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According to Oxford Advanced Learners dictionary Brain Drain is the movement of highly
skilled and qualified people to a country where they can work in better conditions and earn more
money. Cambridge Online Dictionary defines when large numbers of educated and very skilled people
leave their own country to live and work in another one where pay and conditions are better..
Brain-drain can also be named as human capital flight because it resembles the case of capital
flight, in which mass migration of financial capital is involved. Brain drain is usually regarded as an
economic cost, since emigrants usually take with them the fraction of value of their training sponsored
by the government or other organizations. It is a parallel of capital flight, which refers to the same
movement of financial capital. Brain drain is often associated with de-skilling of emigrants in their
country of destination, while their country of emigration experiences the draining of skilled individuals.
Brain-drain can have many reasons, for example-political instability of a nation, lack of opportunities,
health risks, personal conflicts etc.
The term brain-drain was introduced by observing the emigration of the various technologists,
doctors and scientists, from various developing countries to more developed nations like USA, UK,
Germany, England etc. Now this phenomenon of brain drain has a conversed effect for a country in
which people are getting migrated and brain-drain of a nation becomes brain-gain for that particular
country. Usually all developing countries including India are suffering from brain drain and developed
countries like USA are having brain gain from this phenomenon. More or less, all the backward
countries are suffering from this problem. India is also one of the major nations in the world which is
suffering from this brain drain seriously at the present moment.
The UNDP estimates that India loses $2 billion a year because of the emigration of computer
experts to the U.S. Indian students going abroad for their higher studies costs India a foreign exchange
outflow of $10 billion annually. Thousands of Indian scientists, doctors, engineers and other qualified
persons have migrated and are staying in other countries. Every year hundreds of our best brains make
frantic efforts to leave India. The demand for passports is increasing every year, even though more and
more employment opportunities are being created within the country. The steady outflow of our nations
talent, especially those educated, at the cost of the tax payers money, has caused concern to the
government. Due to high salary and facilities Indian youth is moving abroad. One reason as to why the
developed countries prosper is because of the high intellectual
migrants from the poor developing countries. This knowledge gap is increasing and the poor countries
are becoming poorer and rich countries are emerging as knowledge countries and they are ruling the
In one other way globalization has helped in retaining the skilled people within the country,
because a person can work for a foreign company sitting at home in India. But in reality he is working
for an overseas country not for his own nation.
Indian Diaspora is a geographically diversified Diaspora, which is spread in as many as 110
countries. The Government of India estimated that there are 30 million Indian Diaspora spread across
the world. The nature of settlement of Indian Diaspora can broadly divided into two parts, namely old
Diaspora and new Diaspora. The prominent countries that figure in the old Indian Diaspora are
Malaysia, Mauritius, Trinidad and Tobago, Fiji, Guyana, and Suriname and the important countries
with the new Diaspora are all the developed countries like USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New
Zealand. Apart from these two, a good number of Indians also live in the Gulf region. The geographical
distribution of Indian migrant destination countries is defined by the level of qualification. The
migration flows of the highly-skilled are oriented towards traditional Indian destinations, namely: the
US, Canada, the UK and more recently toward non-English speaking EU countries. This wave was
accelerated by Indian integration into the world economy. Semi-skilled and unskilled Indian workers

are predominantly concentrated in the high-income countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council. These
migrants have also been viewed for a long time as key providers of remittances. Current emigrants from
India show an evolution of Indian labour migration, confirmed by the presence of highly-skilled flows
towards the Gulf, a destination traditionally reserved for unskilled and semi-skilled Indians. The same
trend is recorded regarding highly-skilled flows towards the US, Canada, Australia and Europe where
unskilled Indian migrants mix with more qualified categories.


There are various reasons for the brain drain in India. The reasons usually include two aspects which
respectively come from countries and individuals. In terms of countries, the reasons may be social
environment (in source countries: lack of opportunities, political instability, economic depression,
health risks, etc.; in host countries: rich opportunities, political stability and freedom, developed
economy, better living conditions, etc.). In terms of individual reasons, there are family influence, and
personal preference: preference for exploring, ambition for an improved career, etc. Keeping all these in
mind we can identify some causes for the brain drain in India.
Higher Education : Higher education in India evolved considerably after independence in terms of the
number of universities as well as in terms of access to higher education. Nowadays, the number of
universities in India has grown some 35 times comparing to 500 colleges and 20 universities before
independence which are enrolling more than 11 million students, more than 10 times before
independence. Before independence education was limited and elitist: the current system is though
more open with from 30- 40% of enrolments from coming from the lower castes, and with women
representing some 35% of the total number of students. The impressive increase in higher education
has raised some questions over the adequacy of studies, resources, institutional quality and standards.
Students moving to the abroad is keep increasing. The most preferred educational destinations are the
U.S. and U.K. In the year 2006, of the 1,23,000 studying outside India, 76,000 have chosen USA
(94,563 in 2007-2008, 83,833 in 2006-2007) as a country of their choice followed by UK, Canada and
Australia. Most popular foreign universities are University of Southern California, New York University,
Columbia University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Purdue University, Indiana, University
of Michigan, Ann Arbor, University of California, Los Angeles, University of Texas, Austin, Harvard
University, Boston University, University of Pennsylvania.
Employment: - India has skilled and semi-skilled, employed and unemployed human resource. Low
salaries and inefficient working conditions can be the first motive that triggers the movement to the
countries with better living standards and facilities. There is huge difference in terms of salary in all
three groups of countries namely developed, developing and underdeveloped. To demonstrate, Skilled
workers aim to get pleasing salaries in return for their labour but the working conditions in their
homeland don't fulfill their wishes. Therefore, those workers prefer to move another country in order to
have better living conditions with high salaries. Employment is one of the strong reason for brain drain
in India.
Lack of opportunities: In developed countries, researchers are provided with funds and necessary
equipment to carry out study, which can be another motive that attracts those deprived of these
opportunities. Most scientists in underdeveloped countries, do not possess laboratory facilities and
researchers cannot get sufficient funds. Therefore, when developed countries offer these facilities,
researchers and scientists naturally prefer to migrate to these countries. The internationalization of
knowledge creation and the rapid expansion of R&D activities determined the diversification of
receiving countries for professionals and skilled workers from India. Traditional migration streams of
highly-skilled Indian were directed toward the United States and the UK. In the 2000s, new nonEnglish-speaking destinations emerged in Europe such as Italy, France, Germany and other European

countries. The number of skilled Indian migrants moving to Australia, Canada, and New Zealand also
Favorable migration policies: - Increasing economic interdependence among nations, growing
demand for skilled labour in the knowledge economy not to mention demographic trends are all
strengthening the position of India as a major supplier of young, educated and qualified manpower for
the EU. Owing to its demographic profile and its English-speaking population, India, with its large
reserves of highly-skilled workers, has emerged as one of the most prominent country to fill the supply
gaps in the labour-deficient economies of the developed world. Taking into account EU economic
objectives coupled with demographic and ageing effects, Member States have put in place selective
immigration policies aimed at attracting highly-skilled professionals and tertiary-level international
students from South Asia. In order to facilitate labour mobility, some EU countries signed labourmobility partnerships with India. According to the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, this kind of
agreements was signed with Denmark, and negotiations are ongoing with other European countries,
EU and non EU, including Poland, the Czech Republic, Norway, Switzerland and Hungary, Sweden and
France. There are so many causes of the brain drain in India. First of all, there is the unemployment
problem. Even a talented person cannot get job. India is lacking in facilities for higher research work.
The top appointments are quite few in India. Thus the talented experts like to seek new pastures
India the brain reservoir in the new knowledge based economy
The growth in knowledge intensive activities in the developed world has led to a growing demand for
Science and Engineering professionals. With an important reserve of trained people in this domain,
India is becoming a major supplier of human capital for the advanced economies. India is sending large
numbers of these specialists compared to other important origin countries. A relevant example is the
number of Indian students in science and engineering enrolled in US undergraduate degree programs.
India, China, and South Korea are the top countries of origin for foreign students in the United States
in science and engineering: India with 68,000 students in 2009 accounts for the largest number of
foreign students here, followed by China with 54 000 students. Together these countries account for
almost 47% of all foreign science and engineering student enrolled in U.S universities9. Germany is
also recruiting foreign students from India, notably in engineering and computer sciences. The United
States remain the most important host country of highly-skilled Indian migrants with more than 80%
of Indian skilled migration to all developed countries. In the host countries, Indian migrants are among
the besteducated and highest-earning groups. The US Census Bureau s 2008 American Community
Survey found that 74.1% of an estimated stock of 1.6 million of Indian immigrants held at least a
bachelor's degree, and 68.9% were hired in management, professional, and related positions (Naujoks,
2009). According to the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), 46.9% of highly-skilled workers
admitted under the H-1B visa between fiscal year 2000 and fiscal year 2009 were born in India10. In
2004, the US was the favored destination of 62% of the 71,290 physicians emigrating from India while
32% chose the UK (Bhargava, Docquier, and Moullan, 2010). In the European Union, the UK is the first
destination of highly-skilled Indian migrants attracting two thirds of the total number of Indian
migrants in Western Europe (Khadria, 2008). Indians also represented more than 40% of the estimated
22,000 entries under the UKs Highly-Skilled Migrant Program
According to the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), 46.9% of highly-skilled workers admitted
under the H-1B visa between fiscal year 2000 and fiscal year 2009 were born in India10. In 2004, the
US was the favored destination of 62% of the 71,290 physicians emigrating from India while 32% chose
the UK (Bhargava, Docquier, and Moullan, 2010). In the European Union, the UK is the first
destination of highly-skilled Indian migrants attracting two thirds of the total number of Indian

migrants in Western Europe (Khadria, 2008). Indians also represented more than 40% of the estimated
22,000 entries under the UKs Highly-Skilled Migrant Program.
Indian students: an important source of labour for developed economies
An important place in the flows of well-trained Indian migrants is taken by Indian students. India,
for example, accounts for 5.5% of the 2.8 million students studying outside their home-country. After
China (421,100), the country sends the greatest number of students abroad: 153,300. In 2009, the EU27 hosted 1.6 million foreign students in tertiary education.13 53,930 were Indian citizens. The first
destination was the UK (42,406) followed by Germany (3,629), Cyprus (1,588) and France (1,252)14.
According to the table below, in 2009, India was behind only China in sending students in the EU-27.
The other two main countries of origin were Morocco with 44,800 students and the United States with
32,100 students. Nigeria and Brazil, the two non-Asian big demographic pools send only, respectively
half and one third of Indias numbers.
Increase in the immigration of Indian migrants to the European Union (EU) due to favorable
Over the last few years, the European Union has been seeking to put in place measures which
comprise effective integration policies addressing education and labour market issues. This is proven
by the number of Indian immigrants who acquired European Union citizenship. In 2006, 20,600 (2.8%)
of 735,000 citizens granted by the European countries were Indians. In 2008, in a context of lower
immigration figures, 15,200 Indians acquired citizenship of an EU Member State which represents
2.2% of the total number of acquisitions recorded in the EU. In 2009 this number doubled. Among
776,000 naturalized persons, 4% were Indian citizens, making Indians the third largest group after
Moroccans (7.7%) and Turkish citizens (6.7%) to become citizens of an EU member State (Population
Database - Eurostat). Such a trend would have to be checked over a number of years. For the moment,
however, it tends to show the attractiveness of Europe to the highly-skilled Indian workforce.
The formulation of more favorable immigration conditions for highly-skilled persons determined the
strong presence of this category in the Indian immigration flows to Europe. Current Indian mobility to
Europe is mainly a movement of students and skilled workers in IT, medicine, finance, academia and
other areas. The predominance of the highly-skilled is revealed by the high level of residence permits
granted to Indian nationals by European countries for employment and education. Among 201,398 new
permits issued to Indians at the EU level, 37% were for employment and 26% for education purposes.
Immigration flows decreased by 21% compared to 2008, in 2009 Indian immigration increased by 16%
reaching 108,341 which accounts for around 6% of all non-EU nationals. India-EU migration trend, in
recent years, shows not only a gradual expansion, but also a diversification both in terms of source of
flows and their destinations. Indian migration to Europe is a recent function of unskilled and skilled
migrants with a growing element of skilled professionals, due to the EU immigration policies focused on
skilled migrants. In 2008, India was the third non-EU source country (93,436) behind only Morocco
(150,000) and China (97,000) (Eurostat). Despite the fact that the UK remains the main EU destination
for Indian migrants, hosting 59%, in 2009, new European countries have emerged as attractive
destinations. In 2001, only three European countries attracted over 1,000 Indian immigrants and three
other attracted between 500 and 1000 Indians: in 2009, 10 EU Members states attract over 1,000
India a supplier of young and well trained-people for European countries
Increasing economic interdependence among nations, growing demand for skilled labour in the
knowledge economy not to mention demographic trends are all strengthening the position of India as a
major supplier of young, educated and qualified manpower for the EU. Owing to its demographic profile
and its English-speaking population, India, with its large reserves of highly-skilled workers, has

emerged as one of the most prominent country to fill the supply gaps in the labour-deficient economies
of the developed world. Taking into account EU economic objectives coupled with demographic and
ageing effects, Member States have put in place selective immigration policies aimed at attracting
highly-skilled professionals and tertiary-level international students from South Asia. Through the
European Blue Card, following the principles of the American Green Card, the EU intends to attract 20
million well-trained workers in the next 20 years (Sawahel 2007, Khadria, 2008b).Moreover,
negotiations in early 2012 over the free-trade agreement launched in 2007 between the EU and India
could reinforce the immigration of highly-skilled Indians to the EU, which will mean easier access for
Indian workers to EU countries in return for access to Indias domestic market. With a large and
growing population of 1.15 billion, India will be a major player in international migration. According to
the Indian Office of the Registrar General & Census commissioner, the population of India is expected
to increase to 1.4 billion in 2026 overtaking China at that point. Population growth in India is set to
continue and large numbers of young people will enter the labor force age group of those aged 15 to 64.
By 2020, India will become the worlds largest pool of young people estimated at 820 million as
compared to the present number of 400 million20. Moreover, 3.5 million graduates and postgraduates
are added annually to the talent base. No other country offers a similar combination and scale of
human resources (NASSCOM).
Thus brain drain is a direct loss, of trained experts in many fields, to the under-developed and poor
countries. On the other hand, it is a net gain to the advanced countries. According to a UNO report,
every year thousands of experts are migrating from backward countries to advanced countries like
USA, UK, Canada, Germany etc. The under-developed countries are spending millions of rupees on the
training of these experts. But the advanced countries are utilizing their services without spending any
money on their training. Every year, thousands of highly talented doctors, engineers, scientists and
other intellectuals leave India and migrate to foreign countries. They generally go to U.S.A, UK, Canada,
West Germany, etc for monetary gains and facilities for higher research. US is the biggest gainer from
the loss of India due to brain drain. In 2010, India with an estimated stock of 11.4 million emigrants
was the second emigration country in the world, behind Mexico (11.9 million)1. In absolute terms,
India is among the countries which lose most highly-skilled workers to foreign markets. In 2000, India
was, for example, the first sending country of physicians with 57,383or 9.9% of the total number of
physicians trained in the country going abroad. India and the Philippines supply most foreign-trained
doctors and nurses to the OECD, notably to English-speaking countries. The emigration of health
professionals has negative effects on India, especially in rural areas where the density of doctors is
lower than in urban areas. Despite increasing internal demand, India still has a very low density of
doctors (0.6 per thousand people in 2004) compared with 3 in the US and 2 in Canada. Compared with
other large origin countries, India records higher expatriation rate of doctors: 8%; while the
expatriation rate of, say, Chinese doctors is about 1%. This does not prevent, of course, India from
having a large and powerful modern health sector; as in other countries, the migration of health
professionals may coexist with a dynamic urban sector and the inequitable social distribution of
medical resources at the country level.
Most of the students who go abroad for higher studies do not return to India. After seeing, the
affluent life of foreign countries they lose all interest in their own country. Many Indians are teaching at
various US Universities and other Institutions of higher learning. Some of them are placed on quite
lucrative and high posts. There is another attraction of leading a higher standard of living in foreign
countries, because the technical experts and intellectuals, are give special facilities there. In foreign
countries, there is the advantage that while learning a person can also earn his own living. The
stipends in foreign countries are sufficient enough. A frugal Indian Student living there can also save
something to send home. There is no doubt that India is having vast natural and man power resources.
If both these resources are put to the maximum utilization astounding advancement can be achieved in
all fields. These technical and other talented reasons whom we lose every year, can greatly help in the

development of our natural resources. The government must take speedy steps to attract back home
these talented sons of India who are living abroad. These experts can surely help in making India a
great power in the world. In this connection, even the people should also come forward and cooperate
with the Government in solving this problem. The parents of the students should not encourage them
to go abroad and settle there even if they are paid high salaries. The doctors, engineers and scientists
owe a duty to their motherland. Our nation is spending huge amounts of money on their training.
These people should not betray their own nation by serving foreign nations. Today thousands of young
Indian scientists and technicians are devoted to the cause of rebuilding our nation. The country has
already achieved the nuclear status as well as become a space power. There are enough opportunities
for all the Indian scientists and engineers settled abroad, if they come back to India. They should play
an important role in future progress of our country and share the honour of participating in this
sacred task.
There is increasing awareness that migration can benefit both the sending and the receiving
country. In the long run brain drain may be converted into brain gain: something particularly relevant
to India. Until recently, the role of the overseas Indian community in the development of the homeland
concerned only financial resources. Estimated at 30 million and with a presence in 189 countries, the
Indian Diaspora produces an annual economic income of about $400 billion, almost 30 percent of
Indias GDP27. Desai, Kapur and McHale (2001) found that the 1 million Indians in the United States
who represent only 0.1 percent of Indias population earn the equivalent of about 10% of India s
national income. The estimated volume of remittances in 2010 was $55 billion or 3.9% as a share of
GDP. Naturally, these financial resources contributed to development processes in India. But in
addition to direct financial advantage, Indian expatriates abroad, especially highlyqualified expatriates
bring other benefits such as image improvement for the country, knowledge transfers, access to new
markets, business networks.
For the balance of power and for the staggered development of the world, it is very important to stop
the phenomena of brain-drain. This will help a particular country to use all local skilled citizens for
development and proliferation. But to hold these skilled workers at their native places, it is also
important to provide them enough work opportunities and living facilities. For this purpose, developed
nations should help developing countries with necessary money and resources. So that each and every
human of this planet can have good standard of living and each and every nation can introduce itself
as a developed nation. The UNDP estimates that India loses $2 billion a year because of the emigration
of computer experts to the U.S. Indian students going abroad for their higher studies costs India a
foreign exchange outflow of $10 billion annually. These statistics clearly shows the human capital
flight of our country. This scenario must change for the sustainable growth of the nation.


Globalisation and internationalisation of higher education has induced rapid transformation in student
mobility and institutional mobility internationally as well as in India. The ongoing reforms for improving
the standards of Indian higher educational institutions and simultaneously introducing competition in
India for improvement of the system by privatisation and inviting foreign service providers is so far not
wholly successful. The paper discusses policy perspectives about these issues in the context of present
policies adopted in the country. The paper seeks to focus on policy gaps and has tried to discuss on the
issues relating outward student mobility/emigration, development of Indias own institutions of higher
learning, brain drain and brain circulation debate etc. Brain drain is not a dead concept, because of

loss of skilled expertise in critical areas in India like science and technological R&D as well as
medicine. However, brain circulation is still relevant to some extent among skilled professionals in
business/management and information technology.
According to Agarwal (2009) India is deficient of a critical mass in tertiary education. A gross
enrollment ratio (GER) of 11 percent is a poor comparison vis--vis Chinas 20 percent, Koreas 91
percent and 83 percent in the case of the United States (US). India does not have anything like the
Bologna process of European Union, that has greatly enhanced faculty and student mobility, also
contributed to brilliance in higher education systems in Europe. In India the faculty salary structures
plus career advancement schemes are still undergoing reforms. The system in India sometimes does
not remunerate the excellent. Student mobility between institutions carrying credits for finished
coursework with the ease with which they do so in the western developed education system and
nowadays even in China is still in nascent stage in India. Since 1990s, skilled labour migration has
been a rapidly increasing. Skilled migrants mostly defined as those possessing a tertiary degree or
wide-ranging specialised job experience include architects, financial experts, accountants, technicians,
engineers, scientists, researchers, teachers, chefs, health professionals, and experts in information
technology (IT, including computing experts, computing engineers, management professionals etc.)
(Vertovec, 2002). In effect mobility is not all-embracing, and its freedoms and extensions are not
unproblematic goods. From the outlook of both national together with global goods, two diverse policy
objectives seem to be imperative, that is the rationale of open academic movement in and out of all
nationwide higher education systems, and the plan of intensification of the educational competence of
each national system (Marginson et al. 2007). The OECD views that in a professional labour market
situation, qualifications has to be accredited globally with as hardly any anonymity as possible. Owing
to the national and cultural entrenchment of teaching-learning processes, national power over
qualifications will persist to be essential, making approval of foreign qualifications very significant.
Recognition has to be logical, obvious, just and reliable and mete out little load to mobile professionals
(OECD, 2004). Student mobility is nothing new concept in India as well as internationally. However,
globalisation of society and economy is followed by increasing number of students moving overseas for
higher as well as technical education. Widespread diversification of various disciplines has resulted in
increasing enrolment of students in specialised courses. Some of these courses are not readily available
in developing countries like India; hence the foreign institutions cater to these services. Besides, other
pull factors like the prospects of living in prosperous countries might have influenced increasing
student mobility often resulting in permanent migration of students from India. The exodus of human
capital is often the cause of vehement political debate in India; in spite of the modern views like brain
circulation benefitting both India as well as the developed countries. In fact, brain drain is still relevant
in even in 21st century context, because of huge lack of skilled manpower in several key sectors in
India like many other developing countries.
The Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operations, Maintenance of
Quality and Prevention of Commercialisation) Bill 2010 is anticipated by its proponents to unwrap a
new outlook for international education providers to launch campuses in India followed by long-drawnout political antagonism and legal impasse. The foreign universities in India is not a new concept, since
educational joint projects between Indian institutions and foreign establishments exist in many cases,
typically in profit making fields corresponding to business as well as technical education. The
endeavour is to manage student mobility from India to abroad for pursuing higher studies, which is
conservatively deemed to be brain drain associated with exodus of capital. In opposition, the motivated
policy goal is to make India a destination for intercontinental students in Indias potential top-notch
universities in a transformed set up. Accordingly, institutional mobility in the form of the existence of
global institutions in India and controlling outward student mobility in addition to the setting up of
Indian university campuses in foreign countries point toward an explicable trend towards

transformation of geographies of tertiary education in a shrinking planet, linked by a literally developed

telecommunication network. In keeping with the UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS) estimate, the
number of internationally mobile students got better by 3.4 million students in 2009, an increase from
2.1 million figure in 2002. UIS identifies international students as those who have crossed a national
or territorial border for the purposes of education and are now enrolled outside their country of origin.
The OECD countries are chief pull factor for global students. The United States is the most well-liked
destination for Indian students. This mode encompassing student mobility which was advocated in
GATT agreement is today adopted by mostly elite people who can afford to the high expense of foreign
education. Twinning procedures, cross border franchise strategy, corroboration, sub-contracting along
with distance education encompassing overseas organisations is becoming more admired in several
countries. Under twinning arrangements, scholars typically study in their motherlands, but move out
of the country to complete the course and be awarded degrees from the foreign university. In India, for
example, the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Dehradun has condition of sending students overseas
for further training. The full-grown development like twinning agreement is increasingly developing in
India. Education hubs to draw international learners are a further arrangement some countries have
implemented. Neighbouring countries like Singapore and Saudi Arabia are favourite locations of wellknown foreign universities to offer degree programmes. The increasing population in India, the
upwardly mobile middle income-group and comparatively average education service in India has
produced the supply-demand hiatus in higher education. It clarifies a huge number of student mobility
to foreign universities every year. Distance learning has assumed growing significance in recent years
due to unprecedented development of proficiency in information technology in last few decades. Virtual
education is thus another case of internationalisation, notwithstanding some of its confines. The
open courseware consortium, for no less than 10 free courses provided by the American institutions
has made possible cross-border higher education in diverse geographies (Agarwal, 2006). It is implicit
that the institutions in India will experience comparable reforms in the impending decades as a direct
upshot of globalisation.
OECD nations form the major pull factor of migration for the Indian students. The highly skilled
migration having moved within this region comprises 30.2 percent of the total (Dunnewijk, 2008). The
Indian students mobility pattern is not unidirectional. In reality the preference for courses of the
students enrolling in the universities of the U.S., U.K., Australia or Canada is undergoing change due
to the impact of changing job market in a globalised world. Of late a significant share of the Indian
students in Australia opts for cookery, hospitality, sports management like off-beat courses, which can
easily open up employment opportunity for the Indian students in Australia. The curry bashing like
attacks on Indian students has cast a negative impact on student mobility from India to Australia. The
Indian government decision to prohibit student mobility to the Australian campuses is a potential
enthusing factor for other countries like the US, UK etc. vying to get Indian students. The traditional
preferences for PhD degrees or post doctorate is gradually yielding place to career oriented courses
ranging from low-skilled courses to high-end technology disciplines like missile technology, nano
technology etc. It is noticeable that even the great economic recession has failed to subdue the
increasing number of migrants to the foreign universities, probably because India is relatively less
affected by recession like other countries. Thus India has become an important education service
exporter to the campuses of the developed countries. Even China receive a significant share of Indian
students in medical science due to comparatively cheaper service vis--vis India. However, recent
studies (Germain, 2009) establish the fact that the United States has really experienced recession
regarding funding of its educational institutions. From the Ivy League universities to obscure colleges,
thinning profits and the weakening value of contributions have resulted in job loss, cancellation of
fresh building works and even cut in enrolment figures. was the epicenter of economic disaster in 2008
and 2009 with consequences like lay-off of employees in the US, cutting of salaries, and insolvency of
major MNCs. Recent policy adjustments similar to curbing off shoring, controlled H1B visa guidelines
and also expensive higher education are great discouraging aspects for the Indian students for studying

in the United States. Choudahas (2012) estimates suggest overall global enrolment growth in 2012 in
the American institutions. Though, the road ahead for the majority U.S. institutions of higher learning
will hardly be unproblematic as many institutions make great effort with the test of meeting
recruitment goals with too little time and fixed resources. In the U.S. alone, India and China added to
84% of all enhancement in worldwide student enrolment from 2000-01 to 2010-11. The most
commonly cited reasons for increased mobility among Chinese students are the growing supply of high
school graduates whose families can afford a U.S. education and the unmet demand for high-quality
education at home. By contrast, enrolment growth among Indian students has slowed considerably,
possibly due to the residual effects of the U.S. economic recession - given that nearly 60% of Indian
students enrolment in Masters programs of Engineering and Computer Science, they are highly
sensitive to the financial returns of their investment in education. However, there are signs that the
slowing trend is set to reverse. The number of student visas issued to Indians in 2011 increased by
18% (from 39,958 in 2010 to 46,982 in 2011),1 suggesting renewed interest in U.S. educational
opportunities (Choudaha, 2012). Even as the number of Chinese students has swelled at an
astonishing rate, the growth of students from India has been exhibiting a reverse-trend during the last
couple of years. Recent statistics released by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (USICE)
demonstrate that the quantity of active Chinese students on F-1 or M-1 visas at the Student and
Exchange Visitor Approved Schools at the last part of 2011 augmented by about 28% to almost
200,000 against the previous year, while Indian student numbers declined by almost 4% (IIE Open
Doors 2011).
Student mobility is the most conspicuous form of internationalisation. It needs discussion considering
the varying policy machinations as student mobility can be a vital variation of brain drain; though the
term brain drain has become old-fashioned in our era with the spanking new ideas like brain
circulation, brain chain, brain movement or brain bank and so forth. (Chaudhuri, 2010).
The traditional view is that the mobility of Indian students means a loss of potential income of few
billion dollars for the institutions of higher learning in India and also hemorrhaging of talent as out
migration of skilled manpower. The proponents of brain drain have assumed it as loss, although it is
difficult to establish at least in some of the sectors. The term gained popularity in the late 1960s as
industrialised nations were attracting skilled personnel. According to Beine et al (2001) the brain drain
is a stumbling block on fiscal growth through the reduction of a source countrys human resource.
Also, low investments in education are an enormous loss for developing countries. The brain drain is
caused by a demand-pull from the receiving countries, where domestic labour-market shortages
necessitate import of foreign labour. However, the modern day literatures have emphasised more on
global circular migration of skilled employees or termed as brain circulation. Internet has
revolutionised the modern communication, and tertiary education as well as the industry who have
gained much from such technological innovations. As a result, student mobility has been modified to
some extent due to distance education, virtual universities, franchise courses, twining programmes etc.
Jane Knight (2009) finds that that international students and researchers are progressively more
fascinated by a degree in country A, followed by a subsequent degree or possibly internship in country
B, leading to service in country C and probably D, lastly migrating to their home lands after 8 to 12
years of intercontinental learning as well as work experience. Consequently, the materialisation of the
term brain train represents a trend that contains benefits and perils for both sending and receiving
states. The convergence of an ageing humanity, decreasing birth rates, the knowledge economy, in
addition to expert labour mobility is presenting novel issues for tertiary education and thus producing
global academic mobility and employment. According to the studies of the Parliamentary Office of UK
(2008), in India, in IT and pharmaceuticals the brain gain of technical experts is not uncommon. This
is mostly motivated by the expansion of prospects in the private sector. Some companies aggressively
employ NRIs (Non Resident Indians), as the NRIs seem to be possessing wider knowledge compared to

local counterparts. On the flipside at International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology
located in New Delhi, about 90 percent of postgraduates migrate to the USA on graduation, resulting in
scarcity of junior employees. It is generally known, that countries growth depends on knowledge,
research, innovation on top of partnership with other countries. In this connection DEMOS (2007)
views that NRIs provide the leadership and management expertise, monetary as well as risk capital
that are giving impetus to Indian science and innovation.
The Indian families spend over $ 2 billion per annum for educating their wards in foreign campuses.
With the passing years, as the globalised financial system has established its roots in developed as well
as the developing nations, the dependence on technologies like internet has increased leading to speedy
network of data and information. Hence, knowledge globalisation process has caused an awe-inspiring
increase of cutting-edge skill. However, a fresh trend of reverse-migration; often termed as reverse
brain drain by many experts is now observed from countries like the U.S. to China and India due to
healthy economic growth revolving around free market economy in China and India. However, the real
brain drain is felt in medicine, where during last couple of years about 3000 doctors from AIIMS only,
left for the U.S. for higher studies and never returned. From April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011 - 1,157
doctors had moved out of India in search of better prospects and from 2009 to 2010 in the same
period, 1,458 doctors went out of the country (Times of India, 14th April, 2012). The Indian
government decision to introduce bond for medicine students migrating to the U.S. for mandatory
service in India is probably fuelled by the fact that the rural areas of India in particular, are severely
deficient of basic health care services and also the country spends not less than 1 million rupees for
producing one doctor. Even if a handful of such Indian doctors ultimately engage in research in
developed countries like USA, their inventions are sold at a premium in countries like India by the
MNCs in medicine business. The global ranking of institutions suggest that the Indian institutions still
lag far behind other countries in this regard, which propels the students from India to migrate to the
U.S., U.K. or the Australian institutions for globally approved degrees. The present policy debate is no
longer limited to whether migration is to be sanctioned or not, but the debate is gradually shifting to
the issue of how to handle migration efficiently in order to improve its positive outcomes on
development process while removing any miserable effect (MOIA, Annual Report, 2007-08). Several
researchers have established the validity of brain drain and loss of valuable human resources in the
less developed countries. Agrawal, et al (2011) has found it unlikely that a developing country with a
working financial system and striving hard to exploit the enormous stock of obtainable technology is
essentially wealthier if a great portion of its meagre talent resides overseas. The empirical results imply
that, regarding access to knowledge, the localization effect outweighs the Diaspora effect: Poor
countries are better off if their highly skilled workers stay home. The stay rate of Diasporas is
considered as a strong indicator of brain gain in favour of a host country. Altbach (2012) has expressed
his opinions as below: If stay rates are a sign of continuing inequalities in the global knowledge
system and in higher education, it will demand achieving a better balance and will require time,
resources, and in some cases, changing in academic structures and practices. While there is much
rhetoric about globalization creating a level playing field, the realities show something quite
The question of institutional mobility benefitting India is haunting many academicians as well as
policy makers. The best case circumstances are international best institutions entering India and
accelerating competition in Indian higher education sector. The nastiest probability is run of the mill
institutes coming in and investing in quarters with excellent returns prospective, purging some
competent teachers from foremost national institutions but in the long run having modest impact on
value or quantity. Some of the leading institutions are in now reluctant to have their own campuses in
India in a post recessionary set up. However, optimists argue that this is just the commencement of an
extended course and the charisma of India as a market for tertiary education plus catchment area for
bright students will only mature eventually. Government figures estimate that $2.2 billion worth of
foreign exchange moved out of India as remittance towards tuition cost and other expenditures by

Indian students in 2008-09. Some smell opportunities that could open up opportunities in the
continuing life-long education space, and also many varieties of courses that could be on offer.
International branch campuses expand the reach of institutions in such a manner as to improve their
global profile as well as status. They provide better access to an already swelling student market,
particularly in Asia where demand for tertiary education is likely to continue to outshine supply for
another 20 years. Lawton et al (2012) think that building branch campuses will never replace broader
intercontinental education activities as a means of locating universities with global ambitions. Altbach
(2011) views that India has an enormous unmet demand for first-rate higher education and also the
number of places existing in Indias very petite top sector like the Indian Institutes of Technology, the
Indian Institutes of Management, and similar institutions is minuscule in relation to the very On the
flip side, pessimism prevails over this issue also. Altbach (2010a) thinks that best ranked foreign
universities may prefer to set up academic centres offering inadequate teaching in India but providing
as focal points for research and sophisticated postgraduate work. Again Altbach (2010b) finds that with
a few exceptions, many branch campuses are not in actuality campuses, rather those campuses may be
termed as small, narrowly focused, and academic programs with limited worldview offered offshore to
exploit money-spinning markets of the developing world. The trendiest programs offered are business
management and information technology characterised by low establishment costs and considerable
wide-reaching demand. Except the Arabian Gulf, Singapore, and few other countries these branch
campuses are undistinguished, resembling office complexes rather than educational institutions. But
factors that weigh against the full-fledged entry are the ability of foreign institutions to attract the best
students in their home campuses; and also the potentially huge investments because of the sky-high
price of land for the campus and expenses on infrastructure. Since profits cannot be repatriated it acts
as a disincentive for sustaining top-notch standards and faculty which should be paid at par with
faculty in the parent universities in terms of remunerations and perks. To meet expenses, fees would
have to be raised than those of Indian institutions. Since pension benefits are absent in foreign
universities, many academics in centrally and State-funded institutions would likely to prefer to stay
back for post-retirement benefits (Dutt, 2010). Criticisms like elitism in higher education after the entry
of foreign varsities sounds unsubstantiated as the system of higher education is already elitist and
foreign degrees are preferred by only those families who can afford. There is apprehension in some
circles that ordinary universities will proliferate in India due to its money-spinning market adding woe
to worries for the country. Rather than profit motive of the foreign universities, the Indian policy
perspectives ought to focus on quality of those institutions about to enter India, rather than quantity of
foreign universities. The mobility of students to overseas institutions of higher learning of international
repute is a necessary condition for students from India, in view of the global recognition of those
degrees in job market. It is an uphill task for the Indian institutions to develop into institutions of high
quality like those of Stanford or Cambridge Universities in a short term. Of course, those foreign
universities, including Ivy League schools, want to expand their global footprint; and Indias rise and its
growing middle class investing in higher education offer a compelling narrative. Many Ivy League
administrators have even made exploratory trips to India in recent times. Yet, the dilemmas that these
institutions face whenever they have contemplated establishing branch campuses overseas, with
institutional and programme mobility, is of quality assurance on academic standards and the
financial sustainability of providing an education equivalent to what they offer back home.
While the higher education sector is comparatively small with regard to future requirements, its
record regarding quality plus standard of performance is nothing but ordinary. In global rankings of
universities, no Indian institutions finds a place among top 200 in the world in 2012 as revealed in The
Times ranking of word universities. In terms of published papers an indicator of research output,
India surely cuts a sorry figure. The mushrooming of self-financing private colleges has aggravated this
crisis of mediocrity of the system. This, in turn, has pessimistic outcome for the recognition of our
degrees and also of the graduates of Indias system in other countries and markets. Regulation of
higher education is a serious issue. The crisis is associated to a great degree to the failing regulatory

structure of higher education. This applies particularly to the issue of quality as well as standards. The
burden on the regulatory establishment, enforcement malfunction, overlaps and disagreement between
agencies, and complicity because of political or other pressure lobbies have all played a function in this
situation. There is much uncertainty also concerning the function of these agencies in the regulation of
private and foreign service providers. To sum up, Indias higher education sector is at present facing
severe challenges regarding the need to augment student intake (access), attaining excellence,
mobilising the requisite resources, and strengthening the regulatory function. Lack of resources is
another distressing attribute of Indias higher education structure. So far as the entry of foreign
universities is concerned, this mode as per Paul (2009) can, somewhat, lessen the problem of access.
Yet, it can still be high-priced for students as overseas service providers should possibly charge
comparatively high fees. As only a small number of universities are expected to take this route, student
enrolments will be restricted. It is viable to control and supervise this mode. For instance, only
accredited institutions may be given approval. They can be asked to conform to national guidelines and
principles of transparency and disclosure regarding admission, fees, and so on. Judged by the measure
of access as well as equity, this mode is likely to remain elitist, although it could set novel paradigm of
quality. The demand and supply side mismatch can only be solved partly by inviting foreign institutions
in the country or by restricting student mobility by invoking regulations. The privatisation of higher
education is an inevitable corollary of globalisation and internationalisation of education. Ruch (2001)
and Varghese (2009) argue that Indias public sector is unable to deliver the massive social demand for
higher education, besides the lack of capability of public institutions of higher learning to offer joboriented courses. The families are also eager to spend on education for their wards are some of the
contributing factors behind the rise of private sector in delivering higher education services in India. As
a consequence, unbridled growth of private sector in higher education neglecting the aspects of quality
has posed serious challenge to the system.