21 August 2007

Tax on students working abroad...

A parliamentary committee has put forth a recommendation for taxing students from central government institutes like IITs & IIMs who opt to work abroad. What say? I say a great idea...I'd say this resentment of mine (against using nation's resources to produce engineers for developed countries) isn't totally self-cultivated, maybe it is a result of reading some high-voltage articles on brain drain, Swades and even Five Point Someone. As you might know the basic aim for forming the IITs, according to Mr. Nehru, was to produce the most brilliant engineers who'd help develop a newly independent India and let it compete with the developed nations on the technological front.

The IITs sure have produced the most brilliant engineers, but have they really
fulfilled their purpose? These brilliant engineers have invented things, innovated existing technology... but where? Almost all have done these things not in India, but in various American and European companies. Can you recall any major invention done by an IITian that has helped the rural populations, or solved the problem of a common man... Barring a few solar power generators and the likes, have they even developed a simple technology that can be used substantially. Atleast I cannot, and I would love to read about them in the comments section if you do know about them.

The IIT KGP campus used to be a jail before independence, and Mr. Nehru took great pride in transforming a prison into such an institute. But I feel it still is a prison, it takes inmates, who suck an aweful lot of tax payer's money, get transformed into great engineers who are most willing to serve the British, the American and so on. People say that they work abroad and remit huge sums of money back to India, but tell me is that what's going to help India in the long run?

For so many years, the best students from India have snubbed ISRO and have worked for NASA, sure they got ten times the money they would have got here, but look at the contribution they made in NASA's research and imagine what difference all that talent could have made to the national space programme. Who knows we might have been in space on our own by now!

Then some others say that this is a global age where it doesn't matter where you work, the important thing is you do well in the field you are. Lets say you just came out of IIT D and are going to work for Yahoo Inc., reside in the US of A, earn dollars for the already multi-billionaire company and pay the taxes which adds up to the strongest economy, tell me something... what about all that Indian taxpayer's money you consumed while you were mugging up formulae in IIT?! Instead of repaying something to the place that offered so many opportunities to you, you shifted sides at the first instance you got a chance. Then the government is only fair when it demands a part of your income, after all it has invested so much on you.

I think that this bill should be immeditely taken into consideration, and the government should go ahead with it without any hesitation.Those who do not volunteer should be forced to contribute to the progress of the nation.


ankit said...

firstly,well thought of, and well written.
secondly, and i dont mean to be rude, dont expect everyone to agree with u on this just because its ur blog.
the main aim of the iit's is to produce good engineers,which they do.once these ppl are out of iit,i dont think the government has any right to collect taxes from them.i mean,why should they?they pay the fees when they are in the college.if they DO leave india and go to NASA (say),it just shows that they are GOOD.this is just one specific example.and ppl dont leave india just because of the MONEY, they leave also because they need more working space, which they dont get everywhere in india.indians get jobs in all foreign companies,and this SHOWS that country that their ppl are not good enough!and this sends a message all over the world that india has great minds.does this not put india one step closer to-.....u-know-what..

now,if the government starts taxing these ppl, wont all the IITians think twice before leaving the country?sure, these engineers can all stay in india and help it "compete with the developed nations on the technological front".but then, will progress be that fast?if engineers arent satisfied, because they dont get enough room to work, will they try their best?on the other hand,if they go abroad,they perform better, and make india shine!so there u are,india'a competing with developed nations, and smirking at them right under their nose!(i would like to say IN their nose, but that would be gross..)

so would the government REALLY want to pressurize these IITians from not leaving the country??

Vikash Thakur said...

A well written blog and more importantly on a issue which is more of a every indians worry.
now coming back to ANKIT's reply
the main aim of the iit's is to produce good engineers
who told you
....dont you remember Mr. Nehru's voice
"To produce the most brilliant engineers who'd help develop a newly independent India and let it compete with the developed nations on the technological front."
1st part is done ...iit's are producing world class engineer but where is commitment dude....whr r the iitians helping in making independent india, do u have an answer for that?
they pay the fees when they are in the college
really do iitians pay all the fees which they supposed to pay ,,,,, u know what i mean ...............dude its only 20% of actual fees what they pay....c some fact thn open ur mouth.
if they think they are good which no body doubt also even including me n u i guess so.....thn why dont this people help india in becoming the developed nation.....no they want to use thr talent to maximize their personal profit....okay not in all cases but mostly yes in general.

if the government starts taxing these ppl, wont all the IITians think twice before leaving the country

they should think thrice before doing so....becoz government r paying huge bucks to ths budding engineer.n providing world class facility to iitians....c the case of iit powai....if u have been thr watch the slum area...n c the diff bw iitans life n normal ppl life.

ankit said...

chill man!i know that u like mohit's blogs a lot (even i do mohit!)..but u dont have to be all that fierce!
about the fees.i believe the government is doing wrong by not charging the students and expecting them to return the favour by staying in the country and doing it some good.i agree that some of the students cant pay the fees at the point of time of joining iit..but they can be asked to pay it later!whats the point of taxing EVERYONE who leaves the country?because not everyone leaves for money, some of them leave for more workspace,as i already mentioned..
as for "helping in making independent india", i dont think ALL IITians leave india..i agree i dont know the exact number..but the one's who are here,they are trying to make india a better place arent they?

The Shmoo said...

what a blog!
what a discussion!
good to have you blogging again :)

I don't know much about this topic, so I don't think I'm really in a position to comment about the IITians being right or wrong, or about their reasons for leaving India.

The Government's move may make many IITains think twice before leaving, but it won't stop them..

Secondly, I don't think they would really mind paying the taxes, if it would actually be put to good use, but we know where most of our taxes go.

No matter what the Government says its motive is, its true motive has always been taking as much money from the public as possible.

Prateek said...

wellll.... i agree and i disagree..
yes i agree it is morally and ethically wrong to disregard all that you have gained from the country and just go to some place and start earning there and helping it develop, while ignoring your homeland...

there are thousands of it professionals in the silicon valley who are first generation indians... hundreds of indians in hotshot fortune 500 companies , literally thousands of doctors in the usa are of indian origin... while medical facalities in india are pathetic to say the least...


true there would have been no silicon valley in the usa if there were no indians.. but did india have it in it to establish an equivalent silicon valley in india at that time? or even now? Does india really have enough oppurtinities to provide to top minds in the country? enough challenges? in a country which is frankly decades behind in technological spread as compared to us and uk, is it really possible to employ these top class state of the art engineers and scientists in a fruitful way? and by spread of technology i dont mean the number of users of mobile phones or pc's.. and by awareness i dont just mean knowing about various models for the same... i mean the attitude of figuring things out, of making things easier, smarter, better.. never wondered why any indian didnt come up with the idea of a radio? a tv? a vcr? a washing machine? a tape recorder? a mp3 player? a ne-damn-thing-u-consider-essential-today?

I mean to say just look aroud you right now... how many genuine indian inventions can you find that made an impact, took the world by storm? cant figure out what is it... another example of the trademark indian "Chalta Hai" attitude? answers neone?

what i want to ask is, if you had kept those 10000 indians in the country, what would they have been doing? probably they would havve ended up in some government office, in the technical department, repairing imported computers and devices and providing technical assistance...

is it a crime to go for the best? can we provide them with a part of what US provides? is it really about money? now that things are much better in india today, and conditions ar somewhat comparable, my question to you is, will you work in microsoft india at 40000 a month or in your local computer repair shop at 100000 per month? think seriously...

you say.. would there have been microsoft india without indians in microsoft?

you call them traitors, i call them the heroes of technical revolution in india... i consider what they have given back to india ireplacable... you say they help india by remitting money.. by bringing in foriengn investment... i think they give back to india by making the thing called brand india... by being a knowledge bridge... by bringing the best of the two worlds together... and their single most important contribution... they have given oppurtunities to those who stayed back, wanted to stay back... today we have a choice, coz few years ago, someone made the tougher choice... afterall, as they say... money aint everything honey... and home is where heart is...

and now a few words relevent to the topic... no i dont think neone ahs the right to confine or restrict flow of knowledge or oppurtunities, for every iitian that goes abroad for the big bucks, i believe there is another one who stays back, and does what must be done, taxing those who go abroad? naaah.. doesnt quite click...

Anonymous said...

leaving india for money reason or more workplace.....mkg india shine abroad...or creating silicon valley...or nt getting oppu in india...whtever bt the fact tht gover has spend lot of money on ds pple(4 thr nominal fee)ad gave thm the quality 4 which thy r been called abroad...nt the tax ..its should be made mandatory 4 iitians to work in india for atleast 5 yrsor for some period