What are the implications of Emigration of India’s brightest youth?

Synopsis: recent trends that suggests increasing emigration of brightest youth from India, have implications for India.


  • Even after the renewed calls from the PM Narendra Modi for an Atmanirbhar Bharat, emigration of India’s best and brightest has not stopped.
  • Recent findings by Indian Express have shown that, during the two decades of 1996-2015 the toppers (i.e., first rankers in Class 10 and Class 12 examinations from CBSE and ISC) had migrated and were studying or employed overseas, mostly in the US.
  • Also, according to most recent data collected from high-profile private schools in New Delhi, has shown that post-2015, that the trend of out-migration of Indian talent (around 70% of their students) and wealth has accelerated.
  • Apart from the CBSE and ISC students, there is now a growing number of International Baccalaureate (IB) students (who, study and prepare only to pursue their higher education abroad).

What are the implications of rising Emigration from India?

  • First, there is a flight of financial capital to overseas. The Reserve Bank of India’s liberalised remittances scheme (LRS) for “studies abroad” has increased more than threefold, from US$ 1.54 billion in 2016-17 to US$ 4.99 billion in 2019-20.
  • Second, it leads to the “secession of the successful” when wealthy families from big cities send their children to schools that in fact equip them only for further studies and life overseas
  • Third, with flight of human capital, as the data suggests that an increasing number of non-resident Indians (NRIs) have become “not-returning” Indians, and are contributing more to their host countries than to their home country the PM’s belief that “brain drain” could help create a “brain bank” for India’s development is not going to happen.
  • Fourth, there is now an emerging category of Indians migrating out and opting to stay out of India because they feel the sense of alienation in their motherland and this perception has grown especially among minorities which disturbs the very cultural fabric of India.
  • Fifth, an equally worrying trend is the increasing number of India’s super rich is opting for the dual status of owning and managing business in India while living overseas.

It is high time that instead of attracting foreign nationals to work here, India focus on retaining its brightest minds, who are assisting other countries in achieving technological and economical breakthroughs.

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