End of the brain drain era

March, 2001

Reforms play a major role in immigration trends and the Indian Union Budget 2001 certainly kicks off genext reforms.

In ancient times, India used to be an immigration destination. Now times have changed and Indians are the ones who are migrating. They first went to British colonies in Africa, then to England itself.

America's wealth drew them as did the Gulf jobs that burgeoned when the Arabs discovered oil. For the past decade or more, Indians have started migrating to Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The trend is about to change again. This time because of India's economic policies. The reforms that started in 1991, are bringing in more and more revolutionary changes.

India's Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha's budget speech echoes the stress on growth and resilience. And it will deeply affect the immigration trends of India.

The broad strategy of the budget was human development through better educational opportunities, acceleration of the private sector and restructuring of public enterprises.

Progressive liberalisation has been made for foreign investment and educational loans for students is now made available under a new comprehensive educational loan scheme.

These measures will accelerate foreign investment in India, further resulting in foreign companies establishing themselves here. This would reduce Indian IT people, MBAs and other qualified personnel migrating to foreign countries.

A very healthy atmosphere is created by the present budget. More and more students would venture to go abroad for higher studies.

But unlike what was happening till now, they will not stay back abroad by taking up employment in a foreign country and then permanently settling there.

Indian students would now be attracted to return to India on account of the improvements which would take place in India. The present budget would certainly prevent the brain drain.

- Sudhir Shah

The views of this column are the author's own, and do not necessarily represent the views of NRI Online.

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