Towards Greener Pastures

Posted on September 6, 2010 in Society

By Shashank Saurav:

Brain Drain is a malaise which has been affecting India through the decades. If you are talented and haven’t been able to utilize the opportunities offered, you will most likely end up becoming a victim of Brain Drain. It is basically a term that refers to the situation when a large proportion of the population of a nation starts migrating to other countries in search of a better life or in India’s case — for better job opportunities.

Most of the developing (with the exception of China) countries and almost all underdeveloped countries face this perennial problem. For the South Asian nations it is the western world which is attractive and holds plenty of opportunities. For the eastern European countries it is their western counterparts who hold all the cards to fame and success. In general it is the developed nations like USA, England, Germany etc. who attract a majority of the migrating population. However the African nations are stuck in the middle. They do not have the finances or the resources to initiate the country’s development and prosperity. Plus most of the citizens are so poor that they can hardly make a living forget about traveling overseas. In this way not only are they unable to contribute to the country’s economy but also keep adding to the already burgeoning population.

The very same tribulations exist in India as well. Any economics textbook has a detailed analysis of these. What I will be dealing with is the reason behind this gradual attrition in Indian companies. What is the middle class mentality that leads to brain drain? As a college student I have observed that most of my companions contemplate over the idea of studying abroad. Whether it be MBA, MS or PHD, most of the students want to pursue these from reputed foreign universities. The only hurdle involved is the cost of studying abroad.

If we delve deeper, there are manifold reasons behind this upsurge. Be it better facilities, more productive output or lucrative job/investment opportunities, all basically lead to the same destination – a life full of luxuries and basic comforts which is denied in the present state. Some desire money, some seek new challenges and some want to escape from the clutches of culture, moral values and traditions. Then there are some particular problems in India which force youngsters to arrive at this decision.

Many of us scoff and express disgust at the political system in our country. We carp about the politicians and the bureaucrats, without thinking about the pressures they face. No one wants to take responsibility, everyone simply wants to point fingers at the culprit. This is another factor that has deterred individuals from thinking big and helping the nation.

Besides recurring problems like unemployment, population explosion, increasing crime rates and reservation in elite institutions have played their parts as well. All these factors have contributed to brain drain as well as preference given to foreign institutes over their Indian counterparts for higher degrees.

Before winding up I’d just like to discuss the details of a recent amendment introduced in the granting of H1B visas by the US government. In order to garner more funds for the military base on the US-Mexico border, the Senate house passed a bill which raised the overall cost of this visa. Now all the Indian companies who send their employees to USA, have to bear this additional expense if they want to continue growing abroad. All these companies tried protesting against this unfair law to no avail. However as I see it, its beneficial for our country. If many of these engineers and managers are forced to stay in India because of the huge expenses involved in their transfer, that will help in boosting India’s economy. Hence although it will hamper the profits of the MNC’s, India will benefit from this decision in the long run.

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