Brain drain has been a problem in India and not enough has been done to address this issue. “With NEP 2020 being implemented and several reforms underway, we hope this will help expand both capacity and quality of Indian higher education. This should help students have enough options at home, instead of going abroad for their higher education”, opined Vineet Gupta Ashoka University Founder.
The former Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank had held a meeting with various bodies to discuss the “Study in India and Stay in India” initiative. During this meeting, a lot of options were discussed on how to retain students in India and how to integrate those students who left their studies abroad midway and are now stuck with no options. As an outcome of the meeting, a new committee headed by the UGC Chairman was formed which was tasked with drafting rules and regulations on how to make sure more students are retained whilst also finding ways to integrate students who are midway through their programmes in a foreign nation.
Why is it important to provide our students options?
“Having helped thousands of students go abroad by training them for entrance exams, I realized that most of these youngsters move abroad because of lack of options in India. And this is true in most disciplines whether engineering or social sciences. Medical students are tired of competing for a minimal number of seats in medical colleges in India and a lot of them opt to pursue medicine abroad. In-fact, countries like Ukraine, China, Russia etc. are providing medical courses at far cheaper rates than Indian Institutes further incentivizing young Indians to make the move abroad”, explains Vineet Gupta Ashoka University Founder.
As per a report, over 7,00,000 students moved abroad for their studies in 2019. Not only is that a worrying sign but also, that is a significant amount of foreign exchange drain on India. It is estimated that Indians spend close to USD 25-30 Billion on foreign education every year. The same money spent in India could not only re-vitalize our higher education sector but also give a boost to the economy.
Options India needs to explore to ensure that “Stay in India, Study in India” is a success
Through the NEP reforms, India can look at multiple avenues to revolutionize its education system and many changes are already underway as we speak.
Some options that need to be explored and implemented:
1. Incentivising private institutions to create more capacity – For far too long, the narrative of public institutions being the primary option for millions of youngsters has existed in India and it has hampered many private institutes from attracting talented students into their programs. Private higher education should not be looked at as an “industry”. All higher education institutions are not for profit and to get quality higher education, government should incentivize by providing land at affordable costs and also provide capital at reduced rates of interest.
2. Multidisciplinary approach and credit transfers will give flexibility – “I have spoken many times about what we have done at Ashoka in terms of multi-disciplinary education and credit transfers. With the NEP also emphasizing on it, all Indian institutions should adopt this. This will help many youngsters who want to pursue multiple options during their higher studies and often look abroad. With credit transfers, many students who come back mid-way can study in Indian universities. It is also encouraging to note, that the Government has shown keen interest in setting up multidisciplinary universities across the nation and implementation of this will help many students get better options in India”, opines Vineet Gupta Ashoka University Founder.
3. Making education more cost effective and providing more scholarships – Rising costs has become a major factor in access to higher education. Private institutions can lower their costs, if the government can subsidize fee by providing more scholarships.
“Education in India currently is undergoing a massive transition and our aspiration should be to establish one of the top education systems in the world. With our outstanding human talent, we have a unique opportunity to not only have all our students study at home but also we could educate large numbers of students from all parts of the world at a fraction of the cost of western universities. This will not only ensure inflow of more foreign exchange into our economy but also, improve competition and collaboration in our education ecosystem.”, concludes Vineet Gupta, Ashoka University Founder.
This article is generated and published by FPJ focus team. You can get in touch with them on [email protected]