Published: Saturday 15 February 1997

Brained by the Net
Trapping talent has been an oft-heard and oftener-enacted phenomenon, and there are myriad and imaginative ways of doing it. Little money in your pocket and the heavy task of hunting for a job is certainly not the modern idea about struggle in life. Earlier, the passport to success used to be determination, loyalty and hard work. Getting a job was a great milestone in life, and people stuck to it for good. Fewer opportunities was certainly one reason, but then success was also measured in very local terms. In most of the smaller towns of India, there were a very fewpeople who had studied abroad. The United Kingdom was a remote possibility and the United States was not even a distant dream.

But a recent advertisement in The Indian Express recently shattered the myth that the West was unapproachable in matters of education. "Dreaming of an overseas career? For just Rs 500 NetExpress can make your dreams come true!," the message said. The advertisement offered an open invitation to students and professionals. According to the advertisement, the site is regularly visited by non-resident Indians, and foreigners including professionals, high networth individuals and corporates who are on the lookout for professional talent in India.

One may say that this 'lookout' could very well lead to a new kind of talent tapping and to an increase in brain drain. After witnessing the upsurge in the number of people making a beeline for foreign shores and not returning in heartening numbers, this rings an alarm bell, especially for a Third World country like India.

With netsurfing becoming an easy and popular exercise day by day and there being hardly any check on the information flow, it is indeed difficult to keep the talent within the country.

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