India’s Ambassador to the U.S. Harsh Vardhan Shringla inaugurated the Education Promotion Society of India pavilion at the 2019 NAFSA Association of International Educators Annual Conference and Expo May 28 in Washington, DC and encouraged Indian American students to study in India to contribute to a rapidly-growing economy.
“India is poised to become a $5 trillion economy in the next five years and aspires to become a $10 trillion economy in the next eight years thereafter,” said Shringla after cutting a ribbon to launch the EPSI pavilion. He noted that India will be the world’s fifth largest economy by the end of 2019, and — in purchasing power parity — it is currently the third largest economy, after the U.S. and China.
Shringla stated that more than half a million students from India choose to study abroad each year, with the U.S., the UK, Australia, Canada being the most popular destinations. The U.S. alone attracts more than 200,000 students from India each year.
But the ambassador encouraged Indian American students to study at colleges and universities in India and become a part of the nation’s phenomenal growth story. “The Indian education system is the world's third largest higher education system with 907 universities, 43,000 colleges and a capacity of enrolling more than a whopping 30 million students,” said Shringla, noting that a degree from an institute in India is competitive in the world market, but undertaken at one-fourth of the cost. He noted that about 200 of Fortune 500 companies regularly hire from Indian campuses.
“The Indian education system is vast in size, as well as its academic offerings,” stated Shringla, noting that students can gain an education in the latest advancements of science and technology such as virtual and augmented reality; artificial intelligence; and cognitive computing. They can also choose to study India’s culture, with courses in yoga, Ayurveda, Sanskrit, Indian languages, and classical music and dances.
“This vastness of the Indian education system directly translates to enhanced opportunities for its students and global learning for an all-round academic and personal development,” he said.
“India has been and continues to be home to innovation, creativity and leadership,” said Shringla, citing several prominent graduates from Indian universities, including: Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft, an alumni of Manipal Academy of Higher Education; Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, who studied at Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur; Ajaypal Singh Banga, president and CEO of MasterCard, an alumnus of St. Stephen's College, Delhi University; Rajeev Suri, CEO of Nokia, who also studied in Manipal Academy of Higher Education; and Indira Nooyi, former CEO of PepsiCo, who is an alumnus of Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta.
World leaders and diplomats have graduated from Indian colleges and universities, including: Aung San Suu Kyi, incumbent state counsellor of Myanmar; Hamid Karzai, former president of Afghanistan; William Kwasi Akuffo, former head of the State of Ghana; Olusegun Obasanjo, former president of Nigeria; and John Samuel Malecela, former prime minister of Tanzania, said Shringla.
Colleges and universities are accredited in India, with a robust system of scoping out fake institutions, said Shringla.
“You will be part of the fastest growing major global economy,” said Shringla, lauding EPSI for promoting India’s education system to an international market.
The NAFSA conference — held May 26 to May 31 — also featured a pavilion hosted by the Educational Consultants India, who showcased their ‘Study in India’ web portal: https://www.studyinindia.gov.in/