Talent preservation for national growth | By Waqar Hassan


Talent preservation for national growth

IDEAS shape the future of nations, and human minds are the factories that generate brilliant ideas to attain glory and development. The world has witnessed advancement in all fields. If nations had remained oblivious to the fact that talent preservation lays the foundation of a prosperous future, the world would have transformed differently. The brilliant thinkers, who alter the path of history, need a fertile ground to make mind-blowing achievements to benefit humanity.

The “House of Wisdom” in the ancient city of Baghdad became a nursery of talent and wisdom. Baghdad achieved tremendous success by preserving the talent for leading the world in innovation and technology. In the contemporary world, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are examples of how states take maximum benefit from their ultra-dynamic heads. Just these two modernization tycoons have brought a revolution to the IT sector.

States shift the winds of global order by focusing mightily on winning industrial and technological superiority. For this purpose, harnessing talent is an essential factor. Fostering constructive brains and maintaining a stockpile of genius are the secret to protracted prosperity. Unquestionably, talent preservation is a factor that decides the fortune of a society. However, the inability of leadership to create spaces necessary to bring social, individual, and economic advancement pushes skilled people to shift to more rewarding harbours that offer them rewarding times. This phenomenon is called “Brain drain”.

For Pakistan, brain drain is a common occurrence. Ironically, brilliant and highly skilled youngsters flee the state in the quest for greener pastures. Verily, we have become good at wasting talent. Apart from the scantiness of employment opportunities, shrinking space for merit, widespread nepotism, compromised education system, inadequate health facilities and elite capture are a few factors that force many fresh graduates to leave the country in search of better livelihoods.

The notion of “talent preservation” finds no place in our society. We have transformed this society into a place where power mongers and wealthy elite find it easy to grab the reins of power, forcing creative minds to aspire to better destinations to sow the seeds of innovation and creativity. Today, many nations have built themselves with Pakistani nationals. It is a caution for us, but we have thrown caution to the wind. As a nation, we have put a deaf ear to the voice of prosperity that states cannot grow if they cannot counter the outward flow of talent. Progressive societies make plans to bring about long-term achievements. Singapore and China have adopted ambitious talent exploration schemes to ensure economic and social sustainability.

The Chinese government had launched a national talent strategy to transform the labour-intensive economy into a talent-based economy. To materialize it, China invested a mammoth amount of its GDP into education and research. Besides this, China is also taking other initiatives to increase the talent mass in the country. Singapore’s talent development program is even more aggressive. The country’s talent hunt strategy, named “Managed by the Elite” intends to attract the finest talent from across the world to Singapore.

To make it happen, Singapore has connected itself with the world’s leading universities, aiming to give incentives to the finest heads from the top institutions to move to Singapore. The success of Singapore and China speaks much of the positive outcome of their well-planned skill and talent hunt and preservation strategies. Pakistan has the world’s seventh-largest pool of engineers and doctors. Many talented young graduates belong to other fields of expertise as well. Sadly, our policymakers have failed to make policies necessary to harness talent, resulting in talent scarcity in the country.

Although HEC gives scholarships to deserving candidates, they, in most cases, leave the country to find better job prospects after completing their degree. Talent hunt and preservation are the tools needed to unlock the door to unfathomable success. Our failure to devise a strategy to address the causes of brain drain has invited economic and social decline for us.

Pakistan is fast getting deprived of its brilliant minds. It is not a good omen for the country. The country is already wading through tough challenges in the economic and technological domains. Brain drain might damage our economic and technological standing in the future. Therefore, time calls for addressing this issue, as it will shape the destiny of our generations. There is a need to create opportunities for the talented youth of the country to allow them to work for the betterment of the people of Pakistan. However, if we fail today in setting things right, we might face talent paucity in the future, which might become an obstacle to our national growth.

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