India’s journey has been from brain drain to brain gain: PM
By Vanita Peter D’souza & Neha Dewan | The Dollar Business Inaugurating the three-day Global Exhibition on Services (GES) in the capital on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi aptly summarized India’s evolutionary journey from brain drain to brain gain. He said that this results from the growing potential of skill-based services. The PM said that importance should be given to the fact that we as a nation have 65% of the population below the age of 35 years. “In the coming years, this average will reduce further. We as a nation should keep this in mind and prepare our development model accordingly,” he said. This is India’s first GES, with an aim to create a global platform for increased trade in services. India’s services exports stood at $151 billion in 2014-15. Elaborating further on India’s immense potential and talent, the PM highlighted how IT and Yoga have been two services, which have earned a distinct identity for India in the international arena even without government support. “The government is committed to provide a conducive environment to unleash the potential of other services sectors such as music, arbitration, finance etc. The government is also keen that global investment directly comes to India rather than take the route of countries like Mauritius or Singapore,” he said. He also stated that in a country as diverse as India, one-size-fits-all approach may not be relevant. He emphasized on the need for understanding the needs of our trading partners and accordingly tailor our skills supply to meet their requirements. Besides this, he also said that the possibility of adding value to the services that are presently being exported to various countries needs to be considered as well. Also speaking on the occasion was Commerce Secretary, Rajeev Kher who said that GES is an effort to bring together 10 dominant sectors of the economy in order to help the industry and showcase their business capacities as well as offer a platform for overseas buyers to meet a significant service provider. “India has evolved as a significant heir in the global services economy particularly in the area of Information Technology. India shares in the global services trade is estimated at 3.2%. India‘s capacity as a competitive service supplier is established due to its demographic profile, education attainment, skills and price competitiveness,” Kher said. Lauding India’s services sector, Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce & Industry said that in the last two decades, the services sector has contributed significantly to the nation’s income, trade, investments and employment. She also mentioned how the success of the services sector assumes greater importance for supporting the ‘Make in India’ initiative. “As a part of the focused strategy to promote the sector, the government is taking several steps to boost the services exports such as diversifying the services export basket and exploring new geographies,” she highlighted. Also present at the occasion was Dr Naresh Trehan, Chairman of Services Export Promotion Council (SEPC). Dr Trehan mentioned how 17% of all super specialists serving in the United States are Indians. “We have huge potential to exploit these services much like our IT services where we can now train our people to actually occupy those jobs that are going to become available very soon. The basic problem right now is that we have only concentrated in English speaking markets. A huge potential is going to come from other countries which have other languages like Japan, China etc.” Dr Trehan added cheer among the gathering when he revealed how in his lifetime he has seen that while people earlier used to go from India to US for a bypass surgery, now people visit India for their bypass surgeries!
This article was published on April 24, 2015 – 7:33 pm IST.