Brian Drain refers the situation when highly qualified and trained people leave a country to permanently settle in some other country. It is also referred to as Human capital flight.
The problem of Brain-drain, in our age, has become very elusive. The developing countries like India are desperately in need of talents, especially in the field of science and technology but for one reason or the other the talents and fleeing their countries, leaving their native lands impoverished in the process. Thus it is an extremely serious problem, for on the solution of it depends upon the destiny of the poorer countries. India can be taken as an instance in point. After independence this country is engaged in difficult struggle against poverty.
But struggles cannot be launched in papers; they require armies of trained personnel – the scientists, technical knowhow and specialists in the field of planned development. If, instead of contributing to the prosperity of India, the Indian scientists, research scholars, engineers, doctors and economists immigrate to other countries, it is difficult to see how India can implement her development plans and attain her goal of prosperity.
In ancient times the scholars of one country visited neighboring countries, and they often stayed there for years, both learning and teaching. The great scholars of China and Persia and other scholars from the West visited India during her prosperous days in the past and wrote memoirs which are precious materials for Indian history. But these were not considered brain drain then. For when Hiuen Tsang came to India or Shilbhadra visited Tibet, staying there for many years, their absence from their own countries did not make much difference. On the contrary, their experiences and wisdom gained from their visits enriched their countries. Such exchanges benefited the countries in those days and built a bridge of understanding and amity when communication between even the neighbours was not easy.
In the under-developed countries like India, the ambitious and highly educated people found it very difficult to climb the peak, for the obstacles were many and the bureaucratic bungling was irritating. Hence, the alarming exodus started in the fifties and in the seventies the brain-drain appeared to be complete. Hundred of talents emigrated to the U.S.A. and Europe which assured them of great opportunities for getting to the top, of secure and comfortable living, of satisfaction and of glory in their respective fields. If the emigrants could have all those assurances they would not think of fleeing their country.
But the problem is that a developing country like India could hardly afford to accommodate so many ambitious people, nor could the scope be made broad enough to secure affluence for all. Some of them, after training and experiences in foreign countries, return home with individual drams and when they fail to fit in with the evolving patterns at home, despair drives them away again.
But India needs these professionally trained people, so they should be persuaded to stay in India and be content with less lucrative jobs. When India is rich enough to reward them, they would not find much to complain about. All these people are among the fortunate few, enjoying the privilege of education, while some eighty percent of Indians languish in dark hovels – poor, ignorant and superstitious. It is they duty and responsibility of those privileged few to take them out of the morass, instead of jointing the mad rush for careerism. There may be many obstacles in their way, but their dedicated services and patriotic zeal will help them rise above them and restore to India her lost glory.