Project 3 – M K Rajan

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In 1998, 30% of the Graduates from IITs’ went to the US. 80 % of the Computer Science Graduates were part of this. 33 % of the Computer Technicians in Silicon Valley are of Indian descent. 45% of US high-tech visas go to Indians.

TM of the day, fellow TMs & respected guests, a very good evng.

Leaders form most developing countries like China, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore and South Africa are protesting against such outflow of talents called Brain Drain. They complain that Developed Countries are luring their Educated and Skilled manpower and depriving them of Intellectuals. One Indian expert says that these people are being treated as Cheap Cyber-Coolies. UN proposes to charge an exit fee equal to 2 months’ salary for each worker.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the question here is, is it right for the rich countries to lure the brightest brains from poorer countries?
Is this Brain Drain all that bad?

Not at all, says Harvard professor Anna Lee. This is a method of knowledge circulation that benefits every one. Thousands of people from developing countries are able to get higher salaries, higher level of education, acquire technical know-how and expertise, develop entrepreneurship skills and establish business connections etc, often not available back home.

It is estimated that Chinese expatriates earn a staggering $700 bn annually. 70% of their Foreign Direct Investment in 1999 came from Chinese abroad. Chinese students presently make the largest block in US Graduate programmes followed by Indians.

People of Indian or Chinese Origin ran 3000 new ventures In Silicon Valley, in 1990’s. Thousands of business ventures were set up in India with the expertise and financial back up of NRIs’ and returned expatriates.

Philippine govt. with the help of expatriate community builds hospitals, Schools and other basic amenities in villages. South Africa is following suit. Thailand has a Reverse Brain Drain programme with $50 m budget to help returning expatriates.

Taiwan has set up it’s own Silicon Valley clone, The Hsinchu Industrial Park where 50 % of entrepreneurs are Silicon Valley returnees. Foreign universities have educated and trained more Taiwanese than home institutions since the Second World War.

These are classic examples of the advantages of Circulation of Knowledge, Flow Of Talents or Brain Drain whatever you call it. As the pros heavily outweigh the cons, this outflow of talents should be considered as a necessary evil in this age of Globalisation and IT and I believe that we should encourage and call it as Brain Gain.

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