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(This article was written for Anna University Magazine, in 2007)
Literally speaking, brain drain is the draining of the brains. People who are educated here go in search of the Promised Land to earn their living. They leave their hometowns and go abroad. The main reason being, they get to earn more money and there are plenty of opportunities out there. Once they settle there and become accustomed and adapt themselves to the style of living there, they find it difficult to come back to their home town. So more and more people keep moving day by day, year by year.
Statistics reveal that almost 36% of NASA employess, 34% of IBM employees, 14% of scientists in America and 12% doctors in America are all Indians. The masterminds are at work everywhere, with the exception of their native land. I do not say that people in India are not in par with their counterparts all over the world, but that, when it comes to a global level, people always prefer those American scientists or doctors or any professionals of Indian origin when compared to the native citizens, the reason: India is still a developing country.
India too has been developing gradually in all aspects from its economics to sports and from businesses to the latest advances and nuances in technology. But it is to be noticed that India has been standing a bit too long in the line of developing countries. Yes, the fact remains that many developed countries take advantage over us. We still need America for nuclear weapons and we still need to import goods from other countries even for our basic amenities. Even today, we are a long way away from being an independent and a self-sustaining nation. Why? We do not have enough manpower to do all the work by ourselves. We need collaborations with other countries for manufacturing vehicles and computers and many electronic items.
India has been at the receiving end of brain drain crisis for a long time now. The People of today crave for more power and recognition which cannot be sought when they remain in some developing country. They yearn to go to the superpower countries to create an identity for themselves. Of course, Indians are well known for their hardworking temperament and with this they wish to climb the ladder of success with the rungs of opportunities. One can never be satisfied with money, the more we earn, the more we want and that’s just what one gets when they are in a good position with recognition. In today’s materialistic world money can do wonders, they say. “Money, Money, Money, it’s so very funny!” Once people have money and recognition, automatically, Respect will pursue. There is nothing in the world which can bring more happiness to a person than that of being looked upon or held with respect and dignity by the society one lives in. So, when people are held in high regard, without any doubt, their standard of living will be high. They definitely will have a better lifestyle and sometime people can be found swollen with pride. So then with all these, money, power, recognition and lifestyle people tend to be materialistic and are always in want of materialistic possessions. They are all interconnected.
As a result of brain drain, the progress of the nation is hampered. The best of the best, in all areas of enterprises shift to foreign nations and thereby they work to uplift that foreign country. So, when we think of it, we have come to the status of being regarded as a developing nation, with the help of the remaining few who may not be as bright as the ones who are abroad. That indeed is a great achievement. So if those best minds had worked here instead of moving out, India could have well reached the status of being a developed country or even a superpower. Not many people realize that, if they had given a thought about the nation and their motherland before leaving, they would indeed have made a difference. Another important effect of brain drain is the job requirements. Because of the non-availability of a good number of people for the assigned job, more people are either under-qualified or over-qualified when compared to the people have the required qualification. So this is can either help or hinder the growth of the nation.
But today, it has dawned at least on small percent of the millions on non-resident Indians that, money is not everything and that its just a means to live. They have realized that, money can earn them power, recognition and respect but not love and affection. They have realized the importance of spending time with family and value it much higher than all earthly and materialistic pleasures. This is the backbone of our culture and what it has preached. So now we can very well say that REVERSE BRAIN DRAIN is taking place now. After all these years people have realized that there is something much more worthwhile than money. Today it is common to see the non resident Indians, coming back to their motherland and setting up business establishments all over the country in a way of making a comeback. With their establishments they are able to provide employment to the unemployed and hence helping the country in a small way they can. People have also begun investing in India, indicating that India could soon emerge as a land of opportunities in the future, and it can be assured that if the same continues, India has a very bright future ahead of it. So let us work in earnest to make our dream, of India becoming a superpower, a reality tomorrow!