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India has more science graduates than in US, EU, or China


With over 2.3 million students passing out of colleges annually, India has outperformed the US, Europe and Japan in having maximum number of students graduating in Maths and science. And this is not the only feather in the country's cap. According to a recent study, India also boosts of second largest pool of scientists and engineers in the world.

This data is based on the study by Ernst and Young, conducted jointly with the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham).

The study reveals that India ranks 17th based on this parameter, against 48th ranking for the US, 33rd for Japan and 38th for China. Germany, according to the study, ranks first, followed by Singapore and France.

"The number of science and engineering graduates is an important consideration. There are 690,000 students of science and maths graduating every year -- much higher than China, Japan, the US and Europe," said D S Rawat, secretary general of Assocham.

In China, the number of such graduates each year is 530,000, against 350,000 in Japan, 420,000 in the US and 470,000 in the EU.

Some key facts about Indian education highlighted by the study are:

  • More than 2.3 million graduates every year
  • Nearly 750,000 post-graduates per annum
  • Second largest pool of scientists and engineers in the world
  • Second largest number of trained doctors
  • As many as 389 universities, 14,169 colleges and 1,500 research institutions

The study states that changes in the education system were also necessary to meet the exacting demands of a knowledge economy. The exam system also needs to be overhauled to base it more on problem solving than in enhancing memorising capabilities of students. An expenditure of 3 percent of gross domestic product for research is needed to encourage innovation and to nurture original ideas and thinking.

"If higher education in India is liberalised with massive expansion of professional education and more institutions under public-private initiatives, the system can be completely transformed to acquire well established global standards," said Mr. Rawat.

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Corruption Watch

The bad news is that corruption has not only sustained but has grown in size and stature in the country. With scams being a regular feature, seventy per cent respondents in a survey have rightfully opined that corruption has continued to increase in India. One in every two interviewed admit having paid a bribe for availing public services during last one year. Transparency International's latest survey reveals that the political parties top the chart for the most corrupt public institutions, followed by police force and legislatures. No wonder, India continues to make new records on the global corruption arena!

The shocking revelation is that the health and education sectors haven't remained untouched by this phenomenon. With 5th and 6th positions respectively for these sectors on the public perception chart on corruption, corruption has crept insidiously into these sectors of hope for the masses. With bureaucracy being fourth in the list of corrupt institutions in the country, corruption seems to have been non-formally institutionalized with little hope if public services would ever be effective in the country. With economic growth having literally institutionalized corruption, are we now expecting corrupt to be socially responsible - a different CSR.

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Not giving 'aid' to India is one thing but calling it 'rich' is quite another. If one in three of the world's malnourished children live in India, what does average daily income of $3 indicate? It perhaps means that there is a relative decline in poverty - people are 'less poor' than what they used to be in the past. But having crossed the World Bank arbitrary threshold of $2 a day does not absolve the 'developed' countries of their obligation to part with 0.7 per cent of their Gross National Income in development aid. Should this three-decade old figure not be revised?  

An interesting debate in UK's House of Commons delved on future of development assistance by the British Government. While prioritizing limited resources has been a concern, there has been no denying the fact that development aid must be guided towards tangible gains over a short period of time to start with. There are difficult choices for elected governments to make - should they invest in long-term primary education or in short-term university scholarships? Which of these will bring gains and trigger long-term transformation in the society. As politicians continue to be divided on the matter, poverty persists!!   

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