New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
today said India has overcome the problem of `brain drain` and
is drawing on the global `brain bank` of people of Indian
"Today, we in India are experiencing the benefits of the
reverse flow of income, investment and expertise from the
global Indian diaspora," he said at the Hiren Mukherjee
Memorial Lecture in the Parliament House.
Welcoming the renowned economist Jagdish Bhagwati, who
delivered the annual lecture, Singh said that the problem of
`brain drain` has been converted into an opportunity of
"We are drawing on the global `brain bank` of people of
Indian origin world wide", he said, adding Bhagwati was one of
the shining stars of that community of global Indians.
The Prime Minister said that Bhagwati was among the first
to study the phenomenon of `brain drain` and identify its
benefits for the country.
Noting that Bhagwati was among the architects of the
World Trade Organisation and continued to guide it, Singh said
Bhagwati and his wife were pioneers among economists who
questioned the efficacy of the licence-permit control raj.
In his remarks, Vice President Hamid Ansari, apparently
referring to the ongoing pandemonium in Parliament, said that
founding fathers took great pride in the effective working of
"It is in the arena of public debate that one looks back
with a sense of nostalgia to the initial years of our
Republic," he said.
He said that Bhagwati has addressed the issue of societal
inequalities and has argued that any discussion of inequality
has to be in a social and political context and can not be an
academic or statistical exercise.
"The ambit of the term `reform` goes beyond correctives
to economic activity. To what extent have Indian reforms
alleviated poverty and addressed inequality is a subject
matter not just for the economists," Ansari said.
Observing that it would also be pertinent to explore the
need for fundamental reforms in non-economic contexts,
especially in governance, he said "we can ill afford the
economic, social and political cost of not addressing reforms
in these contexts."