Brain drain starts at the student level. And once ensconced in comfort in a developed country, the Indian looks to return with investments. But callous attitudes back home scare him away. Let’s think about it, says Sudhir Shah

Lopa Jhaveri was aspiring to become a Doctor. In the 12th and the most crucial year of her education, she studied for 14 to 15 hours every day. Her intelligence coupled with hard work rewarded her and she secured more than 90% marks in her exams. Yet she fell short of 4 marks to enable her to obtain admission into a medical college. Dejected and disappointed she opted for B.Sc. Course. Whilst pursuing it she also learnt computers. After three years she applied for and obtained admission in a university in US to study computer science. There due to her excellent academic career she was awarded scholarships to pay for her tuition fees as well as lodging and boarding expenses. Today she is employed in USA at a salary which very few Indian employees can dream of even at the time of their retirement. She now has her own house, a luxurious car and all other accessories of necessary and comfort. She has a desire to return to India after few years and start an Institute for women.

To his father, Venkateshwaran Doraiswami Iyer was a boy good for nothing. Venkateshwaran somehow secured admission in a relatively unknown University in USA. He persuaded his father to finance his studies for the first year. He was confident that once in USA he would be in a position to earn for himself. Today, after four years in USA, Venkateshwaran has not only returned the initial amount which his father had spent for sending him to USA but he is owning a duplex apartment, has got married to a beautiful Korean girl who was his co-student and is considered to be well settled in life. Even by his father! Venkateshwaran has plans to return after few years to India to establish business.

Mahek had managed to pass his ICSCE Exams at the second attempt but was very clever with machines. He was sent by his father for further studies to USA. Today after 10 years Mahek is the owner of a huge factory employing more than 50 people. He is now planning to invest few million dollars and start a factory in India.

Meenaxi was interested in western music. After finishing her school, she went to Melbourne. Now, six years later, married to an Australian, she teaches music in an institution in Australia. They have plants to start a music school in India.

Kalpa was in advertising business. Working Solo she had few clients. She applied for permanent residence in Canada to better her prospects, was selected, went to Toronto and settled down there. She still works there independently and handles advertising campaigns of few multinational companies there. Kalpa is planning to return to India and start her own Ad Agency to implement what she has learnt in Canada.

This and other real life stories reveal that despite prospering and enjoying excellent life style in advanced countries, Indians have attachment for their motherland and want to return to India. However once they are back they find that they have committed the greatest mistake of their life. As soon as they land at the Indian Air-port their agony begins. The Indian bureaucracy, behaviour of the Income Tax, Sales Tax, Excise, Municipal and other Government Officers, delays in the Government Departments, avoidable difficulties which pop up at each and every stage of establishing a business in India and lack of implementation of the policies announced by the Government makes their patriotic spirits evaporate very quickly. Despite their earnest affinity towards their country they are forced to once again migrate to the advanced countries.

Immigration Laws of USA and other western and advanced countries are made stringent day by day. More and more restrictions are imposed every day making it difficult for people from third world countries to migrate to the advanced countries. However, you open any newspaper today and you will find there several advertisements of foreign universities inviting Indian students to study in their countries. They offer education of international standard. Provide facilities which are not found in any of the Indian Universities. Have a serene ambience which cannot be dreamed of in the densely populated metropolitan cities of India. They offer a dream world to the Indian students to achieve their ambitions. Once there the brilliant Indian students are given lucrative job offers on campus even before they graduate and to tempt them, several incentives including advance bonus in the form of tuition fees, rent free apartment, car and holidays in Europe are offered. These students later on are allowed to acquire permanent residence.

Advanced countries want young intelligent, educated and hard working people who would contribute to their advancement and make them more and more advanced and prosperous. Young, intelligent and hard working students are therefore not only invited to these advanced countries but are offered tempting opportunities. The curb is only for family migration and migration through marriage from third world countries since those people do not effectively contribute in the improvement of their nation and its wealth.

Despite the conditions in our country which had forced our intelligentsia to go to the advanced countries and despite the advanced countries offering excellent opportunities to them our educated youngersters have a desire to return to India and give back to their country and its people what they have learnt and acquired in advanced countries. The conditions here however make them hesitant to do so.

Indian Government should realize this. When Indian students qualified from abroad return to India they should be encouraged and assisted by the Government to establish in India. It should be remembered that they have left a life of prosperrity, abundance and opportunity for the love of their motherland. Special facilities and incentives should be provided to them rather than discouraging and scaring them away by bureaucracy. If this is not done brain drain from India will continue and a day may come when we will find that all our intellectuals have permanently settled abroad.