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Saturday, August 18

The why of Brain Drain

Let me pick up this thread from my last post. I lamented there about the lack of higher education (PhD level) opportunities India. That is one of the reasons I am here. But make no mistake, majority of the Indian students who come to states every year, do not come here to get educated. That degree they get is just a stepping stone to this land of opportunities. In most cases, it is not even the oft repeated story of becoming used to things here and finding it difficult to return back. They made up their minds long before the passports were stamped and bags were packed.

Considering that the job market in India is booming like nothing before, markets are open and shops are full, why do people still leave? And for most of them, money is not in short supply, these are not the people who didn't get the opportunity or faced oppression. In fact most of them belong to the most privileged class of people. And I don't know what you thought when Haneef after everything that happened, asked the Australian PM for honorary citizenship to Australia.

I think Reality Check has a point.

Pardon me for the following statement, but there is a reason why Indians flock to Western (read "white mans") countries. Even after such alleged mistreatment, why must Haneef fight deportation? Why cant he just say, "To hell with you and your laws" - and return to India ?

I have asked this question to many NRI folks, the answers range from better environment, freedom, tastier fruits and thicker milk, to roads, to 911. I suspect the real answer is along the lines of , "Hey, we can let these white guys do all the nation building (or maintaining). We will let them deal with root issues maintaining the sanctity of the constitution, coming up with laws, the environment, and basic liberties. That would be cool because we can just focus on our jobs. All we have to do is follow a well codified set of rules. We get our promotions, our house, and cars. How easy is that ?"

The problem is apathy. I know so many around me who couldn't careless about the world around them and being an immigrant in another country affords you just that.


madhurt said...

A slightly different take is in this article (section on brain drain):

The article talks about IITs but the argument can be generalized. On another note, some of the people I know who are graduating now, are in fact going back to teach in the IITs (which makes me really proud). I feel they can now contribute much more than they would have by staying there.

Pulkit said...

Can't agree less . . .

I think the explanation in the article is an oversimplification.

someone - iitk said...

Friday, August 17
"I lamented there about the lack of higher education (PhD level) opportunities India. That is one of the reasons I am here."

Previously you wrote:
"Why have I come to USA?". There are some easy answers to the question, answers that I can pretend to be enough and behind which I can conveniently hide."


"And so if you ask me today why have I come to US, I have no answers."

So whats the point? You mean you found out the reason of going to US after you reached there !! Somewhat anti-causal ...

abhaya said...

I am flattered that somebody can still remmeber something I wrote a year ago. A point well raised. Here is an attempt to answer with an analogy.

Suppose you are eating vanilla icecream and you are asked:
1. Why are you eating icecream?
2. Why are you eating vanilla icecream?
and you say
1. I tossed a coin and it said, I should go out and eat icecream.
2. Because I like vanilla icecream and not strawberry.

are you being inconsistent?

That post was written in a very personal tone about the choices I am made in my life. I was not clear about doing a PhD but due to the situation of Education, option to do PhD comes with being in US for n number of years. I am lamenting here that I should have had the option of being in India and do a PhD.

abhaya said...

@Pulkit: I am all ears for any elaboration on what you said. Unfortunately, I was not receiving the emails about the comments, so didn't see it till today.

@madhurt: Thanks for the article but the problem, just like with my piece, is that it spends all the time spelling out the problems and 3 lines for suggesting a solution that too not concrete.