India: Reverse Brain Drain from America?

The Indian Ex-President Abdul Kalam was one of the many Indian scientists who stayed back and wanted this reverse brain drain. The media in the recent days has been playing a major role in bringing to light that not only is there reverse brain drain, but foreign students now want to study in Indian institutions.

Nita in her blog ‘My Writings’ tries to give a definite answer regarding why this is happening now after all these years, she also believes that this scenario wouldn’t have occurred if not for the US Immigration Control.

“It’s a pity though that India has to depend on America’s visa controls to get the benefits of these brains, instead of attracting them on merit. Also, many of those who will consider coming back will do it for the sake of being close to relatives, or maybe because of patriotic feelings…but how many will come back because India’s investment climate provides equal opportunity for all and ensures success based on the merit of their idea and nothing else? As I see it India has a long long way to go before it can inspire this kind of faith in would be entrepreneurs and I guess that is why America is up there because today in spite of the country trying hard to keep the brains out, they are falling over themselves to get in.”

While Nita leaves us to ponder, Curiouscat in his ‘Science and Engineering blog’ writes under the title “Brain Drain Benefits to the USA Less Than They Could Be” strongly believes that there is no turning back.

“I don’t think this result is going to decrease. And I believe the actual loss of scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs born in the USA for significant portions of their careers to other countries will increase dramatically over the next 25 years. I agree that it is in the interests of the USA to try and retain the ‘Brain Drain’ advantages it has been receiving.”

Times have changed since 1992 and Krishnakumar has reasons to show how. He talks about the change in trend, going abroad for a better living according to him is a thing of the past.

“I passed my engineering in '92, well into the era of software. It was almost a norm for one to prepare for his GRE, and get going to the USA for higher studies, en route to a job abroad and life as an NRI. Of course, those who did not make it always had somebody in Dubai or nearby, who could land them a decent job. I remember, in those days, the Times of India (Bombay) had a special edition for Jobs abroad, and guys would unfailingly pick up copies of the same week after week.”

“What really gives RIs(Resident Indians) like me the greatest joy is to see that all those guys who went abroad have gradually seen that today India is not such a bad place to work at all…. today with technology, one can effectively work from anywhere… and lets face it… there is no better country to bring up your children…”


  • As per estimates, By 2012, India could have an unemployed population anywhere in the range of 19 to 37 million, the largest share of which will be educated youth. By 2020, India is estimated to have a surplus working population of 45-50 million people.

    I would say, we need to best utilize the surplus working population both by increasing the domestic job opportunities as well as grabbing the global market demands.

    Interestingly, one reason for the currency getting strong is due to huge inflow of Foreign exchange to India, primarily due to high NRI remittances.

    Read : Global Migration Snapshot

    Ramesh Natarajan, Dubai
    Global Indian

  • what are the disadvantages of reverse brain drain in India………??

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