Dilemma of the Dollar Dreams

Himanshu Shekhar

India is trying hard to be a developed nation by 2020. The policy makers are busy in taking different measures to make it possible. They are making policies in the name of inclusive growth but there relevance vis-à-vis betterment of a common man is disputed. But, one thing is very clear, if government intends to see India in the club of developed nation then youth participation in system must be increased. By promoting some youths of different political families can’t be translated in larger youth participation.

A larger section of youths is of the view that they can’t get better opportunity here. So, they love to move to western countries. This phenomenon of ‘Brain Drain’ is taking place in almost every field. Engineers, Doctors and Management graduates are leading the chart. But, this approach of Indian Youth can’t be justified. In 1969 UNESCO defined brain drain as, ‘an abnormal form of scientific exchange between countries, characterised by a one- way flow in favour of the most highly developed countries’. Almost four decades later, the definition of brain drain has not changed at least in context of India.

The Indian government considers those as youth who are in the age group of 13 to 35 years. According to the Census of 2001, 41.05 % of the people are between the age group of 13 to 35. And this youth percentage is higher when compared to any other country’s youth population. According to some recent estimates the current proportion of population under 25 years in India is 51% and the proportion under 35 is about 66%. This predominance of youth in the population is expected to last until 2050. While the average age of an Indian in 2020 is expected to be 29 years. If this pool of youth will get proper opportunity, training and education then the dream of being a developed country can be achieved quite easily. Back in 1980’s, China was in the same position where India is today. Chinese government increased youth participation and now the youth power of that country is attributed for the boom in Chinese economy.

This story can be repeated in India too. Indian Youths are expected to do something here for the betterment of their nation but in spite of doing that they are moving out. According to the most exhaustive study of the brain drain, released a couple of months ago by the World Bank, there were 1.04m Indian-born people, educated past secondary school, living in the 30 relatively rich countries of the OECD in 2000. This report had placed India third in terms of brain drain, even ahead of China and Germany. 70 percent of Indian students think that there are much better opportunities outside India to work. But they forget that this act is actually effecting the per capita income and hence the National income of their nation. Students study here, take all the advantage and knowledge from their native countries.

It is pertinent to mention that on the students of IIT, IIM and premier medical colleges, government spends huge amount from the hard earned money of the taxpayers of the nation. When one is educated by taxpayers’ money and then disappears from his country, he no longer pays tax, and therefore he no longer contributes to the welfare of the rest of the society. Government spends money on these institutions because system needs excellent professionals but country feel deceived and cheated when these professionals move to a western country saying that India does not have career opportunity.

But, is it a valid argument? Keeping current economic scenario of India in mind, this argument appears incorrect. Today India is no less than any other country in the world. India has made drastic advancement in all sectors be it IT, Management, Media, Health, Education etc. It’s quite easy to find a job in India for a competent professional. But, their prime concern is not getting a job. They are concerned about earning more and more and this craziness about money leads these youth to any western country. In comparison of India, they earn more in western countries. 

They can serve the Indian society and add to the nation’s income but it seems that they are neither concerned about the problems of Indian society nor about the national income. Their only concern is personal income and to increase the same they love to forget their national duty. These youths who go to foreign nations to earn should understand that for all the social evils that are prevailing in the Indian society like poverty, hunger etc they are responsible somehow. Instead of developing their own nation they take their studies to another nation and add to the national income of that country. If youth of this country will start taking his steps keeping national interests in mind then India will be the Golden Bird of our dreams once again.

Just because of skilled youth migration, India is facing skilled manpower crunch in different sectors. Take the example of healthcare sector.  According to a Planning Commission report, India is short of six lakh doctors, 10 lakh nurses and two lakh dental surgeons. Indian doctors who have migrated to developed countries form nearly 5% of their medical workforce. This report says that almost 60,000 Indian physicians are estimated to be working in countries like US, UK, Canada and Australia alone.

On the other hand, India has a dismal patient-doctor ratio. According to the report, for every 10,000 Indians, there is one doctor. In contrast, Australia has 249 doctors for every 10,000 people, Canada has 209, UK has 166 and US has 548. According to this report, ‘India ranks at the top of nations whose physicians are working in the major developed countries. India has also emerged as one of the top suppliers of other categories of healthcare professionals, particularly radiologists, laboratory technicians, dental hygienists, physiotherapists and medical rehabilitation workers.’

On contrary, people of rural India are dying because they are not getting proper medical treatment when they need it. Government health centre of villages are running out of doctors. Every year, thousands of highly talented engineers, doctors, scientists and other intellectuals leave India and migrate to foreign countries. They generally go to U.S.A, UK, Canada, West Germany etc for monetary gains and facilities for higher research. US is the biggest gainer from the loss of India due to brain drain.

So, this is high time when skilled Indian youth, who can work in healthcare sector, must think over his dollar craziness about earning dollars. Here, in India they can earn rupee but sense of serving own society and national interest will definitely give that kind of satisfaction which can’t be even smelled in any western country. If they work in India then they can contribute in development process of country and increase the national income.

3 thoughts on “Dilemma of the Dollar Dreams

  1. Great info! I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

  2. Great info! I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

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