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Exit tax on IIT & IIM grads? Are they nuts?
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September 10, 2007

Based on a recent report of the parliamentary standing committee of the union Human Resource Development ministry that wanted to impose an exit tax on IIT and IIM students leaving India we asked our readers about their views on the topic.

Here is the detailed and unedited response of those readers who don't want the government to impose an exit tax on IIT and IIM graduates.

Statistics tell a different tale

Manmohan Singh [Images] is lording over a government that has ensured the systematic and consistent destruction of institutes of excellence whether they be the IITs IIMs or AIIMS. I wonder why he considers himself a teacher at heart! There are no signs to support this statement of his!!

There is absolutely no reason to tax IITians and IIMites. It has been proved that the money spent on them is coming back in the form of grants given by alumni such as Vinod Gupta or Shailesh Mehta. Yes, theres absolutely no reason to subsidise their education!!!

Statistics show that the number of IIM grads opting for local jobs rather than foreign ones is on the rise. Then why bother? There is talk of reverse brain drain back into India. Tell would you treat a graduate working for some Big IT firm and being sent onsite by the company? Would you tax him?

What about students of other institues/ universities funded by public money? IIT and IIM grads are the whipping boys of losers, failures and politicians without a cause!

Kailash V

Let's also have 'exit tax' on our netas

These think tank in HRD Min. can never do a really good job for the development of the country, its just the pretext for another official loot!!! How can we say we are democratic country when we even can't have the right to work legitimately where we like, of course this kind of tax system if implied can only fill the huge pockets of our netas and very little will really be contributed for the actual cause.

These people are just jealous that people get qualified from IITs and IIMs and get fat money but why do they get it? did they ever thought? because they deserve it so they are getting it, their hard work is paying them and why tax again?!! if you see the rupee rising in the market then this is definitely due to these people bringing more foreign currency into the country which should be well appreciated. Its a wrong impression that you can be a saint only if you meditate in a temple.

If really the actual cause have to be answered then these s.t.u.p.i.d. netas should give up their arm chair and pot belly thoughts and shell out that extra crores of black money which they are dumping in their Swiss account they are the real parasites enjoying all kinds of public money..officially and unofficially...then how much "LOOT TAX" should we the common public of India should impose on them..?!! or lets also bring another "EXIT TAX" for these netas when they quit or complete their term in politics!! well not a bad idea..

Srikanth Vadali

Let us not make the intellectual property of an individual taxable

It will be one the darkest day in the history of modern India. The state has all the duty to provide quality educations to every one and if some one who by his specially cultivated skills (yes studies are more to do with skills rather than IQ), goes to IIT or IIM, and then we pounce on him and Tax him.

We should not forget that only these IITian and Management people have worked hard outside and have made this country a leading powerhouse in the IT and Management world. They have led from the front and overcome the lethargic bureaucratic regime prevailing in the country. They have brought wealth not only in terms of money but also in terms of prestige, better working culture and environment.

There are crores and crores of rupees siphoned off by corrupt people in our country. Nobody is bothered about them. No tax or penalty for them. Who does not know how much money political parties spend for underhand dealings/briberies for elections etc? Judiciary is choked with pending cases. Law enforcing agencies lack proper leadership.

We had pledged our Gold reserve to Bank of England [Images]. When service sector was booming tax was imposed and now the Education tax. Let us not make the intellectual property of an individual taxable. Let them grow in an open and free environment.

We should be rest assured that they would be playing larger roles in the poverty alleviations of the country. Jai Hind.


The whole idea is a Joke

The government is naive in thinking that exit tax acts as a deterrent. The amount is pittance and any employer from US or any such developed nation may be ready to reimburse such tax if levied. More over why such hulla-gulla over money spent on say 10 thousand students every year.

Does any one has given any thought about government spending on primary education every year and where actually the money is going every year. At least the money being spent on IITs and IIMs is well spent. By forcing the graduates from premier institutes to pay exit tax, the government is aiming to close the door on them permanently.

Can you equate few lakh rupees to the knowledge and intelligence of these graduates and what intangible assets they make if they are treated with respect and understanding. The aim of the government should be to create conducting environment that will induce these people to stay back in their own country or if not at least lend their resources for the betterment of our country.

In this regard I would like to call attention on may such alumni who are doing yeoman service without actually being present in the country. Do you know chess champion Viswanathan actually stays in Spain though he plays for India. Please let us think big; let us not be small minded.

Sowmya Gujar

Exit tax will demotivate students

Ultimately when the IIT or IIM student will earn more (say even from the income from abroad), they will be charged taxes on their income na.... then why to charge exit tax?

By this, there will be a demotivation to the talented people to use their intelligence and get more salaries.. also, there will be a demotivation to the people who want to establish good name of India and themselves all over the world.

We are talking about conquering the world by our intelligence and this way by imposing tax, why to demotivate people who really want to do it?

Anyway, they can be charged tax on their income. But not for going abroad to earn that income.

Jigisha Thakkar

Choice between a second class citizen there or a third class citizen here

The whole things is bull shit, coming out of the letharg8c reservation oriented Babu in the Union HR Ministry. The simple thing is your working environment and the job recognition in this country is so poor unless you are somebody's somebody you never get anywhere in professional life. This kind of tax suggested is only focussing out of the Dog in the manger attitude, neither will it eat the hay nor will it allow the cow to eat it.

If these fellows can provide jobs commensurate with their qualifications and an interference free working environment why would any one go to the US of A or the Middle East and be a second Class Citizen there. Now the situation is either a second class citizen there or a third class citizen here.

A prime example could be the tussle between Dr. Venugopal of AIIMS, a World recognized and famous cardiologist and Dr.Anbumani Ramdas, whose name would never be spoken about anywhere in any medical conference but for the fact he is the son of Dr. Ramdas, a caste based politician and even then he had to ride to this position on the shoulders of the minority Government of M.Karunanidhiand his DMK.

That therse people go out to those countries, is one of the main reasons that today we are having a Forex surplus, otherwise remember the pre-liberalisation days when the GOI had to ship out Gold from India to US to tide over the Forex shortage and ultimately dance to the tunes of IMF and World Bank and introduce Globalisation of the Indian Economy at the cost.

Mambakkam Subramanian

Most horrible thought

Exit tax for IIT and IIM? Don't you all think this is next most horrible thought that crossed the minds of the mindless politicians in our country? For getting into IIT, IIM, lakhs of students toil for years, compete intellectually and the government is not funding them just like that. They are funding intellectual minds and they better know how to retain them than foolishly talk about exit tax etc.

Will they talk about exit tax for Medicos, Biotechs, and Computer engineers quoting brain drains? See the fate of our literates today - they have to beg useless politicians for their degrees - politicians who misbehave with women in train, who rape innocent women elsewhere, who get fully drunk and dares to issue a statement quoting he will murder again, who stand by criminals etc.. It is an absolute shame for everyone to just talk about it... The government better concentrate on how to create opportunities to curtail brain drain than madly talking about foolish things.. Let them look at other countries practices..

Ravichandran R

Shame on such stupid and weird thinking

Spending 1.5L on every IIT student is not big deal. Each IIT student has proved his caliber by getting into IIT with extraordinary talent and efforts.

Instead of nurturing such gems, trying to trouble them is not good sign. God will never let such criminal minded thinker to live peacefully.

IIT/IIM students are developing our country like never before. Handling every challenge successfully.
Putting huge taxes on such people will definitely put india on top of lowest growing countries in no time.

Vijay Mali

What an absurd idea!

Wow! Our politicians keep amazing every one of us with such stupid ideas and what is even worse some of the fools keep accepting them. So, I ask you people once and for all, please stop this mob-mentality.
The education in IIMs isn't cheap by any standard. It is the most expensive higher education institute in India. Compare the Rs 2 lac fees at an IIM to the average annual income of Rs. 23222(source:

Wow! That's almost ten times the average annual income. And just because someone is earning more than you are doesn't imply that he should pay more tax than mandated.(Though most of the dim-wits/and my commie comrades would like it to be so).

If this be the case just tax the super-rich (the likes of mukesh, anil, sunil mittal etc.) just 1% more and that would more than pay for the govt. subsidy ten times over.

You cannot shout for equality on one hand and then conscientiously hanker for "more tax for IIM/IIT grads" on the other. So let me ask this: Who here would not leave India for better salary? Who here pays his taxes honestly?

So my advice to you is, do not criticise from the bottom, do not justify using false claims, do not be jealous and above all work hard to achieve what they achieve, because at the end of it there is no free lunch. Everything is paid in blood, sweat and tears my friends. Everything.

Apurva Agarwal

Such a communist idea

This is rank nonsense and a communist hegemony, ala reservation nonsense. If students and professionals get nice packages, it is only because they have bloody well slogged to get to that position. They have toiled and laboured like no one's business and managed to sacrifice so much in their lives to belong to top 1 percentile of the nation, and it is a just reward that they enjoy.

All you people, saying "Ayes" to exit tax are just plain jealous, because they themselves are inadequate and kind of mentally not 'well-endowed'.

Sanjana [Images] Mohta

Get taxed for studying hard!

This is what you get for studying very hard and being sincere. If they are getting good jobs abroad, it is because they worked very hard for it. It is not a good message for students intending for higher education. What happens when this person returns back to India. Will they give that money back?

I am an ex-IITian, worked abroad for several years, now works in India.


It is just the brain investment abroad

Education is basic fundamental right of every person in India. Education is for the betterment of that person and country. An educated person is an valuable asset to a country. They will provide in growth and development of a country. They are required to work for the benefit of their country. Indian IIT's and IMM's are providing world class education. Students from these eminent institutes prefer to work abroad. They are attracted towards better salary packages, good growth opportunities, transparent and wide space to expand their knowledge and new ideas. So why to stop them doing this?

Are we providing them the salary they deserve? Are we giving them freedom for their research and new ideas? No we are not doing these at all. We are paying them very ordinary pays and also not ready to help them in their innovative research and inventions. These people are having such a high class of education become more active and motivated to do some new and innovative work. They want to discover something very innovative that can help their country upliftment.

But we are not treating them well. On finding that they have more money and freedom in other countries gets attracted to them. We are on our own responsible this brain drain. As our former prime minister (Rajiv Gandhi) said, "The phenomenon of Brain Drain should not be considered as a drain to India's resources, it is just the brain investment abroad." This is very true. These people while working abroad are transmitting information.

Tanuja Singh

Reform the entrance criteria in IIM

I am not from IIM but I condemn this taking Exit tax. What will one time exit tax mean....Do u feel that a company which is coming to IIT and IIM Campus and committing tons to a fresher without even knowing what's the depth of the market he will be generating the business from ? What will be his performance visa vis his take home salary? Allow the Hired Student to pay this Money from his pocket ?The answer is simple NO .Reform the entrance criteria in IIM.

No Freshers make it at least 36 Months of Full Time Employment as eligibility criteria. Secondly increase the number of IIT and IIM's so that this hegemony of banking and encashing on academic degrees without any guarantee of performance Ends. A simple Question Do the IIT and IIM allow any student from TIER 1 schools and colleges with Good academics just get an admission in their institute?

No they have to Prove again that they are the best and worth it in IITJEE and CAT .So why will they get a benefit for life long on One exam they have cracked at any point in their life . If there coaching is good & they really have learnt business let them prove again in the organisation and get better paid than others. This is a major lacunae in India and it is ample number that Corporates have burnt their hands by committing enormous salaries and not getting even a meager percentage from the graduates of Elite institution. Still the age old tradition hire to show off persist here. So as long as this culture stays Exit Tax useless.

Tamal Sarkar

Exit tax not to exist

Why exit tax separately to IIM and IIT and other foreign study or assignment holders while they are not only getting good name and recognition to India that it has so many intellectuals helping other countries with their knowledge and helping themselves besides passing lot of foreign exchange to India which in turn improving the foreign exchange reserves of India.

It is not brain drain or anything; it is only sharing knowledge. Are we not utilising the technical intelligence of foreign collaborators\' specialists in India like Russian collaborators etc. Govt. should not try to squeeze people by various draconian methods of taxation which should not be the only source of revenue to India. Foreign exchange deposits, NRI and non-NRI investments into India and their indirect contribution to our nation itself are more than any tax or anything.

Srinivasa Rajagopal

No there shouldn't be any tax

The "BOOM" we see today was possible only because of Brain drain...its high time we understand that the students who go abroad or get higher salaries at home are talented with or without the IIM/IIT brand name. Educational Institutions cannot magically convert a mediocre person into a genius (Not even by Magic, read Harry potter [Images] for more details on magical education!!). Hence, taxing such students would lead brain drain at an earlier stage... Indian students (bright) would go outside India for undergraduate education and may stay outside forever.

On the subject of Tax, The government already collects maximum tax from salaried "middle class" citizens and provides "NO QUALITY" service in return. Given that the govt is not fair in distribution of services for tax collected today ... WHAT BENEFIT WOULD TAXING STUDENTS GIVE? MORE SUPPORT FOR MEDIOCRITY AND PUNISHMENT OF TALENT FOR BEING TALENTED!!


Imposing tax after finishing is meaningless

Imposing exit tax on graduating students is giving the students who emigrate a life long conscience purge. They will forever think that their responsibility to the country is done with. Not fair to us.

Also imposing tax after finishing is meaningless. A better system is to make the fees at par (actual expenditure) but give them soft loans, with provisions for subsidy only for the needy ones.

I can see things are improving to the point in India that the really good students will not want to go abroad. That should be the end goal.

Lastly, imposing exit tax is impractical. What do you do with a student who studies in one of IITs, goes abroad for MS/PhD, and then comes back to work in India. Reimburse his penalty?

You will have students working for a year or two (to get lost in the crowd) and then apply abroad to escape exit tax. Give Indians a rule and they will find a way to escape. How about India --> Singapore (work assignment) ---> USA (forever). The possibilities are endless.

In short, make things better for the home Indians. Foreigners will be coming here to study and work. Jai Hind.

Prof. Ashwini Nangia

Have they gone nuts???

Not sure what false impression they have about salary pkgs offered at IIMs. I am one of those 1000 ppl who graduate from these premier institutes every year and ask me about avg salary of an IIM grad. It's far below what an engineer with the same experience earns today.

The market is always biased, due to few high flyers earning foreign mullah. Thanks to those illustrious daily newspapers like TOI who mint their money out of yellow journalism and hyped up masala news. Did they ever look into the pains an IIM grad undergoes, once he realises that his two year course has actually resulted in an opportunity cost of 15-20 lakhs, which probably he would never recover.

And the HRD, policy makers come up with such taxes as if the current 30% tax on the salaried class was zilch. It's this (salaried class) miniscule percentage which is bearing the brunt of the country's development through taxes and when u see those congested roads, pot holes and infrastructure, why wouldn't anyone think of moving abroad and leading a better life? Why is somebody being taxed more for he was more brilliant than the rest and dared to dream beyond?

Why should someone be taxed because he wants to excel? Isn't this against competition? Why should one perform better just to end up pouring money to the exchequer who is offering him nothing in return?

There would be 100s of IIM deprived jantha to respond. I don't think this is the time for sadistic pleasure. Get logical.

Pradeep Chinnaswamaiah

Arjun Singh lacks Clarity
Instead of focusing on exit tax to study, the Government should look at what needs to be done to retain the talent inside India. Levy of Tax wouldn't dissuade the students from exiting India; in fact it would be a pittance when scaled against the worthy salaries.

It must be remembered that these students would be willing to pay the complete fee structure should the Government change the fee structure. Banks would be delighted with an opportunity to finance the education of these talented students.

The sole reason for the Government to subsidise education in the Premier Insitutions is to enable the caste-based vote-bank politics.

Sudarshan Avadhany

No exit tax please!

Well, we can be stupid at some point in time but not all the time. Actually the Govt. should be providing every student in India the same facility they get at these prestigious institutions. As a matter of fact, most of the IITians do contribute substatially to our system even if they don't live here. If they get high salary in India, then they are also paying high taxes on their income. The law makers wants to squeeze every paisa out of the poor Indians so that they can spend it on their luxurious life style. Police escort, huge bunglow, foreign trips and giving plumb jobs to their side kicks etc are some of the perks they enjoy.How much do we spend to provide Z type protection for these representatives of the people. Comparing to that we hardly spend anything on these students. What makes India an IT hub? Why do foreign companies select India to do a lot of technical work? So no exit tax please. Let the tax payers of India support the few bright Indian students to achieve something good in their life.It is money well spent than feeding the corrupt politicians.

Sunny Jacob

Also read:

What's wrong with an exit tax?

Let's think differently for a change 

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