Saturday May 25, 2024

Brain drain

By Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani
April 28, 2023

Internationally, the immigration of intelligent people from their native country is known as brain drain whereas for the country where they move to serve gets a brain gain. The main reason the US became a superpower is that it welcomed intelligent people from all over the world and provided them with the best environment to express their talents. Today, mostly developed countries are also following the US to attract the best of the best brains.

Due to the outstanding contributions of capable, talented and intelligent people, the country moves towards prosperity and development rapidly. If we look at the list of modern developed countries, it is proved that the human capital of developed countries not only prefers to stay in their native country, but their governments also keep their doors open for talented people from other countries.

On the day of Eid, I saw a viral post on social media in which the elder father of a young doctor said that: "Today, my beloved son Dr Majid Khan left for England. My son was educated in Pakistan; he received professional training in Pakistan but now he will go abroad to serve foreigners". According to him, his son was determined to serve in Pakistan, but due to unfavourable conditions in the country, he gradually became hopeless. On the other hand, excellent jobs were offered from abroad. "And finally they took away from us the ‘diamond’ which was carved in Pakistan."

According to a report, after the Covid-19 pandemic, about 800,000 Pakistani citizens migrated from Pakistan within two years. The exact figures of those who tried to go abroad by illegal means are unknown. Reportedly, a large number of highly educated Pakistani citizens prefer to go to the Middle East, Europe, the US, and Canada, etc.

There are numerous foreign education consultancy organizations that facilitate young students to get admissions in universities abroad. However, it is also a fact that most young people are not willing to come back to serve their country after completing their education. I remember that once in a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee in parliament, it was highlighted that 80 out of a group of 132 scholars who went abroad for PhD at government expense did not return to Pakistan.

Undoubtedly, the main reason behind Pakistanis opting to leave the country is unfavourable conditions as business activities are severely affected due to political instability and economic crisis. A sharp rise in the US dollar and petrol prices has driven inflation out of control. Several organizations facing financial crisis are unable to offer new jobs with good salary options. Similarly, jobs of already employed persons are also at risk.

However, I think we should also look at the bright side of the picture regarding the term brain drain because God Almighty has gifted our country with talented youth. In my view, if some of the surplus manpower is going abroad then this is a good sign for the country's economy. Overseas Pakistanis not only earn foreign exchange but also prove to be beneficial for public diplomacy. Non-resident citizens of our neighbouring country are holding the top positions of many influential organizations at global level.

In my view, in order to overcome the challenge of this brain drain, we need to provide our educated young people with the best opportunities to explore career options both in Pakistan and abroad. However, one should never forget that Pakistan is our motherland; even if someone resides in any part of the world, they should always be ready to contribute something good for the sake of our beloved country.

The writer is a member of theNational Assembly and patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council.

He tweets @RVankwani