Image by H. B. from Pixabay 

The issue of brain drain is a matter that most Indians will resonate with. So many Indians are of the notion that lucrative job offers are only available abroad. After enduring the load of Indian education, they choose to work overseas with a certainty of earning good and having myriad choices at their disposal. And what is interesting is that the people of India, or maybe of any other country, find it better to invest their skills abroad rather than practicing it in their own country, for the growth of their own nation. But then again, it is not really the citizens. It is also the developing state of the country that is struggling to meet the wants of its residents, their demands of a better standard of living, high-paying jobs and advanced technology.


Brain drain is an informal connotation denoting a significant number of emigration from one’s own country to other countries. Officially known as Human Capital flight, it is a phenomenon that occurs as a result of many factors like political instability, shortage of job opportunities, higher salaries, family reunion etc. And with this, we lose a substantial number of skilled and learned labor to stronger economies. According to sources, the term ‘brain drain’ was first stated by the Royal Society of London to point out the emigration of scientists and technologists to North America from post-war Europe. It is also believed that it was first used by the United Kingdom to describe the influx of Indian scientists and engineers.

Reasons and Repercussions:

The young generation of our nation does not consider India as a good provider of facilities, therefore many of them move in search of opportunities to greener pastures. The Prime Minister’s Make In India initiative launched in 2014, was also not explored much. Some reasons or push factors that triggered migration to other countries could be hatred towards the corrupt system that prevailed, unjust reservation policies or maybe settling abroad becoming the trend of the time. On the other hand, alluring chances of living a better life with deserving wages, medical, educational, housing benefits and the assurance of economic and social stability pose as possible pull factors.

Such push and pull factors of brain drain regulate the migration process and the effects are manifold. Its main impact is on the country’s economy that may suffer fiscal losses or occupational distortions detrimental to the development potential of the home country. Moreover, there comes the dearth of manpower as a large population of health workers, engineers, scientists etc shift abroad undermining their country’s abilities. Then, there exists a technological gap between the developed and developing countries and a loss of future entrepreneurs to bridge growth.

However, the argument gets reversed with the positive outcomes that cannot be missed. Brain drain serves as a strong incentive for initiating opportunities and to undertake the re-establishment of resources for maximization of social welfare. Countries strive to improvise on their educational, occupational and financial sectors. There are employment vacancies in their own country. Also, remittances by highly skilled laborers replenish the stock of human capital that may have been depleted in the home country. Brain drain becomes a reason to instigate a country to work towards improving its construct, an excuse to accelerate development.


In recent times, the ‘brain drain’ system is flipping to the return of the highly skilled migrants back to their home country, the reversal of brain drain- something called Brain gain.

Brain gain is the opposite. It is the immigration of professional workers into a country with the added experience of working which means a boost of growth and innovation. And many developing countries started training programs and scope updates including India, in the 21st century, when health workers were shifting abroad. India’s health care system has been highly unequal between the rural and urban areas. So in the year 2017, India came up with a training scheme on the implementation of health management to reduce worker emigration while Kerala state encouraged people to stay for better post-graduate opportunities.

Presently, India is seen gradually transforming its brain drain to a brain gain. Education and exposure are two key domains the country is working on, to bring about a change. What the millennials are seeking for is knowledge applied out of the books, out of the four walls, coming up with something out of the box. That explains the growing importance given to extra curriculum and artistic departments in many places. Colleges and universities are redefining their curriculum to achieve holistic development. Moreover, Indian scholars are gradually flying back to try their teaching experience in Indian institutes. Nation-wide startups are being encouraged to lessen the percentage of the unemployed. From health care to traveling allowances to housing needs and other provisions, the government now focuses on social developmental programs for maximizing individual well-being.

India sure has come a long way with its developing phases, and it continues to steer ahead. As the professional landscape is expanding, Indians overseas are recognizing the importance and opportunities that await them in their home country. The government has been eager to support and promote this. Even though the brain drain is reducing, with a slow transition into a brain gain, the certainty of a complete brain gain cannot be considered. However, an optimistic idea of brain gain in India can be predicted- if not now, then maybe in the coming future.

Let our land not be left in vain,
Leave not in greed for better terrain,
Instead, put to test your brain
And pave your own Nation's lane.

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