Gravitas Plus: The Great Indian Brain Drain

Indian-born CEOs are dominating the world. But, how does their success help India? Are they building brand India or do they represent lost Indian talent? On Gravitas Plus, Palki Sharma gets you the story of the Great Indian Brain Drain.

A few weeks back an indian-born techie replaced jack dorsey as a ceo of twitter around the same time an indian-born economist was promoted as the first deputy managing director of the imf they’ve both added their names to a growing list of indians serving at the very top of prominent global organizations many indians celebrated their achievements many others

Debated them how does the success help india do these individuals build bran india or do they represent lost indian talent let me show you some figures since 2016 six lakh indians have given up their citizenship since 2014 23 000 millionaires have left india in fact india ranks number one when it comes to the migration of the rich and the educated it accounts

For a cosmic 65 percent of the global share way ahead of china and the philippines for the second most populous country in the world exporting talent something that it has in abundance should not really be such a big deal after all vasudev couldn’t become the world is one family has been an ancient tenet of indian philosophy and yet we must ask is this limiting

The innovative capacity of india is it hurting our economic growth hello and welcome to gravitas plus ampal ki sharma padhyaya in the 1970’s long before globalization became common currency brain drain used to be the buzz word in india what is brain drain the loss of human capital an expression that refers to the flight of skilled labor from developing countries

To the developed world why does this happen mostly due to conflict political instability lack of opportunity or health concerns the converse is called brain gain which simply means large-scale immigration of skilled labor for decades the west has benefited from brain gain during the 1970s many young indians graduated from elite and subsidized public institutions

Only to find that jobs in india were not really financially attractive so they started leaving the country to make the most of their degrees and skills to get better rewards for their effort and talent and unlike short-term contract workers to gulf nations most of these indians never returned they ended up as prominent bankers entrepreneurs innovators and scholars

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Abroad this was at a time when india needed such professionals the most it was still a poor post-colonial country and the exodus of its best and brightest is said to have diminished india’s growth prospects the economic liberalization of 1991 changed things higher education institutions cropped up as did several multinational companies foreign investments began

Flowing in as did long departed indians some even say that the economic bonanza of the 1990s was largely due to this return of the indian diaspora indians who had left india came back along with capital information ideas and networks and all of this powered the economic boom but the trend lasted only for a few years the figures tell you the story in 1997 million

Indians were living and working outside india as of 2017 the figure has risen to 17 million what does this tell you that india’s problem of brain drain still persists according to one estimate more than half of the first rankers in class 10th and 12th board exams between 1996 and 2015 migrated abroad they’re still employed overseas mostly in the united states the

Best and the brightest of indian minds living in and working for another country this is brain drain 2.0 what explains this an easy answer could be money they say brains go where the money is others say brains go where brains are brains go where they’re valued and that is not to say that money does not play a role it does look at wages in the context of purchasing

Power parity compare the average wage in america versus that in india in academics you won six times in america compared to what you earn in india in the i.t sector more than double in management more than three times so clearly money is a factor then you have education quality of life social security gender equality health benefits a whole lot of things if you

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Talk about education india has come a long way it has ensured that almost every child goes to primary school and that’s no mean feat but higher education is still a challenge we have some stellar institutions like the iits and the ims but none of them appear in the list of top global universities a lot of good colleges in india also have skyrocketing cut-offs so

Students leave to study abroad to land better paying jobs and these are expensive degrees but they attract hundreds of thousands of indian students then we have social security and quality of life better roads hospitals schools take canada for instance in 2016 the number of indians who became permanent residents of canada was 39 000. in 2019 that figure jumped to

Over 80 000 that’s an increase of more than 105 percent next comes gender equality a neglected dimension of brain drain in 2021 the gender gap in india widened to 62.5 percent there aren’t enough women in technical and leadership roles and this stems from gender disparities in education labor force participation and income levels the entire system you could see

And this makes a lot of highly skilled women shift abroad with no intention to return a lot of young people also go because they want to experience life outside india they want to see the world many of them get used to what they see and experience and don’t return many others return because they don’t feel at home or just the bother of tracking changing visa rules

Is too much for them for a lot of people the tag of being an nri is a badge of honor call it a colonial hangover call it the gift of bollywood and their portrayal of nris for many indians the idea of living abroad is glamorous so there is no one reason for leaving and not returning or for leaving and returning and we may disagree with many of these reasons for

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Leaving india but that will not change the fact that people are leaving and at what cost we end up contributing more to our host country than to our home country a lot of skilled indian immigrants got subsidized education they went to schools and colleges with more than 90 subsidy who benefits from this subsidy other countries not india according to the associated

Chambers of commerce and industry indian students studying abroad cost india as much as 17 billion dollars a year in lost revenues when they leave india they’re in the most productive phase of their lives by the time they return that is assuming that they do return they’re often a spent force with ideas and skills that are no longer required now this apparently

Leads to reduced economic growth limited innovative capacities of the nation and lack of skilled manpower i have some more figures to show you according to the us national center for biotechnology information ncbi india is the world’s biggest exporter of doctors and this is a disturbing statistic there is one indian doctor in the u.s for every 1325 americans but

There’s one indian doctor in india for more than 2400 indians india is losing its doctors engineers and entrepreneurs to other countries it’s losing much of its skilled human capital to other countries there is an urgent need to understand what is driving this trend and reverse it why is it that rich families with roaring businesses want to acquire investor green

Cards why does an ita employee pray night and day to earn that h-1b visa why does an indian student want to go abroad directly after school why do indian-born innovators disassociate themselves from their birthplace these are uncomfortable yet important questions questions that we need to address as a country questions that we need to answer on all levels if you

Want to end the great indian brain drain if you want to stop non-residential indians from becoming non-returning indians

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