Kerala benefited by decade’s ‘brain gain’
Kochi: One accidental benefit for India in the global economic crisis in the latter half of the last decade was the ‘brain gain’ due to the return of highly skilled workers from the US, European Union and the UAE, says the fifth edition of India Migration Report (IMR) to be released soon.
A booming economy back home helped this reversal of gain, as many such returnees looked to start their own companies, says the IMR 2014 compiled by demographer S. Irudaya Rajan. The latest edition of IMR focuses on ‘Diaspora and Development.’
In fact, more than 60 per cent of Indian returnees said in an international survey that the availability of economic opportunities in their native country was a major factor encouraging them to return.
While most of the migrants who return to their home towns are from Kerala, they are closely followed by migrants from Maharashtra while the lowest percentage of returnees is in Gujarat, found a sample survey conducted by Irudaya Rajan along with V. Kurusu and C.K. Saramma Panicker.
On an average, 23.68 per cent migrants returned to India from the US after 2006, 16.99 per cent from the UAE and 9.04 per cent from the UK.
The majority of the returnees were in the age group 30–39 (44.93 per cent). This is followed by youngsters (below 29 years) who have returned —29.56 per cent.
Though Oman and Saudi Arabia have also seen migrants returning (5.51 per cent and 6.6 per cent respectively), the impact of outflow has been much lower than from the developed nations.
Most of the return migration took place in 2010 and has significantly diminished in the following years.
The years 2009 and 2010 saw the maximum number of returnees to India with 18.89 per cent and 24.23 per cent respectively.
The IMR also found that Kerala, which had the distinction as the state where the largest number of passports were issued in India since the 1990s, lost the position to UP by the dawn of this decade.