There are two types of Indian students in China. Medical students whose numbers have swelled to 14,000 this year and language students who are being lured by scholarships to Chinese universities to study Mandarin and become China’s soft power ambassadors. Various issues exist between the two.
Recently a violent skirmish between two gangs of medical students in China left one severely wounded and hospitalized. The incident brought to light not only the vengeance Indians are weilding against each other but also their problems. Indian medical students who go to China because Indian medical universities are bursting at the brim, return home to find their Chinese qualifications are not recognised in India, in addition, they face language and food problems as well as being ragged by senior Indian students. While ragging is a criminal offence, none are reported to the Indian Embassy or Consulates in China for fear of repercussions. This has aggravated the problem as the students feel they are above the law.
While the Indian authorities have taken strict action and warned all students studying in China, they have done little to curb or counter the sweet scholarhsips being offered to more than 300 Indian students to study Mandarin language and Culture in China. Notwithstanding the Indian governments stance on curtailing the Confucius Institute which is now legally prominent in four Indian cities, Beijing is luring Indian students to various universities across China to study and imbibe the culture over a period of one year.
While this sword of soft power will only grow and become more powerful in the years to come, New Delhi has decided to turn a blind eye to China’s gradual indoctrination of Indian youth. Indian students being the future of India, should be monitored and managed better than they are today.