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Studying Abroad Bridging The Indo-China Divide

In the year 2006, India and China signed an umbrella agreement, EEP (Education Interest Programme) for educational co-operation between the two countries. Under this agreement, certain scholarships in recognised institutes of Higher Learning are awarded to 25 students each from both sides. The 25 scholarships to the Chinese students are offered by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). Also, in 2015, an EEP (Exchange Education Program) was signed between India and China (this was between Universities that provide vocational courses).

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China. There are different emotions which run through people when they hear about this country. Last night, I was listening to a talk where Sir Mike Moritz, one of the greatest investors of all times, from Sequoia Capital, was being interviewed at Stanford. It talked about China. Then earlier this morning, I was at an embassy meeting, and the topic of Chinese consumers and their innovative business models came up. The mobile-first content consumption, the disruption across Music, Books, Video, Education - you name it. And then a few hours before writing this piece, earlier tonight, China came up again - courtesy a WeChat call wherein one of my former students wanted to chat about choosing between different internship opportunities in Shanghai/Beijing during his MBA program at CEIBS. 

China is everywhere in India

I remember finding a news article on the front page of The Times of India a few months back, about an Indian professor making it to the top of a China business school. That gentleman was no one else but a very dear senior Professor, who I had known from my own MBA year at ISB Hyderabad, Professor Dipak Jain. While I haven't got a chance to meet Professor after he moved to China, I have had the fortune of continuously chatting with our own students there, or with Chinese students who are studying/now working in India. And that opens up so many diverse insights. Let's start at the very beginning. 

China is now becoming the economic epicentre of the world, and, the second largest economy today, in fact, largest if measured in PPP terms. From 1978-2011, China's economy grew at an exponential 10% average annual GDP. And by 2030, It is expected that China will reach 80% urbanisation. Almost everyone who knows me knows about my big belief about China-India business relationships trumping ahead of all else. In comparison, a not so distant India is the world's 7th largest economy by nominal GDP, and third largest by purchasing power. Between us, we are two of the most populous nations and unarguably the fastest growing economies across the world today!

Relationship between India and China

India was the first ever non-socialist bloc country that established diplomatic relations with China in 1950. This was followed by the unfortunate India China border conflict in 1962, which was a serious setback to the relationship between both the nations. But we moved forward for the better. In1993, during Prime Minister Narasimha Rao's visit, an agreement on the maintenance of peace and tranquility was signed, and LAC (Line of Actual Control) came into being on the India-China border. Stability followed that, until the recent skirmishes - which, by the way, unsurprisingly, did not come in the way of trade relations between India and China. In 2000, the trade volume between India and China was 3 billion dollars, and just eight years later, in 2008, the volume escalated to 51.8 billion dollars. China replaced the US as India's largest good trading partner. In 2011, this number reached 73.9 billion dollars

At present, India has a trade deficit with China of over 47 billion dollars. Imports from China > Exports to China. As a matter of fact, in 2016, India was the 7th largest export destination for Chinese products and 27th largest exporter to China. That means so much! 

India's top exports to China include diamond, cotton yarn, copper, iron ore, organic chemical. Imports from China - fertilisers, antibiotics. 

Now translate all of this to only one word: Opportunities. This leads to boundless opportunities for students on both sides to understand each other's markets better, make use of the demographics and the statistics, and not just take India-China relations to the next level, but also build an amazing career for themselves over the next decades. 

At the end of the day, we are two neighbouring countries, having similar cultural interests, and this dates back to centuries. There is enough evidence of linguistic and conceptual exchanges, even in the early year civilisation. The 'Shang Zhou' civilisation in China and the 'Ancient Vedic' civilisation in India, are spoken of with the same pride by people on both sides. Indian Bollywood movies have been attracting the Chinese very early on, from the 1960s - and in the last few years, our film industry has found a blockbuster home in the region. Another very popular cultural-exchange-turned-business, is Yoga. Yoga is becoming very popular in China these days. 

Again, what does it all translate to? Opportunities. How do you get there? Education. 

In the year 2006, India and China signed an umbrella agreement, EEP (Education Interest Programme) for educational co-operation between the two countries. Under this agreement, certain scholarships in recognised institutes of Higher Learning are awarded to 25 students each from both sides. The 25 scholarships to the Chinese students are offered by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). Also, in 2015, an EEP (Exchange Education Program) was signed between India and China (this was between Universities that provide vocational courses). 

The Indian community in China has been growing for years and the current community strength goes beyond 35,000. Majority of this community constitutes students. With every passing year, China attracts a very large number of Indian Students. In the last two years, the most popular program for Indians in China has been 'Medical Sciences'. 

Conclusively, with the increasing number of Indian students opting for schools in China for their higher education, availability of scholarships, low tuition fee, investments in Indian companies & vice-versa - there's never been a better time for you, the student or parent, to consider China as your next stop! 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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