I asked her whether she intends coming back and she affirmatively said no. When asked why, she said I will wait till my kids are born so that they get American citizenship before coming back. The logic behind this being that higher education then becomes cheaper. Talk about long term planning !!
Anyway, it raised a couple of interesting questions in my mind. What do you think will be the state of Indian higher education twenty years from now? Will the country be subject to reservation of all kinds, or will we see a more open system which grants equal opportunity to everyone. What I like about the system abroad is the academic freedom and responsibility given to students. One is responsible for everything, right from choosing courses, to obtaining the required reading material, to preparing for exams and applying for a job. Sadly though, in India, the scene is different. There is still a certain amount of spoon feeding that still goes on in the system, well into graduate school. I would certainly like to see more institutes for other majors (apart from the IIMs, and the IITs). Maybe more institutes for Political Sciences, Economics and the like. We produce thousands of engineers each year, but very few graduates in other disciplines. We have only one NID, one IISc, one AIIMS, very few good law schools, one DSE for economics and hardly anything for Political Sciences and International Relations. Instead of opening more IIT's and IIM's, Dr.Manmohan Singh should be looking at other areas as well.
The other interesting question that popped up is that whether the craze to run abroad for higher education will be the same twenty years down the line as it is now? It is a very subjective question and a personal choice for many based on a variety of factors. I am thinking that the craze would still be there but people returning would be more simply because India is a great place to live and work in currently. The economy is growing at a healthy rate mainly due to IT and IT enabled services but slowly, I am hoping that manufacturing will contribute a lot more in the coming years. The standard of living in India is going up definitely and there is more opportunity than there was before.
Aakhir, Dil hai hindustani :)