According to a recent survey, over 8 lakh students travel abroad for higher education each year, spending $28 billion, or 1% of our GDP. Approximately $6 billion of this is for fees paid to overseas colleges. This is almost Rs 45,000 crore, which is enough funding to start and run 10 new IITs, IISERs, JNU, or other elite institutions each year. Nonetheless, according to a recent CAG study, the eight new IITs established between 2008 and 2009 are not faring well.
The influx of new private universities has not slowed the above-mentioned flight of students and riches. As a result, even after 70 years of independence and eight years of aggressive policy attempts, India still lacks Aatmanirbharta and a value proposition in higher education.
First and foremost, it’s about jobs. According to income tax department data from the last few years, there are approximately 3 crore taxpayers. Taking two-thirds of these as the number of salaried persons and assuming a 20-year tax-paying life, we discover that only approximately 10 lakh new jobs are available each year. This comprises jobs in both the governmental and private sectors.
The fancy occupations are from multinational corporations and are in marketing, finance, information technology, and worldwide engineering services. Almost no Indian company that serves Indian customers pays a starting wage of Rs 10 lakh per year.
As per MHRD data, around 30 lakh Indian students graduated from approximately 45,000 colleges last year. According to recent employment data, there may be approximately 1 crore, unemployed graduates, looking for work.
Every year, this is 10 times the number of paying jobs, 30 times the number of decent positions, and 300 times the number of luxurious employment available. It is now impossible for businesses or government agencies to interview such a vast number of applicants for each job in a meaningful manner.
Branded universities and colleges handle the short-listing process for private enterprises. Only here will good organizations go to hire, and only here can a student hope that her CV will be read.
As a result, there is a frenzy of competitive tests, narrowing ranks, and coaching classes in high school, as well as placement and packages in college. No sensible parent would subject their child to this agony if they had the choice. This helps to explain the exodus of students and capital to foreign shores.
Unfortunately, the central and state governments, as well as the IAS, rely on such exams for recruitment. Why are there so few jobs available? According to economists, the solution is antiquated labour regulations, insufficient investments, and bureaucratic cholesterol.
That may be true, but there is a deeper connection with higher education here as well, and it starts with the job description. This is the work that a person on the job must complete over the course of a week or month.
In reality, most job descriptions in the public sector have remained unchanged since the country’s independence. As a result, neither the district public health department nor the agriculture department has a statistician or an economist. However, in emerging areas, the function of elite institutions is even more critical.
As a result, there was and continues to be a definite role for the elite central institutions, such as the IITs, IISERs, JNU, and others. They should examine current issues, formalize them, and turn them into business models and job classifications that provide value-added solutions. They should have then assisted local institutions and enterprises in the implementation of these solutions. They haven’t done that in a long time.
Instead, they have chosen to become accomplices in the globalization of information and a highly uneven system of providing science’s advantages to the people.
As a result, it is not surprising that so many students prefer to study and eventually work abroad. Are there achhe din waiting for the experts to return? To find meaningful work in addressing the issues we face? To return home and raise a family?
The answer can be found in our Air Quality Index, which is an environmental indicator of the social reality that we have unanimously embraced. As a result, they have very little first-hand experience in dealing with the world’s difficult problems. To put it succinctly, academics have very little to teach.
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