310. A recent report in News Week says that in American colleges, students of Asian origin outperform not only the minority group students but the majority whites as well. Many of these students must be of Indian origin, and their achievement is something we can be proud of. It is unlikely that these talented youngsters will come back to India, and that is the familiar brain drain problem. However recent statements by the nation's policy-makers indicate that the perception of this issue is changing. 'Brain bank' and not 'brain drain' is the more appropriate idea, they suggest since the expertise of Indians abroad is only deposited in other places and not lost.
This may be so, but this brain bank, like most other banks, is one that primarily serves customers in its neighbourhood. The skills of the Asians now excelling in America's colleges will mainly help the U.S.A.. No matter how significant, what non-resident Indians do for India and what their counterparts do for other Asian lands is only a by-product.
But it is also necessary to ask, or be reminded, why Indians study fruitfully when abroad. The Asians whose accomplishments News Week records would have probably had a very different tale if they had studied in India. In America they found elbow room, books and facilities not available and not likely to be available here. The need to prove themselves in their new country and the competition of an international standard they faced there must have cured mental and physical laziness. But other things helping them in America can be obtained here if we achieve a change in social attitudes, specially towards youth.
We need to learn to value individuals and their unique qualities more than conformity and respectability. We need to learn the language of encouragement to add to our skill in flattery. We might also learn to be less liberal with blame and less tightfisted with appreciation, especially.
Question: Among the many groups of students in American colleges, Asian students :