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Consequences of brain drain

by Vijay Garg
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On the one hand, questions have been raised regarding the level of higher education in India and on the other hand, students are going abroad in large numbers to study.  The American economy is getting billions of dollars through Indian students, which is affecting our economy.  Talent is not the reserve fund of a single country.  Each country has its own proficient people in their respective fields, such as scientists, technologists, scholars of literature or arts, painters, artists etc.  Such men and women with exceptional talent not only contribute to the progress and prosperity of their country, but also bring excellence in the field of their specialty.  It is not uncommon that some of these deserving persons are unable to find any satisfactory job in their own country or due to one reason or another they are unable to adjust to their environment.  Under such circumstances, these people migrate to other countries in search of better work or for more material facilities.  This exit has been termed as brain drain.
Today, the developing countries have been most affected by the loss of their skilled and talented people.  The main reason for this is that the benefits received in the form of wages and other facilities are less in developing countries.  In which India is also one.  Questions always arise regarding the standard of higher education in India.  Why are Indian universities not able to make it to the first hundred institutions in the international rating?  Why is there no original research work in top Indian institutions?  The issue of reservation in admission, being denied admission despite securing high marks, poor teacher-student ratio, political appointments of professors and vice-chancellors, etc. have spoiled the whole system.  How institutions of higher education have become factories of academic corruption and production of mediocre degree holders.  A big question has also been added to these questions that why such a large number of Indian students are going abroad?  Not only this, fees and education money are also flowing abroad with these students.
According to the latest report of the ‘Open Door’ organization, there has been a 25 percent increase in Indian students enrolling in American colleges in 2015-16.  He has contributed five billion rupees to the American economy.  Not only in the US, but in the last few years there has been a dramatic increase in students going to Europe and Australia as well.  Whereas in this period a large number of higher educational institutions and universities have opened in India.  After all, why do these students not want to study in higher educational institutions of the country?  Only those students are able to go abroad who do not have any shortage of money, even if it is in the form of black money?
Today India’s higher education system is considered one of the largest in the world.  By 2030, India will have more than fourteen million people of college going age and will be considered the youngest country in the world.  In the current situation, the challenge for India will be how to stop these potential students at home and make maximum use of their talents and abilities, so that they can cooperate in Make Up India.
The biggest reason for the brain drain is that it is easier to get a job with a foreign degree, especially an American degree.  The income level of middle class families has increased after economic liberalization and in their view there are limited opportunities in the Indian higher education system.  The standard of education is good in selected universities in India and admission there is becoming difficult due to limited seats.  Most of the students go out to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  Students’ dream of going abroad to study has become easier with the manifold government scholarships and grants.
Institutions like the Ministry of Human Resource Development and Assocham need to focus on how to stop this.  Brain drain is now definitely turning into a loss-making deal.  More institutes like IITs and IIMs need to be established to check the brain drain.  Foreign universities should be encouraged to open their campuses in India.  Tax concessions and incentives should be given for them so that the education level of our country is raised.  This will also check the drain of talent.  On the other hand, it is not appropriate to depend only on the government for higher education, but with the cooperation of industry and academia, new institutions should be established and their level should be raised.
Higher education fees should also be increased by the government because students who are ready to spend so much abroad can also spend at home for good education.  As far as the poor students are concerned, a guarantee system should be established for them like America where they can get cheap loans without the security of parents.  Government scholarships and grants given generously to study abroad can also be cut.  Brazil has done this now and after that there has been a decrease in the number of students going abroad.  But if we look at the constitutional perspective of the fundamental right of ‘Education for all, work for all’, then it would not be appropriate to hand over higher education directly to the private sector.  Today, there is a need to create an attractive option for the students going abroad in the country itself.  A radical overhaul is needed to improve the quality of education in most government institutions.  There is also a need for surgical strike on black money of education mafia.  They are licking the education system like termites.
A scientist or a doctor or a specialist in any other field of knowledge can also bear low wages and other difficulties if his qualifications are well recognized.  If his work is properly evaluated, he will not go abroad.  Well-resourced laboratories or libraries will prevent most of the national talent from leaving their homeland, no matter how much they get paid abroad.  An ambitious person goes abroad to earn more money because his own country imposes many legal and political restrictions in the way of fulfilling the desires of his mind.  On the other hand, there would be very few people from developed countries who would have left their country and went to developing countries.  The high standard of living of the developed countries has always attracted the people of the developing regions immensely and even talented people and experts could not save themselves from this entanglement.  As a result, most of the gifted people of developing countries began to feel happy in achieving this standard of living which is available even to an ordinary citizen of developed countries. Therefore, a plan should be made to provide such facility in the country itself.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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