What is brain drain? What causes and suggestions for it in context of Pakistan?

What is brain drain? What causes and suggestions for it in context of Pakistan

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Brain drain is the migration of skilled manpower from its home country  to foreign country. In the context of Pakistan, the rise in the prices, unemployment among the qualified personnel, and  discrimination in appointment are at the bottom of the menace. However, reducing prices, creating more job opportunities, and promoting merit base system can help the country to tackle the issue of brain drain.

2-Current situation

  • Impact Pakistan to the  worse extent
  •  According to International Monetary Funds(IMF), the rate of brain drain for Pakistan is seven per cent as compared to 2.9 per cent for India
  • Saudi Arab is second home to Pakistan immigrants

3-Debunking the term “Brain Drain”

4-Causes of brain drain in Pakistan

  •  Increase in  prices
  • Unemployment of qualified personnel
  • Low level of salaries
  • Discrimination in appointment and promotion

5-Suggestions for brain drain in Pakistan

  • To tackle inflation
  • To create job opportunity
  • To rise salaries
  • To promote merit base system
  • To provide quality education

6-Critical analysis


Answer to the Question

Brain drain is a global phenomenon. However, it is subjective in nature because it can make and mark a country’s future. Furthermore,  scholars have lately defined it and written about it. To illustrate, the British Royal Society first coined the expression Brain Drain in the 1900s. Further, the term “Brain Drain” means the migration of skilled or semi-skilled personnel from their native country to any foreign country for pursuing their interest, whether economic, social, or political. Unfortunately, in the case of Pakistan, the adverse impacts of brain drain have overpowered its positive aspect. As revealed by International Monetary Fund (IMF), the rate of brain drain in Pakistan is seven per cent. However, many factors work as a catalyst to increase the percentage of brain drain. The factors include rise in prices, unemployment of qualified persons, and low level of salaries. Fortunately, with certain pragmatic and result-driven steps, such as controlling inflation, creating job opportunities, and promoting a merit-based system, Pakistan can eradicate it . Despite so many cons, the remittances provided through it has the ability to boost the economic development of a country like Pakistan.

“  Pakistan is poor country with rich minds ,and unfortunately, they brain drain.”

Syed Kazim Ali (Prof. English department)

At present, brain drain proves to be disastrous for third-world countries like Pakistan. It has impacted Pakistan socially, economically, and politically to a worse extent. According to International Monetary Funds(IMF), the rate of brain drain in Pakistan is seven per cent as compared to 2.9 per cent in India. The percentage is increasing with every passing day due to the shaky condition of Pakistan. Moreover, the Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates(UAE), is home to many Pakistani migrants among all the countries. As revealed by the Pakistani Startup, forty-five per cent Pakistani migrants are in the Middle East. Therefore, the increasing percentage of brain drain in Pakistan must be brought to light.

Initially, the term brain drain was coined by “The British Royal Society” to describe the movement of human capital from Europe to the United States of America(USA) and Canada. The proper work on it was started in the 1950s by different scholars. Further, it means the migration of intellectuals from their native country to a foreign country for pursuing their interests. The interest can be social, political, or religious. Moreover, it is a “Zero Sum Game.” In simple words, the gain of one country is the loss of another country. For instance, a scientist migrating to another left a vacuum that takes a long to be filled. Hence, the word brain drain is a very old concept.

Since the inception of Pakistan, some of the phenomena have been prevalent in every evil faced by it. Accordingly, the same factors are also prevalent in the issue of brain drain. The most potent cause of it is the rise in prices. With the dawn of every passing day, the prices of normal goods increase, which hearts the locals. Next to it, the unemployment of qualified personnel made them flee from their native country. Every year hundreds of thousand of students graduate from different universities; however, getting jobs in Pakistan is like snatching meat from the mouth of a Lion. Lastly, discrimination in appointment and promotion is serving as a catalyst for the brain drain. The most prominent cause of it is discrimination of any sort. Consequently, many factors contribute to the rising number of brain drains.

As every problem comes with a solution, the same is for the menace of brain drain. First, tackling inflation can help a country to overcome many issues, particularly brain drain. Second, creating job opportunities by providing a better working environment for businesses. Third, promoting merit base system would provide a competent person for a job. Fourth, providing quality education can also help mitigate the menace of brain drain. Last but not least, increasing salaries and wages would have positive effects on the issue. Therefore, by taking the aforementioned steps, Pakistan can overcome the menace of brain drain.

In powerful diagnosis, it is evident from the aforementioned facts that the issue of brain drain is a mixed blessing. However, in the case of third-world countries like Pakistan, its adverse impacts overshadow its positive impacts. The percentage of brain drain is increasing with every passing day, and serious actions against it are the need of the hour. In addition to it, Higher Education Commission(HEC) has devised numerous policies to counter it. But the flow of it does not let the polices be fully effective. For instance, Foreign Faculty Hiring Program(FFHP)- initiated in 2003- has only attracted only 1500 diasporas. Thus, tackling of the menace is a dire need for Pakistan as a developing country.

To sum up, brain drain is not a new phenomenon. However, it is as old as humanity itself. Accordingly, the developed economies of the world attract many foreigners by providing incentives and scholarships to work for their cause. Such acts are taking the intellectuals of the country and making it suffer in every aspect of life. Furthermore, a country like Pakistan needs educated and skilled personnel in every sphere. Educated and skilled men can lead Pakistan towards unsurpassable development like the developed countries. Therefore, turning brain drain into its gain is a herculean task for Pakistan in absence of proper planning.

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