Academic Literature

Indian Diaspora – From ‘brain drain’ to ‘brain gain’

The Indian diaspora consists of low- and semi-skilled migrants mainly to the Middle-East; migration of the highly-skilled to developed countries; and cross-border students who seek employment and remain in their host countries. India initially viewed the migration of the best educated from its prestigious institutions as ‘brain drain’. However, with the reverse flow of these professionals, the diaspora came to be seen as ‘brain gain’. The highly-skilled Indian diaspora assumed positions of responsibility in the corporate world, in academia (including Nobel laureates), and in the political and social spheres in some host countries, thereby enhancing India’s image abroad.

This article discusses the transformation of the Indian diaspora from illiterate plantation labourers to highly educated and skilled knowledge workers that are highly valued in economically advanced countries. The expansion of the Indian diaspora takes place through two channels, namely, migration of the highly educated for employment, and cross-border student mobility to seek higher education in the host countries. The article shows that the diaspora’s recognition and professional respectability in their host countries has enhanced their status with the Indian government which has acknowledged their role in promoting India as a global force.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story @  Education and migration: a study of the Indian diaspora


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