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23 April 2024

Reverse brain drain: India beckons non-resident citizens home with plum salaries

By Shuchita Kapur

The overseas Indian community (non-resident Indians, NRIs) is estimated at over 25 million and is spread across every major region in the world. Many of these, now overseas residents, went abroad to study and many never came back.

The reason – there were better jobs and plum salaries to strive for in foreign countries.

This is a problem that India has faced over the decades but now it’s trying to move away from being a country that specializes in importing labour. To get its people back home, the country is creating jobs for its overseas citizens. The latest figures from job portal Naukri.com shows that nearly 50,000 jobs will be made available this year to lure some of these defectors, particularly the high-quality academics and professionals, back to their home country.

The figure seems a drop in the ocean considering the huge number of Indians living aboard but signals a change, welcoming the returnees.

Each year, the number of jobs specifically targeted at NRIs, have gone up. The organised sector in India is set to create about 49,215 new jobs for non-resident Indian professionals in the calendar year 2013 with 43 per cent more jobs compared to 2012. Last year, the country was able to create around 27,983 jobs, reveals the latest results of MyHiringClub.com & NriJobPortal.com NRI Professional Employment Trend Survey 2013.

The survey is based on 4453 companies across 12 industry sectors in 11 major cities and indicates that most employers are optimistic about their hiring plans for NRI professionals in the New Year.

“An increasing number of valued NRI professional recruitment will likely take place in 2013. This is a good sign for retaining talent in India. I believe job opportunities are most in Bangalore and most of the NRIs who are seeking to come back are tech professionals,” said Rajesh Kumar, CEO, MyHiringClub.com & NriJobPortal.com.

IT & ITeS (11450) will offer the maximum number of jobs to NRIs. This is followed by FMCG (8930), automobile & manufacturing (7341), infrastructure (4894), pharma & healthcare (3245), telecom (1391) and banking & financial services (1391).

Bangalore is the city where most jobs will be created (11894), followed by Delhi & NCR (10320), Mumbai (6780), Chennai (5490), Kolkata (3290) and Hyderabad (2189).

Even though the country seems to be luring the professionals back home, workers under the unskilled and semi-skilled category are still flocking to other countries for better pay.

"We have not seen any huge upsurge in the numbers returning to India so far. Every year, there are one to two lakh (100,000 to 200,000) workers who return to India, usually at the end of their work contracts," Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi was quoted in the Indian media nearly one year back.

The ministry tracks the movement of semi-skilled and unskilled Indian workers to the Gulf and other countries.

As per the reports, the Indian government processes six to eight lakh emigration check required (ECR) passports of workers who travel to the Gulf countries and some other countries.

This number seems to have gone up, as per the data of the ministry. For the current financial year in India, the number is about 6.1 lakh (600,100), which shows an increase in the number of Indian workers leaving the country for work abroad.