Brain drain is looked upon as a large emigration of individuals with technical skills or knowledge, generally due to lack of prospects, political instability, conflict or health issues and risk factors (UNESCO, 2010).It is often associated with de-skilling of emigrants in their country of destination and skill draining for the source country. The term was coined by the Royal Society to describe the emigration of ‘scientists and technologists’ to North America from post-war Europe. There have been several efforts to define brain drain particularly on part of international organizations. It is as an abnormal form of scientific exchange between countries characterized by a one-way flow in favor of the most highly developed countries. Brain drain has also been named as ‘human capital flight’ in which mass migration of human capital is involved.It is parallel of capital flight. However, it is not right to confine the definitional aspect of brain drain to skills and knowledge alone. Brain drain involves transfer of not only brain characters or traits but cultural traits as well.
The phenomenon is also regarded as an economic cost since emigrants usually take with them the fraction of value of their training backed by the government or other organizations. It has a converse effect for a country in which people are getting migrated because it converses brain drain into brain gain for that particular country. All developing countries are suffering from brain drain while as developed countries are having brain gain from this phenomenon.
It might not be inaccurate to say that brain drain and international migration is a function of Westernization, Modernization, Globalization and Liberalization. Sassen (1996) argues that international migration is simply a function of the inexorable process of globalization. All these processes have accelerated the pace of brain drain. There is huge evidence to support this argument.
Immigration of high-skill migrants is found in all those developed economies where these processes are successful. All the cultural changes that occur due to the influence of western culture or westernization are called the process of westernization. And, the cultural changes that occur due to the influence of modern culture or modernization and modern civilization are called the process of modernization. Furthermore, modernization is an idea before it is a process. It involves economic, social and political alliance which gives it a distinct identity which leads a traditional society towards technology-based entities. That is to say that modernization is a way towards techno-sound society or knowledge based economy.
Globalization is viewed as the process of integration of national economy with that of the world economy. It is not just integration of economies but integration of culture, ideas and knowledge as well.It is not all about developing economic relations between different countries but development of social, political and cultural relations is equally important. Globalization is primarily manifested in the possibility of educational mobility. The growth of international mobility of scientific personnel is an integral feature of the globalization of science, and in this context, the problem of “brain drain” in developing countries is particularly worrying. Liberalization on the other hand is a comprehensive process under which a highly regulated economy is transformed into an outward –looking economy. The process of globalization and liberalization has changed the very nature of economic development in the world.
It is important to note that the processes of Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization have led to internationalization of not only production but skills and knowledge as well.Brain drain has always been linked to these processes. It is facilitated by all these processes. There is a two way causal relationship or bi-way causality between brain drain and the process of westernization, modernization, globalization and liberalization.Brain drain plays a vital role in bringing changes in all these processes. The innovations made the communication and dispersion of technology possible, thereby making the linkages between brain drain and all these processes relevant with multiplier effect on technological advancements, ideas, skills and knowledge. With such linkagestechnological advancements, ideas, skills and knowledgeincrease at an unparalleled rate thus, making the world shrink and increasing the flow of brain drain as well.We also find a bi-way relationship between brain drain and modern technology. On one, hand, brain drain promotes modern technology, and on the other hand, modern technology brings about changes in brain drain. Brain drain causes modern technological advancements and modern technological advancements cause development and advancement inbrain drain.
In modern times, brain drain and modern technological developments and advancements are equally leading and dominant. In other words, in the contemporary times, brain drain is technology determined and technology is brain drain determined, implying that brain drain spreads as and when technological developments takes place andtechnology spreads as and when brain drain takes place. Brain drain facilitates technological developments, and in turn technologicaldevelopments ensure the continuance ofbrain drain.The brain drain decreases learning opportunities in developing economies and aggravatestechnology differences or technological gaps.
Technology transfers, innovations and brain drain are the things which are beyond what we is seen and observed, brain drain and westernization, modernization, globalization and liberalization linkages must be accomplished with full of skills and talents and for that matter we must try to understand the nature and purpose of brain drain, on the one hand and knowledge , on the other hand, so as to broaden the realm of knowledge and ideas. The economic inequalities, educational bottlenecks and unemployment we observe today depend not only upon the way we manage technology and globalization but, upon how we manage migration and its related problems. Better future, therefore, depends on how we manage the technology in all circumstances on one hand and migrationin all settings on the other hand. For reducing economic inequalities and achieving fair distribution of income, output and employment in an economy it is essential to manage migration and its related linkages and problems.
Sassen, S. (1996). Losing Control? Sovereignty in an Age of Globalization. New York: Columbia University Press.
UNESCO (2010) ‘Education For All–Global Monitoring Report 2010 – reaching the marginalized”. Oxford University Press. Available in http: //unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0018/ 001866/186606e.pdf.
—The author is a Research Scholar at the Department of Economics, Central University of Kashmir, Academic Counselor, IGNOU STUDY CENTRE 1209,S.P. College, Srinagar and Editor in EPH – International Journal of Business and Management Science & Asian Journal of Managerial Science. She is a recipient of the IJRULA title awards, 2018 winner (Best Researcher, 2018) and can be reached at:email@example.com