Desi Gundagardi in Canada

Even as Punjab debates the distressing issues of unemployment and drugs, a silent exodus of students is on — an estimated 1.5 lakh this year. That is the number of admissions in overseas colleges and universities that private emigration consultants in the state have facilitated for the ‘spring’ and ‘fall’ sessions this year.

The emigration process comes at a cost — Rs 15 to Rs 22 lakh for the first year of study, depending on the institute, course and country. Multiplied by the number of students flying out, that amounts to approximately Rs 27,000 crore going out of Punjab each year on account of student education.

With the Canadian government being the most liberal among developed countries in the grant of Permanent Residency (PR), and opening up as many as 200 colleges to international students, Punjabi youth are making full use of the opportunity. As many as 1.25 lakh students from the state chose Canada this year for education — while only 25,000 picked Australia, New Zealand, the US and the UK, where laws and policies have become very stringent.

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