 65 compose 16% of Japan's population, but by...
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