Brain Drain: Why are Indians Rushing Abroad Again?


As you know, Twitter has a new CEO in Parag Agrawal. In India this news was widely celebrated and it soon became a meme festival as well. As if ache din had finally come at last.

But actually it points to a bitter truth: brain drain. Did you know that 6 lakh Indians have given up citizenship since 2017? In fact, 1.11 lakh Indians have left in 2021 alone.

Why does brain drain persist? What is the negative impact of brain drain and how can it be stopped?

One thing is clear… they are leaving for far greater opportunities than here… to be company heads, politicians, astronauts, etc.

According to global wealth migration review, 7000 ultra rich Indians left the country in 2019. We are only behind China in this case. 5000 Indians left in 2020 despite pandemic restrictions.

These people could paid taxes here, have given job opportunities to many had they stayed. Now they’ll be paying taxes to a foreign nation. So whether or not black money returned is unclear… But talented individuals are leaving the country every year, unfortunately.

What is attracting their attention abroad?

According to CS Global partners, some countries give nationality in return for large investments. So, ultra rich people use this opportunity fairly well.

Secondly, we may have well known institutions like IIT and IIM but none of them feature in the top 100 in the world rankings. Besides, students are always ready to go abroad for higher education for greater diversity of opportunities and to settle down there later on.

Does the system in our country have the capacity to bring these individuals back? Here, Instead, over 1 crore aspirants are waiting 3 years for exam schedule of group D railway. So what will the youth do if we do not value their time?

Last and not least… wage gap is also one of the causes of brain drain. Skilled labour is valued more abroad. For example: Average wage of a person in the US is more than 6 times of their Indian counterpart in Academia.

What can be done to stop brain drain?

After liberalization, reverse brain drain began as NRIs returned to India in big numbers. Another reason for return was the dot com bubble burst. However, the reverse brain drain continued even after the year 2000. Because at this time, Indian economy was booming faster than foreign economies. The Sensex was skyrocketing around this time, observing growth of 310%. The US equivalent had only grown by 62%.

The circumstances have changed, now. After demonetization and GST, the economy suffered another blow by the hands of corona. As foreign countries become more student and business friendly, brain drain is increasing.

To stop this, we must create friendly environments here to keep our students and businesses. More world class institutions and more business friendly norms should be set up. Special attention to sustainable development, keeping our air and rivers clean in the process. Brain drain can be reversed again if we rise above petty politics.

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