To my fellow Indian brothers and sisters, and my brothers and sisters from across the seven seas.
Have you ever wondered why countries like USA and Australia are flourishing?
Ever wondered why certain countries move at a greater pace than others?
In the end, you ever wonder what's holding countries back?
The answer is a phenomena called "Brain Drain". Brain Drain is the phenomena where people migrate to rich and developed countries for the purpose of more job opportunities, standard of living, education etc.
Why did I bring India into this? why not other countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan?
The reason is because India is at the top of the league, with having the most number of people leaving the country, and off to developed countries like the USA and UK.
Why are they leaving India? What does India lack? Do we not have the cultural heritage? the engineers and doctors? family and friends?
The reason why is because of both human and physical causes. Human causes include population. The country is the second largest country in the world, in terms of population. With so many people, there is heavy competition: food, water supply, electricity, education, healthcare, jobs etc.
With such a huge population, many people have little access to even the basic necessities. This puts the country at a disadvantage, because the remainder of people now have nowhere to live - apart from dry and arid conditions. Yet again, where will those people find water and food in such conditions?
Apart from population, the country is also at a disadvantage of weather and climate. Sure there are many other nations like the middle east who fall under the same latitude line on the globe. The middle east however make money off oil. It's a known fact that people in places like Qatar have no worries about electricity bills. You could be the average resident in Qatar, leave your lights and Air Con, and go on a two month vacation! bill will still be $0.00
What does India have? India is the home of many great minds from scientists to doctors to engineers even. Regardless of educating great minds into becoming doctors and all, there are still many of these graduates left jobless. In states like Tamil Nadu (India), 2 million engineers graduate from college per year, from that number only about 500 000 are getting the jobs they studied for. Others? they're left jobless. If they're lucky, the may get into working in the film industry, or even in other fields of media.
It's the same case with doctors. At one point, India saw many of their medical college graduates fly off to countries like the US to settle in. Upon recognizing this the government took action. They made students who wanted to study medicine overseas, sign an agreement - stating they would return back and work in India. The problem was that this was implemented too late, and there were already many settled doctors overseas. This idea was more targeted for the long term.
To summarise, all great minds such as doctors leave the country, to developed countries. But why?
Say for example you are a highly qualified Indian scientist. You will most definitely need modern laboratories, equipment, and good quality supply. Yes, India does have high quality labs. In fact, the country even launched rockets into space. The only problem was with regards to access to "up to date" modern equipment. India depends on lab equipment from countries like Germany and USA. Though they have access to these technology, the other countries are constantly updating their equipment and technology. For that reason, scientists move off to developed countries.
Okay, it's not just that. If you were the same highly qualified scientist, and you're working for a cure for Ebola or HIV/AIDS. You'd expect high income right? of course you earn good money in India for that, but when compared to how much the same scientist of the same skill level in USA earns? not that much. The value of money in India is not as great as compared to developed countries. To make sure these people earn easy money, they simply relocate.
But there's more. If you're up to date, you'll know that the current CEOs of big companies like Google and Microsoft - are Indians. It's a proud moment indeed. But like proud, there comes a sense of hopelessness too.
You'd feel great for having Indians put into the CEOs chair of foreign companies. Imagine the amount of power people like Sundar Pichai and Satya Nadella have now - it's humungous! that too in a country like USA.
Question is, why couldn't they work in India? If they could be one of the wealthiest in USA, why not invest in their home country?
This brings back to competition. There is so much competition for jobs with relation to software engineering too. The problem was regarding equipment and money. You could sell a Microsoft PC for example at $899 in USA for example, but would that be equivalent to the value in India?
1 Singapore Dollar is currently about 49 Rupees. If I buy a packet of chips in Singapore for $3.60, you'd expect the price in India to be about 176 Rupees. It's not! to make the price suitable for local customers, it'll be at a cost of about 40 or 50 Rupees. Which is cheaper. Now imagine the same companies such as Google and Microsoft setting up headquarters in India - what are the chances that they make better money there?
Surely Indians want to give back to society. But, in the end everyone is at a burden of heavy workload. To give you an analogy - the average court judge in US would deal with about 3 cases a month. In India? the average court judge deals with 12 cases. Bear in mind, judges deal with more cases, and that too with more people in a year. There's heavy burden on people when it comes to work. If the average court judge faces such pressure, Imagine the state of Apple's CEO investing in India.
Sure, we have quite some of our own companies like Micromax, Airtel. Reliance is a popular company, now owned by the richest person in India - Mukesh Ambani. We can say he is the Bill Gates of the US - who before was Microsoft founded, now a social entrepreneur. Mukesh Ambani not only focuses on his company, but his family business members also help with giving back to the society. Likewise, Ratan Tata too has done the same.
But....these are people who started before the year 2000. As the years go by, population increases, competition increases etc. It becomes almost hard for someone new to all of a sudden form a company as such to help bring India to the top.
Aesthetics of a country is a separate aspect and in the case of India, the most common problem would be with regards to the common citizen's waste disposing habits. Go in the streets of New York City or Singapore, you can find trash cans. Sure you find them in India, but where? Most commonly you find them in big cities like Mumbai.
But, how many of them? These are the type of trash cans you see for almost every 500m you travel in the streets. When you see them, you don't know whether to dispose it off there because it's too small or ugly, or....toss it where the others put them, in the side corner of streets.
It's pretty simple. One person places litter in one corner, then the next notices this and builds it up. Slowly, this pile becomes larger until people see this as the norm. Mumbai is the home to the largest dumping ground in Asia. If that one city has the largest dumping ground over the entire continent, then how about the entire sub continent?
We're working on it. There are promotional activities that tell us to dispose off waste sensibly and all.
What does this have to do with people leaving the country? Simple!
Give Donald Trump two options - work in an environment pollution free, clean, and aesthetically pleasing landscape? or a place where often you can be bombarded by pollution, at times places aren't clean, and then you find many construction sites nearby.
Of course he would go for the first, because let's face it - no one wants their everyday life to be a pain. Huge population really cost the country a lot - traffic congestions during peak hours mean some people may come late for work or home.
Traffic? don't get me started on that. It's amazing how traffic works in the country. Regardless of how chaotic it is, people still find a way to move on with their journey. I've seen quite some pedestrian traffic lights for crossing roads, but like the norm, people are always used to jay-walking.
Food and Water! that too is an issue because little things matter. India is by far the country at the top of the table, for most water-borne patients each year. These patients suffer from diseases like typhoid and diarrhea. Sure other countries have the problem too, but it's not consistent statistics over a course of 5 to 6 years. Primary cause of this is due to the quality of food and water we consume.
You find a hotdog stand in New York? sure, why not! food doesn't do you any bad. Eat street food in India? be careful with the quality of ingredients they use. Sometimes, you'll find people using tap water (not drinkable) in their cooking, or even expired oil in some foods. It doesn't happen in well established restaurants/cafes. Even ordering food, you'll have to be careful whether or not you can trust the food they deliver to you.
True story, I moved to Mumbai from Singapore seven months ago. Once we moved in, we ordered food from a random food outlet we found in the papers. Upon consuming it, I myself suffered from Dysentery and Typhoid. Not a pretty sight, and admitted in ICU for a week.
I learnt my lesson the hard way. Enough of that! if someone, who's not working yet, coming from abroad decides to settle in like me faces such consequences, then what about actual working people like CEO of Microsoft who have no time to waste with hospital leaves and such.
People want their standard of living to be good. Thought I moved from such a well developed country to India, I've had a significant change in lifestyle. Good ones and bad ones. Culture is a big plus point in India - places like Singapore are simply just a mix of four nations put into one. Diversity is something you have to appreciate in India.
The dedication of students in schools and universities in India - it can't be measured because they're so hardworking. Standards set by these students are higher than those in my previous schools in Singapore and Hong Kong. Like they desire, they get what they deserve.
But....there are millions of other students in the country, with exact same expectations, desires. If we use simple probability in math, we know that there's a high chance of each and every Indian student, facing some sort of heavy competition, at any point in their life - within the country. Be it jobs, university entries etc.
There is a well-established university called IIT in India - we can say that this is the Harvard of USA. 60% of the Indian students still in school, are wanting to get into the same university. It's great seeing students take interest in original Indian services, but this gives rise to a new problem...
How do they all get in? There are so many people who want to get into this university that there are millions of courses which are offered to students - with regards to knowing how to ace the entrance exam for the institute.
As an Indian, I should probably receive hate mails about making this comment. Regardless of how intelligent and unique we can be, we are also quite lazy. Ask a government office to deal with your income tax reports - they can take up to 40 years. This has happened with my grandparents, 4 years for my parents. It could be either laziness, or they're bombarded by millions of cases as such.
But yes, laziness still comes into account for quite some places. This could result in the productivity not being as efficient as such.
I've come to the end of this. Now I want you all to think about this, where ever you are, Indian are not, think about this burning question:
What factors have brought your home country to the stage it is today?
Be imaginative, think outside the box. As Ken Robinson once said, "Curiosity is the engine of achievement".
Who knows, maybe you could be right about what your home land lacks and excels at. Open thinkers are the people we really need in today's world, and the future.
India's biggest burden, despite having the best brains, is losing many of these well educated people. That's one country's loss and another country's gain. The rich get richer, poor get poorer.
So far, the current Prime Minister has set up campaign such as "Make in India". They're not ordinary campaigns - they're actually trying to encourage the Indian workforce to innovate and create something that other countries don't have. We've accomplished many things, and taken fields such as Science and Technology to a whole new level.
As far as politics is concerned, no skilled person wants to be governed by people who have no idea. Indian politics especially, you have celebrities from sport and film, using their power and fan base to enter politics. They believe they can do it easily because of their existing fan base and power, when in fact they don't get it. We don't mind those celebrities who know what to do, we just need people who have their minds clear - on actually making stuff possible in this country, rather than pointing fingers on other people/politicians. I personally believe, that little minds discuss people, normal minds discuss events, and great minds discuss ideas.
Now, it's all in your hands. Indian or not, it's all about what change you wish to see in the world. I personally, don't want to see India beat what other countries have done. I want us to do things very differently, something that no other country has managed to pull off or attempt. Believe me, those will be the types of changes which will draw attention to all parts of the globe.