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  • Writer's pictureDean Clark

The Implications of India's Brain Drain on its Future

An epidemic known as the Indian diaspora, or India’s brain drain, has been prevalent over the past decades. This idea is one of Indian people moving to other countries, mainly the United States, United Kingdom, or Canada, serves many purposes. To experience western culture, or get better opportunities, or even just to honor their family in a new country, but immigrating somewhere else has become quite prevalent among many Indians.

But what are the effects this is having? A growing unrest about the current Indian school system, especially those looking for higher education, means it is almost imperative that they move out of India to somewhere like the United States for education. In 2018 alone, more than 7.3 million students were studying abroad of about 250 million total students in government-run and private schools.

Again, for skilled workers, the reason to immigrate from India is for better economic and social safety nets. Having nations where welfare, or the most basic needs for education and health are taken care of for a modest price, is the pulling factor for most away from India. While the United States is largely immigrated to, Canada has quickly caught up due to their welfare system attracting many Indians in search of a skilled professional job.

Another topic of immigration has emerged recently, especially among the millennial generation. That being to leave India for mental freedoms from either the Caste System or certain rules that Indian society forces onto citizens. Even the digital boom from years past still trickles down to people moving from India today, meaning that for whatever reason, some believe it is best to leave India for somewhere else.

Initially, during the COVID-19 outbreak, many countries bunkered down and did not allow immigrants applying for citizenship for a while. Some countries closed their borders all together until the situation got better. However, some countries such as the U.S. allowed medical professionals or healthcare workers in, and a fair amount of Indian citizens took up the offer and did so.

Now, since the world situation has definitely deescalated, with the help of factors such as the COVID-19 vaccine, most countries are not prohibiting visitors or immigrants applying for citizenship. That being said, not everything is back to normal, and the Indian brain drain has died down a bit during this time.

However, looking ahead to the future, other nations can expect to see more and more immigrants from India trying to come in for either better education, a better economic/job opportunity, better social services like welfare, or even just for mental freedom societal pressures. In the past, there has been government action to try and stop the brain drain to a certain extent, but has not succeeded to the level that they would hope for.

While the government has brought a National Skill Development Mission, aiming to train 400 million Indian people, the brain drain is almost inevitable. Unless the government shuts down again, or makes a significant incentive to stay in India, more and more people will keep immigrating to the U.S. or Canada. Even just the idea of breaking free from one’s own country and moving to a different country compels many, meaning that the Brain Drain in India will become a Brain Gain for many other countries for years to come.

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