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.
1. Among the many groups of students in American colleges, Asian students :
(a) are often written about in magazines like News Week.
(b) are most successful academically.
(c) have proved that they are as good as the whites.
(d) have only a minority status like the blacks.
2. The student of Asian origin in America include :
(a) a fair number from India.
(b) a small group from India.
(c) persons from India who are very proud.
(d) Indians who are the most hard working of all.
3. In general, the talented young Indians studying in America :
(a) have a reputation for being hard working.
(b) have the opportunity to contribute to India's development.
(c) can solve the brain drain problem because of recent changes in policy.
(d) will not return to pursue their careers in India.
4. There is talk now of the 'brain bank'. This idea :
(a) is a solution to the brain drain problem.
(b) is a new problem caused partly by the brain drain.
(c) is a new way of looking at the role of qualified Indians living abroad.
(d) is based on a plan to utilize foreign exchange remittances to stimulate research and development.
5. The brain bank has limitations like all banks in the sense that:
(a) a bank's services go mainly to those near it.
(b) small neighbourhood banks are not visible in this age of multinationals.
(c) only what is deposited can be withdrawn and utilized.
(d) no one can be forced to put his assets in a bank.
6. The author feels that what non-resident Indians do for India :
(a) will have many useful side effects.
(b) will not be their main interest and concern.
(c) can benefit other Asian countries, as a by-product.
(d) can American colleges be of service to the world community.
7. The performance of Indians when they go to study in the West:
(a) shows the fruits of hardwork done by school teachers in India.
(b) should remind us that knowledge and wisdom are not limited by the bounda-ries of race and nation.
(c) is better than people in the West expect of non-whites.
(d) is better than what it would have been if they had studied in India.
8. The high level of competition faced by Asian students in America :
(a) helps them overcome their lazy habits.
(b) makes them lazy since the facilities there are good.
(c) makes them worried about failing.
(d) helps them prove that they are as good as whites.
9. The author feels that some of the conditions other than the level of facilities that make the West attractive :
(a) are available in India but young people do not appreciate them.
(b) can never be found here because we believe in conformity.
(c) can be created if our attitudes and values change.
(d) can also give respectability to our traditions and customs.
10. One of the ways of making the situation in India better would be :
(a) to eliminate flattery from public life.
(b) to distinguish between conformity and respectability.
(c) to give appreciation and not be tightfisted.
(d) to encourage people and not merely flatter them.