Government complacency and the brain drain in India

A Gallup Management Journal Q&A delves into the issue of the brain drain in India, and the 5 percent of the population there who wants to leave. That may seem like a small proportion, but given the population size there, it actually represents a huge number of people. Should the government be worried? Here’s an excerpt from the interview with Rajesh Srinivasan, Gallup Regional Director, Asia:

"The government knows the number of Indian citizens leaving and the number coming back. What they don’t know is what proportion of the larger citizenry would want to leave if they had the opportunity. And because there are limits to how many people actually leave, both based on demand — conditions outside the country — and supply — migration control within the country — the government hasn’t had as much to be concerned about…However, the downside of being complacent — assuming it won’t happen, so we don’t have to do anything about it — is that many of the people who want to leave but can’t are essentially disengaged or unproductive, or they just haven’t realized their true potential as employees or citizens, wherever they are. If India can’t figure out how to channel them and make them feel that they are productive citizens, they won’t be very useful within their organizations, the community, or the country. So from that perspective, the government should be actively thinking about how to create opportunities so the aspirational needs of its citizens can be met within India."

-Sarah Garland