Pursuing higher studies abroad is an increasingly popular trend among young Indian students. Going overseas for higher studies is driven by a variety of factors including quality of education, international exposure, scholarships etc. The Ministry of External Affairs has the MADAD portal in place for the assistance of students studying/planning to study abroad. In this context, the Ministry was recently asked to shed light on such matters in Rajya Sabha Unstarred Question No. 410. The question was answered by Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs Shri V. Muraleedharan and the document was published in the PQARS portal.
Statistics of 85 countries in which, Indian students are currently studying are released to support the answer in the Parliaments Questions and Answers Publishing System i.e. pqars.nic.in. The top five countries in the list in terms of the population of Indian students are United Arab Emirates, Canada, USA, Australia and Saudi Arabia (see image below).
As per the Ministry of External Affairs, currently, more than 10 lakh Indian students are studying abroad in different countries across the world. Country-wise statistics of the number of students (till December 2020) is published as an annexure to the document. We have reproduced the geographic distribution of Indian students in a reference map (see below). Greener areas represent a higher population of Indian students while redder areas represent a lower population of Indian students. Indian students are currently spread out across 85 different countries with a total population of 1090219 as per Government records.
The Ministry of External Affairs also indicated that although the MADAD portal is there in place, many students going to study abroad do not register themselves at the portal. As per records updated till January 25, 2021, a total of 22063 students are registered in the MADAD portal.
As per the statistics of 85 countries released by the Ministry, the population of Indian students studying in the top three countries of UAE, Canada and USA are in six figure numbers. 219000 students are studying in UAE, 215720 in Canada and 196271 in the United States. These three countries are closely followed by Australia and Saudi Arabia in the fourth and fifth position respectively. The population of students studying in Australia, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Oman, New Zealand, China, Ukraine, Russia, France Georgia, Philippines and Kyrgyzstan are in five figure numbers.
While the aforementioned countries are highly popular among Indian students, the rest of the countries listed in the document has less than 4500 Indian students currently studying. For example, in Ireland, 4500 Indian students can be tracked while in Poland, 4000 Indian students can be tracked. The least popular countries, as per the population of Indian students are Jordan, Tanzania and Serbia.