India has been a major seat of learning for thousands of years. The country was home to both Takshashila - the first university in the world, and to the inventor of the digit 0 - Āryabhaṭa. Albert Einstein once said:, "we owe a lot to the Indians who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made".
Today, India is known as a communication hub, and has become popular with international students from all over the world. It is highly attractive due to its forward thinking, its popularity with large multinational companies, and also due to English being the common language of communication. According to Peter Drucker, "India is become a power house very fast, the medical school in New Delhi is now perhaps the best in the world. The technical graduates of Indian Institute of Technology, Bangalore are as good as any in the world. Also India has 150 million people for whom English is their main language so India is indeed becoming a knowledge center".
India in short facts & figures
Capital: New Delhi
Official language: Hindi and English
Government: Federal parliamentary republic
Area: 1,269,346 square miles/ 3,287,263 square kilometers
Population: 1.29 billion
Currency: Indian rupee (₹) (INR)
Calling code: +91
Education System in India
The Indian education system is highly similar to that of the anglo saxon countries. The stages are:
Nursery --> primary (class 1 to class 5) -->secondary (class 6 to Class 10) --> Senior Secondary (class 11- Class 12) --> Graduation (Arts & Commerce - 3 years, professional - 4 years, Medical - 5 years,) --> post graduation (1/2 to 3 years)
The Indian education system is currently mainly comprised of primary education, secondary education, senior secondary education and higher education. Elementary education consists of eight years of education. Secondary education lasts four years and senior secondary education is an additional two years of education.
Indian Higher Education
Higher education in India starts after passing the higher secondary education or the 12th standard. Depending on what you study, attaining your degree in India can take three to five years. Postgraduate courses are generally two to three years long. After completing a postgraduate degree, there is the option of continuing on with doctoral studies and research at various educational institutes.
Due to the limited number of universities in relation to the large number of applicants, universities work with affiliated colleges. These provide education and issue degrees under the name of the affiliated university. There are approximately 20,000 colleges, 42 central universities, 275 State universities, 130 Deemed Universities and 93 Institutes of National importance in the Indian higher education system.
The private sector within Indian higher education is also strong and steadily growing. These institutes offer education at everything from certificate and diploma level to undergraduate and postgraduate education. These private institutions originally started a trend for distance education, which is now very popular throughout India. Today many prestigious Indian Universities offer distance programs and some such as Indira Gandhi National Open University offer only distance programs, and is one of the largest in student enrollment.
India has undergone a paradigm shift owing to its competitive stand in the world. The Indian economy is on a robust growth trajectory and boasts of a stable 8 plus annual growth rate, rising foreign exchange reserves and booming capital markets among others.
India has emerged as a premier global manufacturing hub with the foray of a number of Multi National corporations such as General Motors, Ford, Suzuki, Hyundai, Coco Cola, etc.
The current scenario portrays significant improvement in the performance of beverages and tobacco, cotton textiles, textile products, basic metal and alloy industries, non metallic mineral products, transport equipment and other manufacturing industries.
Global players such as Daimler Chrysler, General Motors, Ford, LG Electronics, Samsung, Sony, Amway, Tupperware, Pepsico, McDonald's, IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, Aviva, Nortel, Nokia among others have benefited from their operations in India and have made expansion plans for the country. The companies plan to expand by way of product diversification, setting up a manufacturing base in India, increasing the existing production capacity, establishing research centres in India, etc.
Education in India has many benefits. Some of them are:
Low Cost: The cost of education in India is quite low as compared to many other countries of the world.
Quality Education: Indian educational institutions such as the IITs, IISc, IIMs, NITs,AIIMS, ISI, BITS and ISB are well known worldwide to provide quality education.
Unique Courses: Apart from above mentioned advantages, one can also study some unique courses that were discovered and developed by the traditional knowledge system of India. Ayurveda, Sankrit, Yoga and Hindi are some such courses that enthuse many international students.
Financial Assistance: Various scholarships, education loans and other financial aids are available for studying in India today.
There are quite a good number of educational institutes in India that can compete with the best educational institutes of the world. The Indian Institutes of Technology were placed 50th in the world and 2nd in the field of Engineering (next only to MIT) by Times Higher World University Rankings. The International league tables produced in 2006 by the London-based Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) confirmed Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)'s place among the world's top 200 universities. Likewise, THES 2006 ranked JNU's School of Social Sciences at the 57th position among the world's top 100 institutes for social sciences. The National Law School of India University is highly regarded, with some of its students being awarded Rhodes Scholarships to Oxford University, and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences(AIIMS) is consistently rated the top medical school in the country. Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) are the top management institutes in India. Indian Technical Education is very strong these days and there are several thousand colleges in India which provides technical education.
Where can I Study?
Most institutes of higher education throughout India now have international student offices in order to help international students with their move to India. The Indian government has also set up the Education Consultants of India to cater to the needs of the growing number of International Students.
Different courses for international students are offered all over the country. International students can apply for anything from medical and engineering courses to applied arts courses at most institutions. The government has reserved some seats for foreign students and students from other developing countries through which international students can get admission. For more information related to these admissions, contact the Indian High Commission located in your home country. International students are required to carry the necessary documents along with them such as admission letter, passport, residence permit etc for entry to India. The international students can avail the residential permit after registering themselves at the Foreigner's Registration Office (F.R.O) within a period of seven days from their arrival.
Various International Fellowships are also available for students from across the globe who come to India. These International scholarships may be offered at various levels of study from graduate and postgraduate level, to the level of doctorate or post doctorate in various streams of study. Most of these fellowships are meant for meritorious students who would otherwise due to financial constraints have to discontinue education. There are however some scholarships more specifically meant to encourage students to pursue research and some fellowships that are meant to promote cultural interaction among students from different countries.
Medical colleges in India
Taking the medical entrance test, choosing the correct course or getting enrolled in a proper institute for studying medicine are all essential steps of studying medicine in India. Listed below are the names of some of the prominent medical institutes of the country.
- All India Institute of medical Science (AIIMS)
- St John's Medical College Hospital
- Maharashtra University of Health Science
- Christian Medical College and Hospital
- Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh
- All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, Mysore
- Central Institute of Psychiatry, Ranchi
- All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health
- Regional Leprosy Training and Research Institutes
Engineering Colleges in India
Engineering is one of the most sought after career option that paves the way for a brighter future. Since India is developing industrially and technically, consequently the requirement for skilled professionals is also increasing.
- Indian Institutes of Technology
- National Institute of Technology
- Birla Institute of Technology Science, Pilani, Rajasthan
- Bhabha Institute of Engineering and Technology
- Haldia Institute of Technology
- Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology
- Regional Engineering Colleges
- School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi
- Vellore Engineering College
- IT-BHU, Varanasi
- National Institute of Advanced Studies in Architecture (NIASA), Pune
- Bengal Engineering College
Management Colleges in India:
There are excellent Management Colleges in India, where you can get Management education par excellence. You can gain an edge over others by enrolling yourself in any of the top colleges for Management Studies in India.
- Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM A)
- Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta (IIM C)
- Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIM B)
- Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow (IIM L)
- Xavier Labour Relations Institute, Jamshedpur
- Indian School of Business, Hyderabad
- Indian Institute of Management, Indore (IIM I)
- Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode.
- Management Development Institute, Gurgaon.
- SP Jain Institute of Management & Research, Mumbai.
Almost every university in India has accommodation facilities for all its students. International students can also book their accommodation after being admitted to their desired course or University.
In comparison to many other countries, accommodation at Indian universities is cheap. Living cost varies from place to place depending upon the university and the city. Students also have the option of working part time along with their studies. Part time jobs available are the same as in other countries ranging from - cafés and shop work to marketing and promotional activities.