Why do Indian students go abroad?

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Pankaj Jagannath Jayswal (Author, Columnist, Speaker)

Over a million Indian students study abroad in 85 countries. By 2024, our students are expected to spend an estimated $80 billion per year. Globally, India has the biggest population of young adults (ages 18 to 23) according to UN Population Prospects. In India, education continues to play an important role in the country’s development because of its large population of young adults. But, why are there so many students going abroad? It is necessary to reflect…

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The number of medical colleges in the country has increased by 54% in the last seven years, and societies that invest in healthcare will be rewarded in the future. Our country had 387 medical schools in 2014. Only in the last seven years has this figure risen to 596 medical schools. This represents a 54% increase. Prior to 2014, the country had only seven AIIMS, but the number of AIIMS approved has now increased to 22. Medical undergraduate and postgraduate seats have increased to approximately 1.48 lakh, an increase of approximately 80% from 82,000 seats in 2014.

The figures above clearly show that growth was very slow in the first 67 years when compared to population. Due to high demand and large sums of money, a few political parties and their leaders have effectively monopolized this field of education. There were fewer government colleges, and more emphasis is placed on building private colleges, many of which are owned by politicians or relatives, to earn millions of rupees through donations. MBBS in a private college in India costs approximately 8 to 10 million rupees, whereas it costs approximately 2 to 3 million rupees in a country such as Ukraine and the least emphasis by Indian colleges to provide quality education considering changing times.

The most surprising and concerning fact about engineering education is that outdated syllabuses are still taught in most colleges, and no practical or industrial training is provided considering technological changes and new inventions and discoveries. Many colleges place the least emphasis on research and development. These serious issues have had a negative impact on students’ mindsets, causing them to lose confidence, non-development of entrepreneur skills, and become unsuitable for many jobs, forcing many to go abroad for higher education of the desired quality. The IIT provides a high-quality education, but there aren’t many of them.

Since the country’s independence in 1947, there have been 16 IITs. In the last seven years, there has been one every year. There were 9 IIITs until 2014, and now there are 16 new IIITs and 7 new IIMs built.

“Modi governments National Education Policy is a massive initiative to bring about fundamental change in a country’s educational setup.” A multifaceted approach is being focused on to make our capable youth more competitive. An effort is being made to make youth flexible and adaptable to the changing nature of the job. The NEP 2020 focuses on research and development, which were previously lacking in the system. The emphasis should be on putting it into high gear.

Many private colleges owned by politicians and their relatives are opposed to the rapid and high-quality opening of government colleges, and they are finding ways to derail the process. One such example is opposition to the NEET exam.

One more serious issue is the shift in youth mindsets. Many young people want to leave the country permanently because they have a materialistic outlook on life forgetting the cultural roots. In the Western world, they believe in a lavish lifestyle with large sums of money. There is nothing wrong with going abroad to earn money; however, the mindset should be to return to the motherland to serve, help with knowledge and skills gained, and enjoy life in its many dimensions with cultural roots.

We owe it to motherland to serve her back, and this should be instilled in every young person. It has been repeatedly demonstrated that when we are in a crisis abroad, it is the motherland that comes to our aid. When developed nations such as the United States and China refused to assist their citizens in the war-torn region of Ukraine, our government made extra efforts and spending a large sum of money to return everyone safely home. This must be understood with awareness and belonging, and only then can our motherland be elevated to new heights of glory.

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