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Former governor of the Reserve Bank of India Raghuram Rajan has said that improving research and development (R&D) capabilities in a variety of fields and sectors can stem the brain drain that India has been witnessing.
India needs to create better ecosystems of research and development (R&D) to reduce the brain drain that is being witnessed in the country, former Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan said.
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As the country’s brightest and best have left for foreign soil in search of better opportunities, India’s human flight and brain drain index score stood at its highest in recent years at 6.4 in 2018, before starting to slow down in 2019 and precipitously falling off in 2020 and 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In addition to enhancing the quality of local talent, there is also an idea of bringing foreign universities, their R&D resources and their upgradation of talent and that would be a way we can keep some of our home-grown talent here because they don’t need to migrate abroad to do an undergraduate course or masters or a PhD,” Rajan said.
Rajan was addressing a conference on ‘R&D as an Engine of Growth of Tamil Nadu’ which was organised by the Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) on December 15.
India and China make up the largest demography of foreign students in countries like Canada, the US, the UK, Australia, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and others. But Rajan said that China has been working on reversing the brain drain by slowly improving its indigenous R&D capabilities in recent years with strategic tie-ups.
“Now that China is increasingly closing itself to the West, there is an opportunity to create space for foreign universities. Opening a license or attracting a Stanford, an MIT or a Cal Tech to come here, or at least set up an outpost, would be very useful and a source of value-addition,” he said.
China in recent years has also been focusing on bringing back its vast diaspora from various corners of the world into the mainland.
“This is something that the Chinese have been thinking very carefully about,” he added.
Rajan also said that Indian states should be looking for opportunities in terms of expanding R&D capabilities and not just focus on a handful of sectors.
“The scope for R&D need not just be in the manufacturing sector. We could do deep learning, AI and these areas may not require that much upgrading relative to where we are. We could reach frontiers in these areas as opposed to pure manufacturing,” Rajan said.
(Edited by : Thomas Abraham)
First Published: Dec 16, 2021 3:40 PM IST