Sunday, June 15, 2008

$1,000,000,000 or more

Given pathetic higher education in India, many worthy Indian students leave for US, Europe, and even Russia or Mauritius. This means they spend a lot of their money on education in other countries. This amount has been estimated to be $10 bn.

In the post I will point out another substantial loss to India, the total time wasted by students leaving India. This amounts to another $1 bn - $10 bn. How? Here is my calculation, try your own.

Let us consider a student preparing to go abroad. In that process, the student devotes most of his time to prepare for GRE, visa application, searching for university departments, application to different labs/professors for funding. Typically this means, the student would sacrifice about 1 year on the process, rather than doing something creative in India. In turn, our country is less productive.

Further, the student, typically BE or MSc, is employable in some industry in India. Even a BPO job would earn up to Rs. 3,00,000 in one year. Hence, the student is foregoing the salary and that much of productivity is lost. The amount is generally higher, for most students will be productive than being in a BPO.

If 1,50,000 students leave India each year for studies abroad, we can compute the total loss in productivity using the above two numbers (highlighted in bold).

TOTAL= (No of students) x (time lost) x (salary earned OR productivity)

= 1,50,000 x 1 yr x 3,00,000

= 45 billion Rupees

= $ 1 bn

There we are, India poorer by $1 bn, just because students are less productive in the time before leaving for abroad. The numbers used (time lost) and (producivity) are variables, and I have used intelligent guesses. Productivity is from average salary by a fresh graduate from our college. (Time lost) is average 1 - 2 years from my own experience.

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