A top American academician has described the drop in number of Indian students joining US universities as brain circulation rather than as reverse brain drain.
“I call it as a brain circulation and in the past it was going in one direction. We see discoveries are coming in the field of medicine, agriculture, technology from places that we did not think of in the past.
“India has some of the finest and world class institutions such as IITs and Indian Institute of Science and there is no dearth of world-class quality education there,” President of Cornell University, David J Skorton, told PTI here on the sidelines of a meeting in Cornell Club in Manhattan.
Skorton said India is leading the world in cutting edge outsourcing technology and technological revolution of sorts is happening there.
“Look at some of the inventions in medicine and agriculture. Infosys has done whole new concept of outsourcing to make India feel proud. It had mastered the technology,” he said.
Cornell University is the most educationally diverse member of the Ivy League.
On the Ithaca campus in New York alone nearly 20,000 students representing every state of the US and 120 countries choose from among 4,000 courses in 11 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools.
Many undergraduates participate in a wide range of interdisciplinary programs, play meaningful roles in original research, and study in Cornell programs in Washington, New York City, and the world over.
Skorton became Cornell University’s 12th president on July 1, 2006. He holds faculty appointments as professor in the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City and in Biomedical Engineering at the College of Engineering on Cornell’s Ithaca campus.
There are more than 100,000 Indian students studying in various universities across the US and according to one survey in the 1970s about 80 per cent of the IIT graduates migrated to the US then and now the number has fallen to less than five per cent.
The number of Indian students studying in the US has dropped for the second
consecutive year, according to the annual Open Doors Report released by the Institute of International Education in the US.
In 2011-12, there were 1, 00,270 Indians at American universities, down from 1, 03,895 in the previous year and 1, 04,897 the year before that.
In 2009-10, China overtook India for the top spot in terms of students at US universities. Though India is still number two, the number of Indian students is down by about four per cent. Issues such as visa restrictions, slowdown of US economy and tough job market have been cited as reasons.
Indians make up for 13 per cent of the total international student population in the US, second to China’s 25 per cent.
Of the 1, 00,270 Indians, 13 per cent are undergraduates, 59 per cent graduate students and 27 per cent pursuing practical training programs.
The report, which annually surveys international students in the US, is published in partnership with the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Cornell University has received an endowment of USD50 million from the Tata Education and Development Trust, a philanthropic entity of India’s Tata Group.
The endowment consists of USD 25 million to establish the Tata-Cornell Initiative in Agriculture and Nutrition, which will contribute to advances in nutrition and agriculture for India; and USD 25 million for the Tata Scholarship Fund for Students from India, to help attract more of the best and brightest students to Cornell from India. “This is one of the most generous endowments ever received from an international benefactor by an American university.”
The establishment of the USD 25 million scholarship fund will help meet the Tata Group’s pledge to bring more Indian students to Cornell.
The scholarships will be offered to between six and 10 students annually, depending on level of need, and could ultimately support up to 25 Tata scholars at Cornell at any one time.
With the Tata Scholarship Fund for Students from India, Cornell will be able to welcome many more of the best and brightest Indian students in a manner that would make Ezra Cornell proud, that is regardless of their financial circumstances.
And, building on the remarkable achievements in India throughout the better part of the past century, the Tata-Cornell Initiative in Agriculture and Nutrition will increase collaboration among Indian and Cornell scientists and students in nutrition and agriculture to improve the livelihoods and nutritional status of the rural poor in India.
The goal of the new agriculture initiative between Tatas and Cornell is to improve the productivity, sustainability and profitability of India’s food system, with the aim of reducing poverty and malnutrition.
Cornell has numerous successful public and private partnerships in both agriculture and nutrition in India the gift will extend existing relationships and permit development of new initiatives.
The Tata scholarships will be increased to the optimal number over three or four years. During that period, Cornell will launch an extensive outreach campaign in India to build awareness of the scholarships.