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A degree abroad – not ‘brain drain’ but a measure of one’s self-worth!

Why do Indian students prefer to go abroad for higher studies? An analysis with the ‘brain-drain stigma’ in perspective

Doodle Nandi
A degree abroad – not ‘brain drain’ but a measure of one’s self-worth!

Every student has the right to dream big and give themselves the life they want!

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Brain drain, or capital flight, is defined as the migration of highly skilled people/students to other countries for a better living, a sound financial stability and future prospects. What about the average or below-average Indian students?


It is far from clear that only a fraction of people can get into renowned institutes like the IITs, IIMs, IISER, etc, but this does not imply that they have the best brains or they are capable of producing geniuses. Since the early 70s and 80s we have witnessed brain drain due to harsh policies framed by the government (income tax policies), leaving only two options open to our people: either fly away or tolerate bureaucracy in the country. JRD Tata in one of his books Letters of JRD Tata lamented about the tax rates in India during his time.


Why students go abroad?

It’s not that we, as young Indian citizens, all want to leave. We don’t want to sound as escapists…do we?! It is the policy and growing sycophancy in the country that is making us take this decision. Since we all want to build a solid career, we often fail to decide what we actually want and how we want it. The growing intolerance is beyond the threshold level; the game starts from college days when we face cut-offs and reserved quotas from the reputed institutes and are forced to pursue a degree in some low-key institutes. Then what?? The principals, vice-chancellors, directors and even professors, under the confidence of the higher authorities, play no role in providing a quality education, except focusing on their Fortunes and our Misfortunes! Without a second thought, we all would agree that the quality of research here is poor and steadily showing a falling curve due to many factors. One of the reasons behind poor research practices is funds crunch.


Without any exaggeration, it could be said that the growing number of suicides and stress situations that students face is evident in our daily life. Quality of life, political chain and social turmoil that a research scholar or any student pursuing higher education here faces are beyond their expectations - big enough to outdo a marathon!


The Indian immigrant population in the USA has increased ten-fold, over 2 million between 1980 and 2013, increasing geometrically. According to the ‘International Organization for Migration (IOM)’, India has witnessed an outward migration of 15, 573, 953 in 2015.  


Why a degree abroad matters?

A degree from an acclaimed university abroad offers the following benefits:

  • Inculcates self-confidence, courage and independent thinking in students
  • Offers students a vibrant and multi-cultural learning environment
  • Broadens their critical thinking perspectives
  • Offers them world class facilities not easily accessible in India
  • Gives students an opportunity to explore a new country
  • Top-ranked students can aspire to secure a job abroad.


This huge release of good brains is increasing in number; there has been a massive growth of the Indian diaspora in countries as diverse as the USA, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. 

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Khushboo Gera Khushboo Gera,
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