An estimated 5,53,440 Indian students are currently studying abroad.
A fascinating countrywise break-up from External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
Representational photograph: Larry Downing/Reuters
As per inputs received from India's missions and posts abroad, an estimated 5,53,440 Indian students are studying abroad as of August 2017.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj revealed this data in the Lok Sabha recently in response to a query on the subject.
The questioner wanted to know 'the number of Indian students studying abroad as on date, state and country-wise and the number out of them registered under the MADAD portal, launched by the Government in 2015 (to aid Indian students studying abroad).'
The questioner also asked 'whether it is a fact that the government does not have the information about the visa documentation and the account of the number of students leaving the country for studies abroad.'
In her reply, Swaraj noted that a state-wise break-up of students was not available, but produced a statement indicating estimated country-wise number of Indians students.
The top country of choice for Indian students -- the United States of America -- came as no surprise, but the rest of the list provides an interesting insight.
The next top 5 choices are France (5,000), Kyrgyzstan (4,686), Nepal and Oman (3,000 each), and Poland and The Netherlands (2,500 each).
The list breaks down the numbers to 86 countries.
At the bottom of the list are Serbia and Mongolia (1 student in each), and Greece, Uzbekistan and Bosnia & Herzegovina (2 students in each).
Swaraj noted, 'As per extant regulations, registration of students proceeding abroad is not mandatory. Hence, precise number of students leaving the country for studies abroad is not available with the Ministry.'
She added, 'Presently, the students' registration under the MADAD Portal is voluntary and 12,580 students have registered as on August 7, 2017.'
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