To address and answer this idea we have to pose the following three questions to ourselves:
- What is it that attracts a student of any country to go to a foreign country for education?
- What is going to be the State of Education in India in the future? Is it going to be geographically limited?
- What unique, transformative and challenging, intellectual, cultural and existential experience can India provide to the foreign students?
The answer to these questions needs to be based on our current experiences and also the futuristic trends that are visible or may be even invisible at present.
The students who plan to venture and seek education outside their own immediate environs are basically attracted, motivated and prompted by many factors but the major ones are:-
- To get exposure to the best, latest and state-of-the-Art in the area or sector of knowledge that they want to pursue.
- To interact and train with the highly accomplished, highly creative, highly innovative and professionally successful world renowned teachers, instructors or trainers, who can provide the opportunity to analyze, use, apply and explore various new ideas, techniques and innovative solutions in their own or other subjects of interest.
- To have the opportunity to work, earn while you learn, and opportunity to subsidize the cost of education and also get the unique hands-on-experience or working in an efficient, well organized and highly structured system.
- In certain cases the students may want to explore and study novel cultural idioms, social & intellectual customs with the idea of expanding ones outlook and richness of life.
All these points of personal quest must be answered in the affirmative and options made available in one form or the other if we want to make India a Global Educational Hub. Do we presently have any of our Universities, Institutions and Schools that can boast of such environment and thus can attract a foreign student to our shores. This also seeks answers to the first question as defined below:
The relentless march of technology and the disruptive forces that it has unleashed in every area has also impacted the world of education, knowledge transfer and training. It is not for nothing that MOOCs have been introduced by the best universities of the world like Harvard, Stanford, MIT and others. ICT and ITeS are in no way going to allow confining human knowledge, experiences and thoughts to the four walls of the Universities, Institutions and Research laboratories. The rapid transfer, sharing and exchange of ideas, experiments and even thoughts is a reality today and this is only going to accelerate and grow with coming era. Thus it is going to make the idea of education limited by geographical boundaries of any entity nonexistent, in-viable and unimaginable. So we have to think whether under these conditions can we create India or its geographical confines as an Educational Hub.
Coming to the third question, the enormous, unbounded and highly enriching spiritual, intellectual, transformational and culturally vibrant and entrancing experience that India can offer is no doubt something very real, very different and very valuable when compared with any other idea of experience, any other culture or country can provide, to whole humanity not to speak of to only young global students. However, in order to share, engage or invoke any of such experience in others one has to learn, explore and master these ideas, techniques and life styles oneself and cultivate them in every citizens of India before we can ask others to do so. The mental attitude, the state of being and living, must be totally and fully evolved in all of us to those highest and esoteric standards of truth, nobility and purity. However, the reality is that most of us Indians have lost the knowledge, practice and passion for all these beautiful and enriching thoughts and ideas. The question therefore is to bring them back and to adopt, adapt and convert them into present day living style; are we as a Nation and people willing and ready to give up our materialistic, dishonest, corrupt and irreligious ways?
It will take ages and eons if at all it can be done now, under the current Indian and world scenario. This we believe is the only and singular way for India to become the Global Knowledge Hub rather than to be merely an Educational Hub.
Prof. (Dr.) Amit Kr. Jain
Prof. (Dr.) A.R Mishra