Nearly 6.8 lakh Indian students heading Abroad for lack of Education: Study

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MUMBAI: The dearth of quality higher education and increasing competition for limited seats available in existing institutions is forcing nearly 6.8 lakh Indian students to head abroad for studies, a recent ASSOCHAM study has revealed.

 As a fallout, higher educational institutions including the IITs are losing roughly $6-7 billion (Rs 50,000 crore approx) annually that these Indian students are spending on their higher education abroad. What's more, a miniscule number of them are choosing to return home, says the ASSOCHAM study on 'Skilling India: Empowering Indian Youth through World Class Education'.

More and more Indian students are aspiring to go to newer destinations such as Singapore, Germany, France, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, Canada, China and Norway, among others. This year, there has been a rise of 20-25% in the number of students travelling abroad to new destinations for higher education.

As per the study, more than 2.9 lakh Indians went abroad in 2013 and the count shot up to 6.8 lakh this year.

"An important reason for many Indians choosing to study abroad is the lack of good institutions in India and growing competition for limited seats amongst the existing institutes. Very few universities in India provide good quality education and thus the challenge of securing admission in them becomes more daunting each year," said ASSOCHAM Secretary General D S. Rawat in a release.

He cited the example of Delhi University, which has consistently set challenging cut-offs for admission. Most subjects require students to score in excess of 80%, with the cut-offs for popular subjects like economics ranging between 90% to 98%. Similarly, an engineering aspirant has lower than a one in 50 chance of securing admission into the IITs.

While the IITs with an annual enrolment of 10,000-15,000 focus only the brightest of the bright, not a single great worldwide patent has emerged nor have they produced a single Nobel Laureate, said the paper.

"This is despite the government pouring thousands of millions of rupees into their establishment and upkeep,'' the study noted.

While most of the IITians choose to go abroad for research, they do not return home after obtaining their doctoral programmes.

The study suggested setting up of a National Higher Education Commission (NHEC), an independent regulator on the lines of SEBI or CVC ( Central Vigilance Commission). The proposed NHEC must ensure mandatory quality rating of all universities and institutions of higher learning, be they government, state, autonomous or private, it said.


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