Reverse brain drain

A recent study which was also published in the Morung Express points out that one of the top mega trends that will influence and shape the world in the coming years would be reverse brain drain with a steady flow of human capital returning back home. In fact we can already see this happening not only in India but also in our Naga context. Before we make an attempt to study this phenomenon of reverse brain drain, it will be proper to get a dictionary meaning. Reverse brain drain refers to the migration issue, whereby human capital moves in reverse from a more developed country to a less developed country that is developing rapidly, which is commonly defined as ‘brain drain’. It is also seen as a “logical outcome of a calculated strategy, where migrants accumulate savings, also known as remittances, and develop skills overseas that can be used in their home country”. Quoting from studies and reports, India is one of the first countries where the phenomenon of reverse brain drain occurred. Previously, India was well known for being the country where numerous information technology students left for America for a better education and greater employment opportunities. The turning point was during the dot-com bubble. During this period many information technology experts were forced to return back to India due to the slump and the loss of jobs in the United States. The brain drain of the earlier decades which was bemoaned is today seeing a new trend of people coming back home and contributing to the wealth and skills of the home country.
In our context too, we have over the last few decades witnessed our own version of brain drain where many educated youths left our shores to pursue their vocation and careers either in India or beyond. In particular we have had many Nagas going abroad to study theology. Many have returned home and started their missions back home whether it is setting up colleges or serving in the local Church ministries. This brain gain has certainly helped in improving the socio-religious sector. We also notice a large number of non-government professionals and entrepreneurs who have been exposed to the outside world and having gained experience and also economic independence are today returning to serve our state and society. We are seeing the opening of quality institutions such as schools, colleges, hospitals, hotels and other services. This is a big positive as it will help our local economy by creating jobs and also serve our society through new opportunities and choices. It is seen that many of our young people who go outside for studies are now returning home to either set up their own ventures or looking for jobs in the government sector. This is also a form for brain gain where young people are making a refreshing difference in the running of both the private and government sector. However the disturbing thing is the continuing dependence on the government sector. Otherwise the so called reverse brain drain should have a larger benefit for our society. The government should take the lead in creating the right environment where security, rule of law and infrastructure is provided for hard work to thrive so that we can reap the full benefits of the reverse brain drain.