As many as 100,000 Indians and an equal number of Chinese  will return to their native countries in the next three to five years, a move that will greatly boost their economies and undermine technological innovation in America, a new US study warns.

The study on immigration by a team at Duke, Harvard and Berkeley universities led by Vivek Wadhwa, an Indian-American technology entrepreneur turned academic, says “America’s loss is the world’s gain”.

There are no hard numbers available on how many have returned, but anecdotal evidence shows that this is in the tens of thousands, says Wadhwa, executive-in-residence for the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University and fellow at the Labour and Worklife Programme at Harvard Law School.

“With the economic downturn, my guess is that we’ll have over 100,000 Indians and as many Chinese return home over the next three-five years,” says Wadhwa. “This flood of western educated and skilled talent will greatly boost the economies of India and China and strengthen their competitiveness.

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