Brain drain refers to the migration of skilled & educated workforce to developed countries in search of better job opportunities & higher quality of living standard. This is a major concern for developing countries like India. This concept emerged in the 1960s when emigration became more prevalent. It's a burning topic for discussion in the present world. In recent years, the trends of cut off lists for admissions in top colleges almost touches 100 per cent. Those who couldn't get admissions are disappointed and search for other avenues. In this blind search, they are able to get admissions in some good universities abroad, which serves as a substitute to them & thus, India is unable to hold back its youth. Students going abroad for higher studies has increased by 256% in the last ten years, according to a study by IIM-Bangalore. USA is the most preferred destination, followed by the UK.

Types of Brain Drain

Brain Drain can be of 2 types:

  1. External Brain Drain: This occurs when human resources leave their home country to work overseas in developed nations or in neighbouring countries. This can be further classified into two types i.e. Primary External Brain Drain and Secondary External Brain Drain.

  2. Internal Brain Drain: When human resources don't get jobs in their fields of expertise or people move from public to private sector, internal brain drain occurs.

Factors responsible for it

Higher Education, good employment opportunities & favourable migration policies are some of the factors which cater more & more individuals abroad. An ambition for improved career & becoming self-reliant also lures young minds. Lack of practical gains in education, poor infrastructure, corruption & political instabilities are some of the push & pull factors for emigration.

With the growing demand for Science & Engineering professionals, India is acting as a major supplier of human assets to the rest of the world.

Implications of Brain Drain

The money spent by India in training its youth goes in vain as the youth flees to advanced economies. The emigration of a large number of doctors leads to less density of doctors in rural areas. Most of the people who went abroad for studies settle there after seeing the affluent lives of foreign countries. Surely, youth plays a vital role in making India a global power but this would happen if steps to attract back the Indian youth to their homeland are taken.

Benefits of Brain Drain / Brain Gain

The NRI remittances & investments form a major portion of India's forex reserves. Youngsters, who return back acquire great skills which then helps India.

Still, this is a matter of concern as even after providing education at reasonable prices, India fails in attracting the best brains.

It costs India over Rs. 95000 crores per year due to the emigration of youth, according to a report published by ASSOCHAM.

The government had taken many steps to tackle it. The medical students going to the US for higher education will have to sign a bond with the government, promising to come back to India after finishing their studies from 2015 onwards. If not, the ministry can write to the US and the permission for the student to practice in the country will be restricted. With better economic policies, there is hope for India to bring & hold it's youth back.