The Exodus of Indian doctors to foreign countries
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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016
Exodus of Indian doctors, engineers and academicians to foreign countries : report is specially designed to give an idea about the brain drain from India and what are the causes, effects and losses of migration of talent from a developing economy. The report is formed to give ministry of human resource and development an idea about the professional needs and qualities. It deals with the history of migration: size and distribution, socio-economic overview and immigrant population; present scenario of migration; reasons for exodus; effects of brain drain; steps to be taken to stop migration. The aim is to get the correct causes behind the topic and to know the preventing measures so that no loss of talent, human power and investment takes place.
Though the immediate context for writing this report is the increase in no. of migrations from the nation : as we know migration is going from last 18th century but now the rate has increased. I have on concentrated on both the causes and effects of migration so that reader will get an actual picture of the international scenario.
Most professionals who migrate go to the US and Canada. Factors promoting migration include 1) unemployment, 2) immigration rules, 3) colonial links, 4) financial incentives and material benefits. It is also been discussed that a few of them return back to India also: reasons for this have also been reported.
Effects of exodus is the lack of talent in the nation and huge wastage of money which was spent on professionals were gone in vain. Government needs to know the problems of society and the intellectual ones of the nation and need of the hour, has been elaborated after the effects of the migration for better understanding and utilization of the report.
Report has been analyzed in both positive as well as negative sense so that reader can get an idea about the benefits and the losses of the brain drain. Conclusion has been left with a very preying research work on the exodus from the country. I believe reader will find the report logical and convenient for use.
It’s self- contained sections provide flexibility for reader and a new exposure. The advice and suggestions of many people have contributed to make the report usable in MHRD.
The international migration of professional people and people with special skills is not a new phenomenon. What is new is the extent of the migration, the large number of people involved, and their proportion relative to other migrants. The character of mid twentieth century migration to the U.S.A. and to other countries of the New world is unique in history. During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries much larger numbers were involved than in the present migration, but the characteristics of the migrants were different. The uniqueness of today’s migration stems from the high percentage of migrants who are professionals or are employed in other occupations involving a high degree of training.
India went through phases of emigration under the British Rule. This trend continued in India which adopted socialistic policies that supported controlled economic growth. Under the British Rule, several Indians migrated to countries in the East and West Indies, Mauritius and to African countries as indentured labourers and as trading entrepreneurs, and to Australia as convicts (taken by the British). These emigrants stayed on to establish successful lives in the countries where they initially moved. Seeing this trend, more and more Indians voluntarily left their country in search of better opportunities overseas.
In recent years, migration has been of primarily three types, family unification, professionals moving for career or business opportunities to the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Australia and Canada labourers and entrepreneurs moving to the Middle Eastern booming economies.
Recently, the exodus of Indian doctors, engineers and academician to foreign countries America, Britain and gulf countries was found. These professional wish to retain these profession in the above fields and want to utilize their services for the nation and fellow-countrymen.
India is a significant contributor to this phenomenon. it is exporting talent internationally
in a big way and is considered to be a significant ‘threat’ internationally. India, of course,
is not alone. But given its vast and rapidly increasing English speaking workforce India is
emerging as a major supplier of international talent.
History of Migration
The 1970 census recorded 51,000 foreign born from India in the United States. By 2006, the number of Indian immigrants had grown nearly 30-fold to 1.5 million, making them the fourth largest immigrant group in the United States after the Mexican, Filipino, and Chinese foreign born.
More than half of Indian immigrants live in just five states although their numbers are growing rapidly elsewhere, notably in Sunbelt states such as Arizona, Alabama, North Carolina, and Florida.
Size and Distribution
* There were 1.5 million foreign born from India residing in the United States in 2006.
The 1,519,157 Indian immigrants in 2006 was 6.5 times higher than the 206,087 Indian foreign born counted in the 1980 decennial census. In 2006, the Indian born were the fourth-largest foreign-born group in the United States after immigrants from Mexico, the Philippines, and China.
* Indian immigrants made up slightly over 4 percent of all immigrants in 2006.
In 1960, Indian immigrants composed 0.1 percent of all foreign born in the United States. That share grew to 1.5 percent in 1980 and then more than doubled to 3.3 percent in 2000 (see Table 1). In 2006, Indian immigrants made up 4.0 percent of all immigrants.
* One of every five immigrants of Indian ancestry in the United States was not born in India.
As a result of historical migrations, Indian-origin communities can be found throughout the world. Among the 1,734,337 immigrants residing in the United States in 2006 who reported having Indian ancestry regardless of their place of birth, 81.2 percent were born in India.
The remaining individuals reported a wide variety of birthplaces, including Guyana and British Guyana (4.1 percent), Pakistan (1.9 percent), Trinidad and Tobago (1.8 percent), and Bangladesh (1.1 percent) (see Figure 1).
* More than half of all Indian immigrants resided in just five states.
In 2006, California had the largest number of Indian immigrants (302,712, or 19.9 percent), followed by New Jersey (172,959, or 11.4 percent), New York (144,417, or 9.5 percent), Texas (122,644, or 8.1 percent) and Illinois (114,760, or 7.6 percent). Together, these five states accounted for 56.4 percent (857,492) of all Indian-born immigrants.
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA is the metropolitan area with the largest number of Indian born (275,368, or 18.1 percent), followed by Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL-IN-WI (103,709, or 6.8 percent), San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA (73,003, or 4.8 percent), Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA (68,927, or 4.5 percent), and San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA (67,598, or 4.4 percent).
* The size of the Indian immigrant population more than doubled in five states and the District of Columbia between 2000 and 2006.
Between 2000 and 2006, five states and the District of Columbia, all of which had relatively small Indian-born populations, saw the size of their Indian immigrant populations more than double. These five states were Wyoming, Rhode Island, Maine, Arizona, and Washington (see Table 2).
Demographic and Socioeconomic Overview
More than a third of all Indian foreign born in the United States arrived in 2000 or later.
Of the 1.5 million Indian foreign born in the United States in 2006, 34.4 percent entered the country in 2000 or later, with 35.6 percent entering between 1990 and 1999, 17.3 percent between 1980 and 1989, 9.7 percent between 1970 and 1979, and the remaining 3.0 percent prior to 1970.
Three-quarters of Indian immigrants in 2006 were adults of working age.
Of the Indian immigrants residing in the United States in 2006, 6.6 percent were minors (under age 18), 75.0 percent were of working age (between ages 18 and 54), and 18.4 percent were seniors (age 55 or older).
Of the foreign-born population in the United States in 2006, 8.1 percent were minors, 69.9 percent were of working age, and 22.1 percent were seniors.
Men accounted for the majority of the Indian-born population living in the United States in 2006.
Of all Indian immigrants residing in the country in 2006, 53.6 percent were men and 46.4 percent were women.
Less than half of Indian immigrants were naturalized US citizens in 2006.
Among the Indian foreign born, 42.0 percent were naturalized US citizens in 2006, compared to 42.1 percent among the overall foreign-born population.
One in four Indian immigrants age 5 and older speaks Hindi at home.
In 2006, 26.3 percent of Indian immigrants age 5 and older reported speaking Hindi at home. Gujarathi (14.1 percent) was the next most popular language, followed by English (10.1 percent), Panjabi (10.0 percent), Telugu (9.7 percent), Tamil (6.7 percent), Malayalam (6.1 percent), Urdu (3.4 percent), Marathi (3.1 percent), Bengali (2.2 percent), and Kannada (1.7 percent).
About one-quarter of Indian immigrants in 2006 were limited English proficient.
About 10.1 percent of the 1.5 million Indian immigrants age 5 and older reported speaking “English only” while 63.0 percent reported speaking English “very well.” In contrast, 26.9 percent reported speaking English less than “very well,” which is much lower than the 52.4 percent reported among all foreign born age 5 and older.
(Note: The term limited English proficient refers to any person age 5 and older who reported speaking English “not at all,” “not well,” or “well” on their survey questionnaire. Individuals who reported speaking only English or speaking English “very well” are considered proficient in English).
About three of every four Indian foreign-born adults had a bachelor’s or higher degree.
In 2006, 73.8 percent of the 1.3 million Indian-born adults age 25 and older had a bachelor’s or higher degree compared to 26.7 percent among the 30.9 million foreign-born adults. About 40.5 percent of Indian-born adults age 25 and older had an advanced degree compared to 10.9 percent among all immigrants.
On the other end of the education continuum, about 8.5 percent of Indian immigrants had no high school diploma or the equivalent general education diploma (GED), compared to 32.0 percent among all foreign-born adults.
Indian immigrant men were more likely to participate in the civilian labor force than foreign-born men overall.
In 2006, Indian-born men age 16 and older were more likely to be in the civilian labor force (84.8 percent) than foreign-born men overall (79.3 percent). Indian-born women age 16 and older had a similar civilian labor force participation rate (55.9 percent) to all foreign-born women (55.1 percent).
Over one-quarter of Indian-born men were employed in information technology occupations.
Among the 629,218 Indian-born male workers age 16 and older employed in the civilian labor force, 27.4 percent reported working in information technology, and 20.0 percent reported working in management, business, and finance. Compared to other immigrants, Indian-born male workers age 16 and older employed in the civilian labor force were also more likely to report working as physicians, scientists and engineers, and in sales (see Table 3).
Both Indian foreign-born men and women were significantly less likely to be employed as construction, extraction, and transportation workers than foreign-born men and women overall.
Legal and Unauthorized Indian Immigrant Population
The Indian foreign born accounted for about 4.2 percent of all lawful permanent residents living in the United States in 2006.
According to data from the Office of Immigration Statistics (OIS), the Indian foreign born accounted for 4.2 percent (510,000) of the 12.1 million lawful permanent residents (LPRs, also known as green card holders) living in the United States in 2006. They are the third-largest LPR group after the Mexican born (27.3 percent or 3.3 milllion) and Filipino born (4.5 percent or 540,000).
About 886,000 Indians have gained lawful permanent residence in the United States since 1990.
Between 1990 and 2007, 886,316 Indian-born immigrants obtained lawful permanent residence in the United States (see Figure 2). The Indian born accounted for 6.2 percent (or 65,353) of the total 1.1 million immigrants who received lawful permanent residence in 2007.
Nearly half of Indian-born lawful permanent residents in 2007 were employment-sponsored immigrants.
Of the 65,353 Indian born granted LPR status in 2007, 43.9 percent (28,703) were employment-sponsored immigrants, 27.9 percent (18,205) were immediate relatives of US citizens, 23.8 percent (15,551) were family-sponsored immigrants, and 4.1 percent (2,680) were refugees and asylees.
Indian-born lawful permanent residents accounted for 2.4 percent of all those eligible to naturalize as of 2006.
Indian-born LPRs are the 10th-largest group of permanent residents eligible to naturalize. According to OIS estimates, of the 8.3 million LPRs eligible to apply for citizenship as of 2006, 200,000 (2.4 percent) were born in India.
The Indian born were the fourth-largest group of student and exchange visitors admitted to the United States in 2006.
In 2006, the United States admitted 69,790 student and exchange visitors and their families from India, or 6.0 percent of the total. They are the fourth-largest student and exchange visitor group after the South Korean born (11.6 percent or 135,265), Japanese born (7.7 percent or 90,490), and Chinese born (6.0 percent or 70,503).
In 2006, 2.3 percent of all unauthorized immigrants in the United States were from India.
OIS has estimated that 270,000, or 2.3 percent, of the approximately 11.5 million unauthorized migrants in 2006 were born in India.
The number of unauthorized immigrants from India grew faster than the number of any other immigrant group between 2000 and 2006.
The estimated number of unauthorized immigrants from India has more than doubled since 2000, rising from 120,000 to 270,000 in 2006. This rate (125 percent) is faster than that of any other group between 2000 and 2006.
The First Wave
Late 19th Century
Nature of migrants: Voluntary emigrants, traders, indentured labour
Destinations: Africa, Southeast Asia, West Indies
The Second Wave
Nature of migrants: Professionals and entrepreneurs
Destinations: US, Europe, West Asia
The Third Wave
The biggest one, happening now
Nature of migrants: White-collar professionals, students, diploma-holders.
Destinations: Canada, New Zealand, Australia, USA.
Indians Living Abroad
Indians who migrated to the US in the last two years
Skilled computer professionals leaving India every year contributing to annual ‘resource loss’ of $2 billion
Number of Indians who migrated to New Zealand in the last three years
Number of Indians who migrated to Canada in 2002
Percentage of IIT graduates leaving India every year
Percentage of medical school graduates leaving India every year
India’s rank among countries exporting people to the US. Mexico is number 1.
India’s rank among countries exporting students to the US. 90 per cent of them never return.
Source: Ministry of External Affairs; Center for Immigration Studies, Washington, DC; Institute of International Education; International Migration Report 2002 of United Nations Population Fund; New Zealand Immigration Service; Department of Immigration and Multicultural And Indigenous Affairs, Australia
Scale and scope of migration :-
The willingness of all people to move from place of residence to another location is driven by economic and lifestyle aspirations. This is true internationally as well as in india. But the core engine that powers migration is that for employment, and there are many different characteristics contained in this broad term. There are different categories of workers, blue collar and white collar, with quite different aspirations and patterns of movement. There is another divide between skilled employees and the unskilled; skilled employees benefit from steady market demand for their services; unskilled workers continue to struggle to get a foothold on the economic ladder. There are two kinds of borders – national borders, of course but also explicit and hidden within countries that affect the movement of people.
International skilled Migration
It is estimated that less than a million people migrate out of the country in any given year. As per various government documents there are about five million Indian migrants workin internationally, our own estimates are a bit higher at about six million. But Indian talent migration is creating a significant impact on both the host country as well as in india. Traditionally the major destinations for highly skilled Indian migrants have been the US, UK and Canada and that for unskilled, semi skilled and recently professionals have been the high income countries in the gulf mainly to the gulf cooperation council (GCC) countries. But this is changing rapidly. Destinations such as Australia, new Zealand and Singapore are also attracting Indian professionals. In the past, it was the construction worker that characterized Indian talent movement to non English speaking countries. Now countries in Europe and japan are now also steadily becoming larger recipients of Indian skilled talent. In the gulf as well skilled talent in migrationis steadily becoming more important vis-à-vis the unskilled.
In a very short span of time india has become the top two or three most important sources of talent in migration in a range of developed countries including the USA, UK, Australia, Canada and of course the gulf region.
But the IT sector is not the sole beneficiary of Indian skilled talent migration. In 2004,
over 38,000 physicians of Indian origin accounted for one in every 20 doctors practicing
medicine in the US. Another 12,000 Indians and Indian-Americans are medical students
and residents – doctors in specialty training – in teaching hospitals across the country.
And Indians made up roughly 20 percent of the “International Medical Graduates” – or
foreign-trained doctors – operating in the U.S. 1 India is also the country of origin of
27,809 of the 68,836 registered doctors in UK who earned their medical qualification
outside the European Un ion (GMC, UK 2008). Not just doctors, India is the second
biggest exporter of nurses to the UK, after the Philippines.
The impact of Indian talent in-migration is not limited to English speaking developed
countries. Significant numbers of Indian professionals are now heading towards new
and emerging destinations in Continental Europe and East Asia. Germany for instance
introduced the Green Card Scheme in 2000 to attract IT specialists. It is estimated that
more than 60 per cent of those who have been admitted under Green Card Scheme are Indians. Also nearly 10 percent of the total IT engineers admitted to Japan during 2003 were Indians.
According to the MOIA, Annual Report 2007-08, during 2006 about 670,000 workers
emigrated from India with emigration clearance. Out of th is about 255,000 workers
went to UAE and about 134,000 to Saudi Arabia. Outside the Gulf region, Malaysia is
also emerging as an important destination for intake of Indian labour – about 36,000
workers migrated to Malaysia in that year. This is yet another example of new locations opening up for Indian talent.
A large majority of about 70 per cent of the Indian migrants in the Gulf has comprised
the semi-skilled and unskilled workers, the rest being white-collar workers (20%) and
professionals (10%). Though the latter are becoming more and more significant in
recent years (Khadria, 2006).
Indian Government statistics reveal that the socio economic profile of Indian migrants to
the Gulf has been shifting since the late eighties. There has been an increased flow of
professionals and white collar workers. There is a significant change in demand for skills
away from construction towards operations and maintenance, services, and transport
and communications. In general there is a tendency to hire more professionals and
ski l led manpower as opposed to unskilled and semi-skilled workers.
Consequently, countries such as the U.A.E are shifting focus away from unskilled to the
ski l led and professionals category. Apart from highly qualified professionals such as
doctors, engineers and architects, bankers and CA’s, many white collar workers are now
working in Government offices and Public sector enterprises. Others are engaged in
gold, electronics, motor spare parts or textile trades, construction industry, managing
hotels and restaurants .
But despite th is trend in the Gu lf, the overa l l low ski l led workers are increasing. These
sem i- ski l led and unski l led workers are mostly temporary m igrants who return to Ind ia
after expiry of their contractua l employment. Figure 10 shows the annua l outflow of
labour to GCC countries.
REASONS FOR THE MIGRATION
The world market in open to all. The main reasons for migration are:-
1.Better economic stability
3.More job opportunities.
As far as doctors, engineers and other professional are concerned they leave the country because of what it is called the discontentedness and greedy nature of human beings, as they saw more freedom and more choice in having more money and to live what they think as a happy joyous life.
Many countries have very low barriers to setting up business and evolved customers for advanced products and services which may fail in the domestic market hence they leave for foreign countries. Some want to travel around the world and learn about different cultures and hence travel to different parts of the world. Some may want to learn new trades and start successful business at home.
Another reason is freedom. some educated class youth think they can earn more money and also get more freedom in western country.
Factors promoting migration include:
2) immigration rules,
3) colonial links,
4) financial incentives and material benefits,
5) pursuit of higher education,
6) improvement of working conditions and facilities,
7) avoidance of excessive bureaucratic procedures, and
8) compensation for the mismatch between Indian education and employment.
Quality of life of average Indian has not improved after 1947 but got worse for some (in comparison to other parts of developed world). Yes many Indian take pride in having cell phones, TV etc, but roads and quality of health care for average Indian has gone down hill. The difference between have and have not’s has widened.
The corrupt politicians & bureaucrats and their insensitivity for the people and growing problems in economy & safety of the citizens are the root causes for such exodus.
Security of the person in their respective home countries also push people to emigrate.
In a broader context, push factors applies to upwardly mobile people who desperately want to improve their quality of life. People like professionals (accountants, physicians teachers, IT engineers, scientists), and workers in skilled trades (carpenters, plumbers, electricians, mechanics). Unable to find suitable work, or often poorly paid, they expect that emigration to developed countries will somehow provide them with opportunities lacking in their former countries. One factor sometimes overlooked is the determination of some migrants to become established in foreign countries and send remittances to poorer family members living “back home”.
India currently does not have training and education policies that can meaningfully convert this demographic dividend into employable dividend .
India’s transformation to a knowledge economy and the associated change in profile of employment opportunities has created a demand supply gap in skills in new economy
Reasons for coming back to INDIA
Deference to wives who were unable to adjust to a foreign way of life,
Contributing to Indian development, and
EFFECTS OF EXODUS
IT sector may face a shortage of 500,000 technology professionals by 2010. Also in the education sector 25% to 40% shortage of faculty members in disciplines like engineering, management, economics, computer science in Central Universities is anticipated.
The survey also highlights talent shortages in sectors like Health, Engineering/ Heavy equipment industry, Insurance, Automotive industry, mining, textiles, civil aviation, environment and oil and gas. Thus talent shortages exist across wide range of sectors in economy.
Rapid in-migration may change the social and cultural characteristics of a particular location. This can create d is-satisfaction on the part of local communities.
Gains from Migration
Migration, whether domestic or international, results in a better matching of a person’s
inherent ability with employment and income options.This results in greater productivity, output and remuneration. The net result is a win-win situation where all
three – the employer, the employee, and h is family benefit.
Remittances are also the most immediate and tangible benefits of international migration. India was the largest recipient of workers’ remittances, which amounted to US$ 27 billion in 2007. Incidentally remittances have outstripped net foreign direct investment and official financial flows in India.
There is a substantial skill up gradation when Indian technology professionals work in an international environment. The Indian Diaspora is thus expected to play an important role in technology diffusion in the country.
Costs of Migration
Un less there is a clear surplus of skills and human capital, large scale migration indeed has a possibility of creating an enormous shortage of resources that are drivers for development, institutional creation as well as building and economic well-being. Th is can range from the loss of a dynamic segment and the youth on local/domestic
entrepreneurship, to very deleterious consequences for future generations of scarce
talent in universities.
It should be recognized that a large majority of the migrants do not return. This is true for both domestic as well as international migration, and aptly reflected in the high rates of urbanization growth within the country, as well as permanent work Visas and
citizenships granted to international migrants from India.
Loss of Investment in Human Capital
The government, at the central, state, and local levels invests substantial amounts in education and health. In the case of professional and high human capital the investment is significantly higher than for a low skilled worker. Migration imposes a double hit on the government.On the one hand, the investment in the development of the migrant is lost to some other state or country. And on the other, the potential economic and tax base is also
lower as productive and energetic individuals are lost. In both cases there is a negative
long term fiscal impact.The new paradigm of “brain gain” and “talent circulation” of viewing talent migration may be relevant in some fields in others like higher education, medicine and health care this may not be the case. As teachers, doctors, nurses and medical professionals leave an area they create a major service gap adversely affecting those who remain.
STEPS TO BE TAKEN TO AVOID EXODUS
As migration of professionals and academicians to foreign and gulf countries is dangerous to India some preventive measures must be taken to avoid brain drain to enhance the economy of the developing country like India.
To encourage the return of those who left to pursue high quality research, India must
1) increase expenditure on research and development, possibly through the private industrial sector,
2) promote travel to other countries for professional enrichment, and
3) improve conditions of research work.
It has now been demonstrated that talent migration can contribute in ways unforeseen
and governments at the state and central level need to facilitate the smooth and safe
flow of talent as well as a good work and living environment.
For India to benefit from the opportunities that are emerging in the world, Indian talent would need to be appropriately educated and skilled. The government recognizes this
and apart from rapidly increasing expenditures on education, is also instituting many of vocational and skill development programs. However, given the scale of the problem,
these efforts are inadequate. Forth is purpose ensuring greater private sector entry into
the educational and vocational training sector will be critical. The entry of international
educational and skill development organizations needs to be encouraged and facilitated
Complaints are often received about cheating of intending emigrants by touts and
recruiting agents and exploitation and ill-treatment of emigrants by their foreign employers. Malpractices like substitution of contract, underpayment and delayed payment of wages, denial of contractual facilities etc are frequent. The Emigration Act of 1983 needs to re-looked at and changes that clearly delineate the roles and responsibilities of critical stakeholders including central government, Indian Missions, Protector General of Emigrants and Recruiting Agencies and Employers need to be laid down. Perhaps even more important, the implementation of the Act needs to be tightened.
Greater Portfolio Diversification
India’s migration and manpower policies need greater portfolio diversification both with respect to the countries as well as occupations. It will be difficult for the government to accurately and finely predict such opportunities. However certain actions such as opportuni
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