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Knowledge Transfer through Migration of Scientists and Engineers to India

"Brain drain" is often viewed as a curse for developing countries such as India and China but recent analysis suggests that, in the current global competitive environment, rain drainmay provide a crucial advantage to these countries through return migration. Returnees could play an important role in building innovative capabilities in these countries by filling knowledge gaps in critical areas of R&D.

This policy brief is based on an ESRC Science in Society Programme funded project located in the ESRC Innogen Centre that explored the issues involved in diffusion of knowledge through migration of scientific labour in India. Empirical evidence from this research shows the key role of technology in attracting returned migration and diffusion of knowledge. For this reason it is recommended that the government and firms might design sector-specific as well as more general technology policies to improve the successful integration of returned migrants and make more effective use of their knowledge.