Diffusion of knowledge through migration of scientific labour in India

Kale, Dinar; Wield, David and Chataway, Jo (2008). Diffusion of knowledge through migration of scientific labour in India. In: Kumar, Krishna ed. Reverse Brain Drain: A Reality in Millennium. Human Resources Management. Hyderabad, India: ICFAI publications.

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This article presents important insights regarding the issues affecting diffusion of knowledge through migration of scientific labour to Indian pharmaceutical firms. The major issues are generational difference of returnees, differences in working culture of Indian firms and western firms, and importantly, differences in the requirement of Indian firms with the skill-sets of returnees. The reverse brain drain of engineers and scientists educated and trained in the US or Europe can accelerate technological upgrading in the Indian economy by providing the skill and know-how needed to help local firms shift to higher value-added activities. The article outlines how Indian firms responded to these issues by adopting global R&D management practices like offering returning post-doctoral scientist positions in middle management. Government policies should also be tuned to industry needs vis-à-vis the returnees.

About the book:
Reverse brain drain refers to the process wherein human capital moves in reverse gear from an advanced country in the Western hemisphere to a Third-World developing nation that is on the threshold of rapid economic growth. This process transpires when scientists, engineers, technologists and others from the Third-World migrate to comparatively well-developed nations to learn in their universities, undertake research and gain valuable work experience unavailable in their mother countries, then return home after several years of stay abroad to set up a related business or teach in a university or work for a multinational in their respective homelands. In the present global competitive environment, the reverse brain drain from the West will be of vital importance to developing countries. Communities of such foreign trained and educated scientists or engineers can not only set up production units and development centres on their native soil but also provide the skill and know-how required to help local firms shift to higher grades of performance and achievement. The book attempts to give a clear picture on the current scenario of the reverse brain drain in the first decade of the new millennium. It provides an insight into the causes of the brain drain reversal and the roles played by governments, expatriates and immigrants. In the current backdrop of the developing economies in the world today, this book also analyses the strategies required to make the homecoming convenient and lucrative for the returnees whose numbers seem to be increasing day by day.

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