Monday, Oct 03, 2022
Outlook.com
opinion

A Deluge Of What India Wants Most Now

The downturn in the US is reversing our much-lamented brain drain. This could make India an innovation dynamo.

A Deluge Of What India Wants Most Now
A Deluge Of What India Wants Most Now
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Social Pull

  • Quality of life was cited as main reason for coming back
  • Many felt emotional growth and education of children was better in India than in the US
  • Being close to family, caring for aging parents a strong factor
  • Family values and cultural assimilation better in India

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Professional Pull
  • A majority believe India has better career opportunities than US
  • Many have moved up professionally after coming back to India
  • Financial compensation in relation to cost of living is better in India
  • Growing demand for their skills in India was a big factor prompting them to return home

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The rapid decline of the economy in the US has accelerated the departure of science & technology workers of Indian nationality from that country to India. As far as science & technology students of Indian nationality studying there go, the economic malaise is causing most of them to return home on graduation rather than follow the usual path of locating a position in the US. The statistics on these concurrent and related trends is difficult to obtain as no government agency specifically tracks returnees. However, anecdotal evidence in the Indian technology community, both in the US and abroad, strongly suggests the exodus is accelerating rapidly.

We have seen this trend play out with engineering students at Duke University, where I am a professor. In 2004, when I joined Duke University's masters of engineering management programme, almost all foreign students enrolled there said they planned to stay in the US to work for several years. Today, the majority of members of the class of 2009 intend to return immediately to their home countries. All the Indians, who constitute a considerable percentage of this group, are planning to return home. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the students are among the tens of thousands of Indian nationals abandoning the US as H-1B visa jobs disappear and employment prospects dim in America.

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A Step Above

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