The brain drain and brain sharing

Leave the first, think about the second

ISSUE

DR. MIRZA ASHRAF BEG

‘Brain drain’ is a phenomenon wherein highly skilled people migrate from one place to another place while as ‘brain sharing’ is a process wherein knowledge, expertise and skill is shared for the betterment of mankind globally. History is a witness that intellectuals, scientists, educationists, artisans, physicians and engineers etc; have migrated from one place to another from centuries. These migrations are for better economic gains, uncertainties in the native countries, freedom of speech and expression or to add to their skill and knowledge etc. Sometimes there is exodus of a community that takes along its expertise skill and knowledge resulting in to brain drain of the native land. Jews that dominated financial services were expelled causing financial problems and exodus of Moroccan artisans resulted in economic decline in Spain their host country in fourteenth century.   
Historically there have been sporadic migrations from Kashmir too. That is why five thousand years old Kashmiri genes were traced in Europe recently. Despite the fact Kashmir being a tiny place on the crest of this globe Kashmiris that have migrated have worked hard to create their distinctiveness wherever they shifted to. Thirty years back when I landed in Jubail the coastal city of Saudi Arabia I was astounded to see the best cafeteria in the area was run by a Kashmiri from south Kashmir. Jubail being an Industrial city built by ARMCO an American company in collaboration with Saudi government has a mixed population of workforce from all over the world working in its oil companies. ‘Kashmir hotel’ is thronged by a galaxy of international food lovers for its world famous delicious cosines. You have to reserve your table much in advance for a weekend dinner with your family and friends over there. Similarly there are a sizable number of voters of Kashmiri origin settled in Virginia that showed solidarity behind Obama in the recent race for the white house in United States of America.
 Since prior to independence education in Kashmir was restricted only to privileged class so very few skilled people have migrated those days. After independence there was a sudden boom in educational institutions with the result education spread far and wide in the nook and corner of the state. At the same time economy of the state is still reeling behind as compared to the developed countries of the world. These economical pressures resulted in the migration of a large number of skilled labors like physicians and engineers to migrate to oil rich countries in Middle East, Europe and America resulting into scarcity of experts in these fields at home. This phenomenon has slowed down a little due to the fact that host countries are producing their own experts in a large scale making it difficult for the migrants from other countries to compete through new legislations etc. Despite that the desire to migrate will not end unless a conducive work atmosphere is created at home with the result we will always feel a shortage of experts in all these fields. At the same time the human weakness of yearning to return home is always lurking at the back of the mind of every migrant. Nations that encourage and welcome the return of their experts have always benefited through their expertise knowledge ‘brain sharing’ and the foreign exchange they bring along.
The phenomenon of brain drain is not a problem for Asia only. People do migrate from Europe to America and Africa to Europe and so on. After world war second European economy was shaken a lot so skilled labor from these countries migrated in bulk to America and contributed for the developments of their host nation besides living a better life for themselves and their progeny. At the same time America created a congenial atmosphere through better labor laws and providing ‘green cards’ and nationalities to this expert workforce. This process of symbiosis resulted in to the present day superpower called USA.
Now that the state is on way to developments it is needed to benefit through the knowledge and know-how of our experts abroad by wooing them through an affable work culture at home and benefit through ‘brain sharing’ the way other countries have benefited.

(The columnist is the author of, ‘Kashmir in search of peace.’ Feedback at drashrafbeg@gmail.com)

Lastupdate on : Thu, 15 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 15 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 16 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST




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