MBBS in India

A Yale in India? Good idea, but…

 07/08/2020  India

The recently announced NEP 2020 is progressive enough to write home about, especially for the policy elasticity. The coming generations of students would now have the flexibility to choose, enter and exit courses without harming their academic careers with the stamp of incompletion. But then, it’s not a cinch. Your archetypal college canteen will not turn into a Barista or a Café Coffee Day overnight. Until then, you can begin to celebrate the new beginnings NEP 2020 strives to make.

The policy envisions sweeping changes in the Indian education system. The gender fund for girl students, the continuous evaluation in place of a few hackneyed examinations, replacement of the 10+2 structure by a 5+3+3+4 set-up (which will include 12 years of schooling and three years of Anganwadi and pre-schooling), the mother tongue as medium of teaching up to class five, the academic bank of credit and multiple entry and exit points in higher education, and the extension of the Right to Education up to 18 years of age are among the striking changes the new policy aims to bring in. Globalising our education system is the current mantra.

But wait! Not all is hunky dory! The new policy aims at allowing foreign universities to set up shop in India. Now, let’s take a look at what it means for the entire students’ community across India. Frankly, studying in a foreign university on home soil might be a long shot if we consider the cost of higher and special education an India student has to incur even in Indian colleges and universities. Take the case of Amity University. The university charges Rs. 2,02000 per semester, making it the most expensive in India. You might have the latest Royal Enfield to flag your stud value but you would probably need a Harley Davidson to be first among equals on the Amity campus. Or for that matter Symbiosis (Rs. 2,25,000 per year), SRM University (Rs. 4,50,000) and Bits Pilani (Rs. 1,15,600 excluding hostel fees) – all off-limits to a majority of Indian students.

If this is the case, then foreign universities in India might be a tough barrier to overcome, financially and academically as well because the standards of education they would import into the country would be for a certain cost, decidedly higher than that of Amity. In the final count, a Yale, a Harvard or a Princeton in India aren’t going to be your pizza takeaway on the phone. Though the government’s move in this direction is absolutely commendable, it has to impress upon the foreign universities that, as and when they come in, they have to customize their outlook in keeping with the Indians students’ demography.