That’s what a report in the Hindustan Times claims: US $13 billion each year. Figures such as these are unbelievable but I suppose someone must have done the numbers. In any case, I had estimated that number to be around $10 billion a few years ago.
Let’s pause for a moment and figure. $13 billion every year. Or in the last 10 years, about $100 billion. Imagine what you could buy for that money. How about 100 colleges with first class infrastructure with housing, classrooms, labs? Each year India could have an additional capacity for 10,000 college students and in 10 years you could have 100,000 additional capacity. Imagine the multiplier effect of that spending — in construction, in salaries to teaching and non-teaching staff. Imagine the boost to the industry from creating human capital. The imagination boggles at the sheer waste.
Imagine how much infrastructure you could build for $100 billion.
One of the principal lessons one learns as one studies economic development is that success or failure depends largely on the set of economic policies that govern the economy. India, for instance, is poor and economically a failure because its economic policies are extremely brain-dead. Of course one can explain why these brain-dead economic policies exist. We will not visit that now. Here I would only mention that the policy on education is the most brain-dead and that educational policy is largely to blame for why India is poor today, and if the policy is not changed, then it will certainly doom India in the future.