Kolkata is losing out (Brain Drain)

By Sun Narin

Kolkata-born Bamezai Senha (25) has moved to study and work in Pune for nearly 6 years after he finished high school in Kolkata. He is now working in the field of Information Technology over there.

“Here, after finishing bachelor degree, I am able to find a good job for my expertise and I can make a good earnings,” he says by explaining that “Kolkata lacks job opportunities and the sectors related to my skill are not developed yet; therefore, I decided to work here for my good life.” However, he says that he also faces challenges of living in other cities such as too much spending and knowledge challenges and work competition with other people.

His saying is echoed by a 21-year-old Kolkata-born and educated student, Mr Debajyoti Chatterjee who has just recently won the scholarship to study his Master degree of Communications Engineering in Germany. He said that he wanted to move out from Kolkata because of the education and job opportunities here are not good for him in the future.

“The job opportunities are increasing in all sectors day by day including IT, ITES, Hotel, Aviation, Finance and education. However, the semiconductor industry and industries with a focus on Biotechnology are still underdeveloped. Not much opportunity exists in Kolkata,” he said.

Kolkata city has been suffering of the moving out of thousands of students due to the brain drain of the students to other cities, which are better for them in terms of education, job opportunity and condition and the modernity of the cities. Every year, a lot of high school graduate students from Kolkata move to pursue their higher education in other cities including Bangalor, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Mumbai and Pune. At the same time, after graduating, they do not want come back to Kolkata to work since they find other cities a good place for them to work and live rather than working in Kolkata city.

Mr Kanjan Sen, secretary of Dhakuria Society for Education and Expression raised two reasons for technical and higher students go out of Kolkata and they don’t return to Kolkata: first, they get used to the atmosphere where they stay for such a crucial period of life and second, they can work in the environment which they get used to.

Education expert says that students want to do all the best for them, adding that “If they want the places good for them, they will go for those places.”

Mr Kanjan explains that this will result in the shortage of human resources in Kolkata and leads to the least development in the city. “Son of the soil may not return to Kolkata” he says. In contrast, it will be overcrowded in other cities and there will be job problem over there. However, he says that there are a lot of challenges for the students over since they have to spend a lot on the accommodation and daily living and they also risk of being from the families in Kolkata.

He continued that the state administration should arrange for further educational facilities and job creation in Kolkata. He added that, there should be “decentralization” like development for other towns and cities in the state and the government should develop adequate educational and business infrastructure and the quality of education has also to be dealt with.

Kolkata shares the same situation in Cambodia’s Phnom Penh capital city. Every year, thousands of provincial high schools students from 24 provinces across the country go to pursue their study in the city and most of them never come back to their hometown provinces to work and live with their families. They want to work in the city for the rest of their life. The consequences are: a huge development gap between the provinces and cities and the negative impacts on the cities are traffic jams, overcrowding, slum areas, unemployment and many other social ills. After graduating in Bachelor degree, a number of students cannot find the jobs since the fewer job opportunities comparing to the huge number of graduate students in the city.

If the opportunities do not exist in the provinces, the educated youth will not return to live and work there.  If you want to develop your province, you need good people, but if good people do not come, how can you possibly develop it? The higher they study, the better the job they hope to attain. How can they find what they are looking for in the countryside, what job can they do? It is the same as Kolkata.

The education expert says that the government should, in order to attract the students back to Kolkata, create better environment, activities, city-city linkage, and balanced development between the Kolkata and other cities so that the educated youth will return to their hometown Kolkata. However, it is quite challenging to ameliorate the issue because it’s the chicken and the egg problem. You do not know which one is the initial problem.

Both Mr Bamezai Senha and Mr Debajyoti Chatterjee suggested that the development in the industrial sector could only take place if the right infrastructure is in place, adding that the airport, roads, highways etc. needs further development and modernization. “Only then can the industry flourish in Kolkata” says Mr Debajyoti Chatterjee.

Mr Debajyoti Chatterjee adds that: “Education system on the other hand needs a major change in Kolkata. The existing infrastructure at all levels (primary, secondary, higher secondary etc.) needs to be revamped and the private as well as the government engineering colleges must allocate more funds for higher education and research.”

However, “I would like to come back and contribute to the development of the higher education sector of India in the future,” he says.

He emphasizes that important thing that: “I wanted people of my country to change first before the state change this is because it’s the people who implement the governmental policies. And proper implementation of our governmental policies can bring an end to many of our problems.”

The official from the department of Education in Kolkata said that the students have choice to choose where they want to study and work. “We do not force them to stay and work here,” he says. However, he adds that the department tries to develop the education sector here in order to satisfy the students to study and then they can work in Kolkata. The department of Planning and Development could not contact for comment on this issue that students want the government to develop the industry sector in Kolkata and improve more infrastructure.

Due to the fact that there are a lot of pressures in other cities besides their hometown city Kolkata including expenditure, work competition, overcrowding and a questionable social environment, some students come back to Kolkata to work for some specific reasons after graduating from those cities.

“I want to live with my family and help develop my born city. If I work at those cities, I won’t have chance to contribute to the development in Kolkata for the next generation,” said Miss Minakshi Majumdar (26).


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