For the last few years, the Modi government is taking steps to ensure that country’s top talent stays in India and contributes to the development story of the country. For the last many decades, the pass-outs from top colleges like IIT, IIM, and IISc (most of these are public institutions, thus students study at taxpayer’s money) are used to migrate to the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, or Australia. This is the reason that the Indian diaspora in English speaking countries is higher education, rich and influential.
However, this harms the development of the country because the students who study at taxpayers’ expense contribute to the development of other English speaking countries. Thus, the Modi government improved the business environment in India, rationalized corporate tax and personal income tax, and encouraged the students from top institutions to take entrepreneurship instead of taking the job with MNCs.
Schemes like Startup India, Digital India, Production Linked Incentive were launched to encourage entrepreneurship and create more high paying jobs within India. The impact of these schemes is already visible as the country today has more than 70 unicorns, with around 40 minted this year only. Thanks to schemes like Startup India, the country has emerged as the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world, with more than 50,000 startup companies. The students at premier institutions now prefer to run and own a company in India, rather than becoming cheap labour for MNCs.
The PLI scheme is encouraging foreign companies as well as Indian companies to manufacture in India, for domestic consumption as well as exports. Many foreign companies which used to export goods to India are now opening up factories in India and providing job opportunities to thousands.
The United States is a very mature market and the opportunity for new companies to find a space is very tough while the Indian market is emerging with near double-digit economic growth. Thus, to capitalize exponentially growing Indian market, many professionals who have migrated to Western countries are coming back to India (reverse brain drain) to open their companies.
The depth and breadth of opportunities in India have expanded exponentially in the last few years, with the government opening itself to private-sector employees through a lateral entry scheme. So, many people from premier institutions who want to work with the government are now getting an opportunity.
Also, millions of high paying jobs for which the fresh pass outs were migrating to the home country of MNC, are now being done from India thanks to the emergence of work from home (WFH) in the post-pandemic era.
India is going through a significant churn with plenty of opportunities, and this will ensure that the best talent stays in India. Also, Prime Minister Modi has created a new sense of nationalism in the Indian people and, this contributes significantly to the decision of the top talent to stay in India. The corruption-free government and rapid economic reforms have increased the trust of the people in the country’s political system and its bright future.
The emergence of an economically secure middle class has eliminated the ‘social safety’ appeal of the west, which was among the major reasons behind migration. Earlier Indian parents used to sell the dream that the western world is the final frontier that one needs to conquer, to prove themselves. The little spark planted by the parents then turns into obsession, and many fly out of the country, just for the sake of it. This psyche is slowly ending, at least among the upper-middle class that sends the highest number of people to foreign English speaking countries.
The emphasis of the government on entrepreneurship and an exponential expansion in opportunities in the country in ensuring that top Indian talent stays in India. Also, the mindset change among the upper middle class of the society is a reason behind this. The Directors from top institutions like IIT Delhi have said that now fewer and fewer students are moving abroad thanks to the plethora of opportunities in India. So, the country is now moving in reverse brain drain era from the brain drain of the 1990s and 2000s.
Don’t worry about the so-called Brain Drain. India has ample talent. It will keep on producing geniuses in large numbers, generation after generation. I look at these highly educated migrants from India to other countries as India’s agents who help to build India’s soft-power through-out the world. We should not give them a guilt-feeling that they are studying on tax-payers’ money and then catching a flight after they complete studies and do not contribute back to the country.
Fantastic effort by the govt. Just unheard of and unbelievable it may seem to be, but the mindset will change and opportunities to be creative will be far stronger to have a multiplier effect.