I always believed that, living with your family at your home country is a blessing, if you are satisfied with what you were expecting out of yourself and what you have achieved. Many people say that “we don’t want to move abroad, even if we find better opportunity”. And on the other side many of us are dreaming to move across place to place, organization to organization and country to country. The country on the receiving end, of migration of intellectuals and professionals will be enjoying “brain gain” and the country on losing side is facing “brain drain”.
Dr. Abdus Salam born in 1926 in a small town of Pakistan, He is now known as “Scientific Father of the Country”. Dr. Salam migrated to England in 1974, when a parliamentary bill declared Ahmadiyya Community as Non-Muslim. His preceding contributions towards development of scientific institutions in Pakistan need no explanation. Like Dr. Abdus Salam, Albert Einstein born in 1879 in Germany, he migrated to USA when Adolf Hitler came into power. Everyone is aware of his valuable contributions to the Physics field.
I don’t want to describe biography of the eminent scientists. Perhaps, I just want to say that both could’ve make huge contributions towards development of their own mother nations. The reason behind the above explanation is to make a starting point of the phenomenon of “Brain Drain”. Brain Drain is emigration of skilled, educated professionals from the country and society. There can be number of reasons behind this intellectual loss of a country.
- In developing countries the employment opportunities for highly skilled professionals are fewer, that is why professionals prefer to settle abroad.
- Underemployment is also one of reason behind brain drain. Underemployment referred to the situation in which packages offered to the professionals does not match their qualifications. As a scientist or a doctor will earn grade 17 or 18 that is not worth satisfy his expertise. Therefore, even if he likes to work for his mother nation, the financial concern would not allow him to do it.
A feature in The New York Times Magazine argued, “In todays’ global economy, the countries that will offer better pay and opportunities for advancement are likely to attract better talent”.
- Another reason especially in Pakistan is that, in many situation highly qualified people are answerable to those who are not qualified enough in the area under their control. So the professionals get stuck, and don’t get chances to apply their expertise, and they leave for better environment.
- It needs not elucidation that higher studies in developing countries are substandard. Therefore, many professionals willing to improve their capabilities prefer institutions of advance countries. And if they have not been taught to come back to serve their motherland, they feel no qualm to permanently settle abroad.
- People also leave their homeland due to political instability. Political instability decreases the growth rate of the society and therefore the opportunities and the standards of living. Business sector starts moving their capital to other countries and due to less opportunities the intellectual capital of the country also shifts.
- For Pakistan, terrorism is a crucial issue we are facing for over quarter a century. Social, capital, human and other losses range billions of dollars. This can be argued that here it is one of the key reason behind the issue of brain drain because terrorism has shuffle each and every aspect of personal and professional life.
What would be your thoughts regarding a society whose greatest hope, greatest talent migrate to another country? “Piteous Society”. A research indicated the about 36,000 highly qualified professionals of medical, engineering and finance left Pakistan in last 30 years. The skilled workers are not included in this figure. This shift of human capital has certain outcomes for the country such as; poor rate of growth and development, lesser availability of competent professionals, worse educational and medical system. Alongside, it has one positive outcome is that the country receives higher foreign remittance which are sent by the people work and live abroad. According to a report, Pakistan received as foreign remittance of about $ 8,981.67 million in first half of FY 2015 (July-December).
This is really critical for countries to preserve its intellectual capital. The role of government is key in this regard. Making sincere efforts towards growth and development of better organizations will increase the employment opportunities for key professionals.
The educational system is the key parameter of what future of any country would be. Mostly developed nations allocate a heavy budget for the development of educational system according to modern day needs. Developing countries also need to improve their education system and organize research and development facilities for professionals, scholars.
According to me, reasons, figures and outcomes of the brain drain are democracy, rule of law, political stability, judicial system, economic growth, social stability and international relations are all linked together to make a country favorable for intellectuals to settle there. If we stream-line these things, our country will get into a position of brain gain one day.
A young scholar and researcher, Ahsan Ali is a committed HR professional and trainer at Cogilent Solutions (Pvt.)