In the past most of the students went abroad only for postgraduate studies. Case in point: I came to the US for my doctoral studies in computer science. But these days families are sending their children for undergraduate education, and a significant number even for high school education.
Among my acquaintances, friends and relatives, I don’t know of a single family that did not send its children for education abroad if they could manage it. Education in developed countries like the US is not cheap by any standard. By developing country standards, education abroad is a huge expense but desperation forces them to somehow make it happen. Quite often they go massively into debt. By hook or by crook, they do the best they can to escape the dysfunctional Indian education system.
The rush is to somehow quit India if one can. And the government is doing all it can to make sure that people, especially those who could have been most productive in India, quit India as soon as they can.
This is incredibly pathetic. What makes it so sad is that this situation is entirely the doing of the Indian government. It doesn’t have to be this way. Indians should not have to quit India in their desperation to secure a future for themselves. They are being forced to quit India
Quit India — Now
Nearly 80 years ago, in 1942 there was a “Quit India Movement.” It was a call to the British to stop exploiting Indians and to quit India. The idea was that if the British left India alone, India would develop as it could. The British finally quit India because eventually it suited them.
Though the British government loot of India ended in 1947, the loot of India did not stop. The Indian government of India took over the task of looting India. Since the Indian government could not be asked to quit India, the only avenue open was for Indians to quit India if they could.
Unlike the 1942 Quit India movement — the people forcing the government to quit India — this time around, the government is forcing the people to quit India. Not every Indian can quit India but those who can, do quit as soon as they can. The government is doing its best to force Indians out of India.
Quit India version 2 is devastating India because it essentially is forcing capital to exit India. By capital, I mean both human and non-human capital. Capital creates wealth. Capital is mobile and moves to where it is welcome. This is no secret. Countries that welcome capital do better than those that don’t.
The US imports lots of stuff. But its more important import is the immense amounts of human capital. The US exports lots of stuff but exports practically zero human capital. The situation is exactly opposite for India. India does not import any human capital and only exports whatever human capital it has — especially high quality human capital.
Human capital creates the wealth of nations. Some of the human capital is homegrown in the US. But it’s like a magnet for foreign high-quality human capital. For example, Peter Theil was born in Germany; Sergey Brin was born in the USSR; Elon Musk was born in South Africa. Of the 95 US Nobel Prize winners in Physics, Chemistry and Medicine in the period 2000-2019, 36 (that’s nearly 40%) were foreign born; of the 303 US Nobel Prize winners in Physics, Chemistry and Medicine for 1901-2019, 105 (35%) were foreign born.
It appears that the Indian government is dedicated to keeping foreign capital out, and pushing domestic capital out as quickly as it can. Firms that wish to expand their operations generally choose to do so outside India to avoid the bureaucratic nightmare they face and the high levels of taxation. Now the government is proposing to add another burden to domestic and foreign firms doing business in India: they propose to add reservations and quotas based on caste and religious lines.
Economic policies that prioritize economic freedom have an enormous influence on the economic prosperity of an economy. That’s as surprising as the fact that water is wet. But that obvious fact is apparently missed by the politicians and bureaucrats in India. They don’t understand that the road to persistent poverty is the license-permit-quota-control system they have engineered for decades.
I sometimes think that a simple device could change India. It’s a logic inverter for policies. Input any proposed government policy into the device and it spits out the negation of the policy. Input policy A and the output is policy ~A. It’s simple and would reverse India’s descent into continued poverty and irrelevance.
There appears to be no end in sight to the idiotic policies of the government. Is it that the bureaucrats are stupid and the politicians are evil, or is it that the politicians are stupid and the bureaucrats are evil? But it doesn’t really matter since the end result is the same.
People are stupid some of the time, and evil some of the time. But people in the Indian government are consistently stupid and evil all of the time. The bad news is that most Indians don’t appear to mind that. And of the minority that do mind it, only a fortunate few have the option of escaping the disaster by quitting India.
It’s all kama, neh?