23 Jan 2006

Brain drain

Singapore harps so much about brain drain: referring to the people who ‘quit’ Singapore and migrate elsewhere as a loss to the nation’s collective intelligence.

And the media as well as the general public frowns on them and this unspoken stigma is attached to these people (out of genuine patriotism or a certain sense of jealousy I know not). I believe in many ways, even the PRs (permanent residents) who surrender their PR status are treated like outcasts in the immigration.

When I look at India, the brain drain of Singapore seems trivial. The Indian Institute of Technology produces arguably some of the worlds best engineers. And guess where these people go? Most of them make their living overseas, US, being the prime location.

And it is not just the IITs… The other top notch engineers from the other reputable colleges in the countries all seek their livelihood elsewhere. Sure, in a nation of a billion people (and growing larger every second) there are always people replacing these “lost souls” but still…

The dirty, dusty, polluted, corrupted social melieu has not helped. Once people get settled abroad it really is very much difficult or them to come back. They see it as a down grade. A fall to the abyss.

I can’t believe how crazy people are here about the US, especially. Everyone and anyone goes US. Its the logical, feasible, default location.

I wonder what will happen if one day US starts sending all these NRIs (Non-residential Indians) back. I know thats an hyperbole, but they are pissed about the outsourcing of American jobs to the Indians.. so it would be really hilarious if and when that happens…

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