Brain Drain or Gain: An Alternative Theory of Development Using Case Studies from United States and India
‘Brain drain’ or the migration of educated or professional people from one country to the other has become an important component of world politics and academic scholarship. However, an increasing number of developing countries are considering their highly qualified citizens abroad as a potential asset for national development. Renewed policies are consequently being developed in order to recover these expatriated talents. Besides the repatriation – return option generally enacted in these policies with variable success, a second one has recently emerged: the Diaspora option. As a brain gain strategy it differs from the return option in the sense that it does not aim at the physical repatriation of the nationals living and working abroad. Its purpose is the remote mobilization of the Diaspora’s resources and their association to the country of origin’s programs. The migration of skilled human capital from developing countries such as India to developed countries such as the United States has incurred increasing interest among both receiving and sending countries with respect to the benefits that can come out of this migration of people. Popularly termed as ‘first generation effects’ the early 1970s had been rife with discussions of brain drain and how this could potentially be converted into benefits for the home country.
Keywords: Brain Drain, Brain Gain, Indian Diaspora
Adjunct Faculty, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA