Brain Drain

The story of human migrations is as old and interesting as the story of man. Even in the pre-historic days our ancestors moved from one place to another in search of “fresh woods and pastures new”. In the 20th century, the pace of human migrations has enormously increased as a result of modern means of transportation and communication, and large number of people, both skilled and unskilled, traveled and un traveled, are eager to migrate from under-developed countries to the developed ones in search of new avenues for employment and also to enjoy new-found pleasures of the “promised lands”, making this phenomenon assume alarming proportions, threatening to shake the very genetic foundations of the third world countries. In 1907 alone, 1.3 million people migrated to the US and every year this is repeated and most of them settle down there.
The emigrants, as a rule, are the most gifted and talented people, the cream of a population. They are adventurous, risk-taking, industrious and intelligent. The Asian immigrants to the US are professionals and degree-holders. So immigration is frequently an uneven transaction. “When a scientist from India or a professor from Guatemala or a physician from Philippines moves to the U.S., America’s gain is the native land’s loss. Since few American professionals settle elsewhere in the world, the redistribution of talent serves only to widen the gap between the land of plenty and the lands of poverty. Worse still, the cycle tends to perpetuate itself; as more and more people leave their native country for the U.S., more are likely to leave to join relatives or cash in connections or simply follow examples” (TIME, 9th July, 1985). Thus migrations lead to brain-drain.
Critics often condemn brain drain as a financial loss. They bring out statistics in terms of money spent on training doctors, engineers, post-graduates and other professionals. For example, the Government of India spends Rs.2 lakhs on every I.I.T. graduate and one out of...