“Nepal – Nay Pal!”

Posted by: Anup Sharma

Few weeks back a very good friend of mine left for the USA. He was very happy about getting a visa to the USA and was determined to start a new life there. I was very curious about his future plans and to resolve that curiosity I asked him if he has a plan to come back to home land. With a smile in his face he said “Nepal!!. Nay Pal”. Well that is just a story out of thousands of Nepalese going abroad or who are already abroad. In the past decade, Nepal has seen the surge in the number of …

Nepalese citizens going abroad. These citizens are primarily (i) students going abroad for further studies and (ii) white collars & blue collars going abroad for better jobs. Moreover, in the last couple of years we have seen the Nepalese, who served in the British Army, getting permanent residencies to stay in the UK along with their sons, daughters and wives. Many of these Nepalese who have gone abroad will not return to Nepal. This is what the past trend has shown. The students, technical and non-technical workforce prefer to elongate the duration of their visas if possible else stay illegally in the foreign countries. This is a serious problem for Nepal because in such a process the phenomenon of Brain Drain is taking place. Brain Drain is the migration of skilled human resources for longer periods (or permanently) to foreign nations. In this write up, the brain drain due to the migration of students in particular has been highlighted. The trend of outflow of students The past trend has shown that students prefer countries like USA, UK, Australia, India, Germany etc. for further studies. Amongst these countries, USA is the most preferred one. According to www.ekantipur.com, in the academic year 2004/05 alone, 4,861 Nepali students went to the USA up by 11 percent compared to the previous year. The figure is growing so fast that Nepal is now amongst the top 25 countries (ranking 23rd) that send students to the US, and the fastest growing country of origin, according to a survey by US-based Institute of International Education (IIE). In other words, no other country matched Nepal’s growth rate in 2005 for sending students to the US. The story is similar to students going to Australia, UK or any other foreign nations. Never before has Nepal seen such a spurt in the number of students going abroad for higher studies. The question is not how many go but how many of them return to Nepal. And no one will need the help of statistical data to say that percentage of people returning is far less than that of people going. Why Brain Drain is taking place? All the students going abroad have similar stories about why they are going abroad. They say that 1. The economy is in such a bad shape that there are countable numbers of good jobs which will help them to sustain their lives in Nepal. 2. There is lack of opportunities for better education and good jobs. 3. The unemployment rate is ever increasing. 4. A degree from a country like US is far better recognized than one from Nepal. In a nutshell, most of the students say that they will never return home, not only because the foreign countries have ample of opportunities but also because Nepal has very few or none. Repercussions of Brain Drain in Nepal In the process of Brain Drain, Nepal is losing scores of skilled human resource, which is the last thing Nepal wants at this moment. This is because Nepal is going through a political as well as economic change of late. With inclusion of Maoist in the mainstream political framework, it is likely that the saga of People’s War, which has been rocking and shocking Nepal since February of 1996, is going to end for the good. After that Nepal is likely to see the advancement in economic front. But for that she will need able and skillful people. Sadly with plethora of students (who are likely to be the instigators and backbone of economic developments in Nepal) striving to remain abroad, Nepal is going to miss their expertise in the future. I believe this will be a costly affair for our economy. The other important aspect here is that with increase in the number of students going abroad, the rate of capital flight (out ward) is also increasing. This is costing Nepal dearly because the amount of money flowing out is far more than the amount of money coming in (from the students abroad). Such a capital flight is also costing Nepal in terms of hard earned foreign currency because while going abroad students have to take foreign currency for admission, lodging etc. Moreover, we have seen that a nation to be developed needs entrepreneurs. But with migration of young, dynamic, knowledgeable and risk taking Nepalese students abroad, Nepal will have less number of entrepreneurs back home. Consequently the level of investments will be low as compared to a developed nation or a nation like India which is striving hard to be developed. Thus until and unless the economic and political status of Nepal is going to improve, further more outflow of students is likely to take place. And in such a condition most of the students will say Nay Pal if asked about returning to Nepal.

Bibliography Timsina, N.N. (2005). Westward ho for a degree. www.ekantipur.com Acharya, S. (2001). Nepal: Losing her sons and daughters. www.ucdadvocate.com Dr. Tiwari, K. C (2001). Maoist Insurgency in Nepal: Internal Dimensions Author: Anup Sharma

“Nepal – Nay Pal!” was last modified: March 26th, 2007 by Anup Sharma
 

Blog Comments

  1. Sangharsha

    You’ve written pretty well. Its perfectly good to go out, but its perfectly necessary for some (if not all) to come in for the betterment of their own home.
    I wish I could do something.
    I wish I could change something.

  2. Anup Sharma

    I am never against people going abroad.But there is one thing which i believe is, Nepal will be what India is and even better in the future.Post foreign policy liberalization in India, we witnessed barrage of FDI entering India.The IT revolution swept the country so much that today it wont be wrong to say India as the IT hub of the region.And such a liberalization has definitely attracted not only FIIs but also NRIs.U cant wait for such a change to come.Unless u instigate, no one will come and say I will do it for you. If u look into FDI policy of Nepal,its great.Foreign Investors have the facility of 100% repatriation and et al. What next, according to WTO, after 2010, any foreign investors can directly invest in Nepal. No equity participation and if u believe what i have heard, banks like HSBC and ICICI are knocking on the Nepalese doors. The Mutual Funds are coming up. The financial market is getting broad with new financial instruments. so everything seems to getting started. Forget what happened in the past.But the future definitely looks brighter than ever before.How long can a country be sustained with remittance? thats the big question.We need at least Nepalese people staying abroad to come here and invest and show confidence in Nepal.I am never against going abroad. What i am in favor of is going abroad learning and earning and then coming back to Nepal to invest.

  3. GeetaFankarmicyoddha

    Geeta, you understand karma, job, work pretty well it looks. It is with earning, making own and country’s life better. Imagine the day when this author will jump to west when he uncovers some need to be fulfilled that is: changing nepal with money, distributing to develop.Nepal has no minerals, no resorces, nothing that can earn money. the writer does not know that unless he sees nepal’s coming days, as an example set now: no fuel, no electricity, war and destruction, poverty, no foreign investments, no money. Nepal will be a Sudan, Somalia soon if Nepalese keep on thinking like this author.

  4. geeta

    There is nothing wrong in leaving Nepal. One thing you can find cheap in Nepal is labor. Why do you want to make even cheaper staying there. Go anywhere you want to go and never forget about your origin and people. Give back to your country no matter where you are. Many people who coem to western country hate their origin and love to be called non-Nepali. Those people are loser and they are loser no matter where they are. We as a country better off if they leave Nepal. Good Nepali will always do soemthing for Nepal no mateer where he/she is. The communication has made the world boundryless. Go west young people if you are struggling in Nepal.

    Geeta – the Geeta lover.

  5. antibraindrain

    If you can earn millions of USD and Sterling by staying in Nepal, it is good. Can you tell me how you will earn that in a country like nepal? Assume you can work for 100 years and your yearly Nepal Salary is 10 million. total=1000 million. Now calculate expense for your own home, family children, business, donations, social status, party.. and tell bloggers how much can you save to develop nepal. Never forget that Activists and Dacoits can steal your money any time in Nepal in Daylight and police stays uptight. There is no feeling of security among people as long as nepal does not change. nepal changed more by nepalese pressure staying abroad than those staying within. As NRIs developed India to that extent NRNs can do the same. Brain Drain cannot happen as good brains always have that ego and self confidence that they can make nepal better by staying anywhere and sending $$ to nepal in form of Remittance. Dhikkar, Shame on your old Ideology. Please learn lesson from South Korea and girls there going to Germany as Nurse to make their country bettter.

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