, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 17-28
Date: 06 Oct 2012

The Indian Policy of Skilled Migration: Brain Return Versus Diaspora Benefits


Based on the premise that international migration is a clearest manifestation of globalization, this article aims to analyse in detail the phenomenon of skilled migration. Skilled migrants represent a worldwide group of people that, while not big in number, is exponentially more influential than lower-skilled migrants, given his high rates of innovation and specialization. Within this framework, we decided to examine the case of India: a choice motivated by two main factors. The first is that the number of Indian migrants, and also skilled migrants, has been steadily increasing for several years. So much so that, on a global level, they are the second largest diaspora group, close behind the Chinese. The second reason for focusing on India, in some ways even more relevant, relates to something that is a first for the sub-continent: in the past few decades India has become a destination for significant flows of highly qualified migrants. What are the Indian government’s policies, past and present, for capitalising on this opportunity? Are the preferences of New Delhi more supportive of a brain return or do they favour capitalising on the political influence and economic relevance of its own diaspora? These are the main points this article will consider.

Although this article is the result of the authors’ shared ideas, the following paragraphs are attributable to Alfonso Giordano: «India: between skilled migration, economic globalisation and international relations» and «The pervasive soft power of the ‘Indiaspora’»; The following paragraphs are attributable to Giuseppe Terranova: «India: from land of emigrants to a land of immigrants» and «Transformation of migratory flows and the role of New Delhi». The conclusions can be considered the work of both authors.