With the government’s bold move to demonetize Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, almost every sector in the Indian business environment has been severely hit in the short run. People from every strata, lower-middle class to upper castes, are wondering whether this short-term inadequacy in the system would have a long-term impact on their business or things would go back to normal once the process gets over.
Well, why would the government have taken such a huge step suddenly if the things were to go back to normal? Certainly, the chances that everything would go back to normal are inconceivable. Government’s primary focus is to eradicate black money from the system and make it more transparent by moving towards a cashless economy. It is expected that the businesses that were underpinned by the menace of black money are highly likely to get affected.
When it comes to some of the worst-hit sectors by black money one of that comes immediately to a student’s mind is Education. The institutes, on which the growth of any industry is buttressed and which were entitled to make the world a better place, ironically, have been encapsulated with corrupt means to run their organisations. Over the years, these institutes have become a dilemma for students as well as their parents for choosing a quality institute at an affordable fee.
In this age of uncertainty, this unexpected move by the government could become a blessing in disguise for people who wanted their children to have a quality education, and certainly for students who were dreaming of studying abroad.
The role of middlemen — consultants and agents — has seen a substantial rise over the years. These consultants, whose role were to guide the students and help them provide a right study destination, are misguiding students to make their own commission. They would charge huge amount of money -be it for applying to universities or getting visas- and rarely land a student to a quality institute overseas. The recent fraud of paper forgery highlighted by the New Zealand embassy is one such case where 150 students became the victim of their artifice.
As the dependence of people on cash goes down and medium of transferring the funds becomes electronic, the demonetization would prove to be red herring for these agents. These agents would have to become accountable for their actions due to traceability in the system. In future, this would give rise to the agents who were honestly doing their business.
Since the roll-out of the scheme, Demonetization has resulted into immense inflow of funds to banks. This would then lead to high liquidity in bank reserves. This huge money would then allow the banks to leverage the resources and cater a larger number of loan applications at relatively lower interest rates. Along with several other loans, it’s thus anticipated the interest rate on education loan would also fall.
At a time when donations of lakhs are considered low and stories of colleges demanding donations as high as Rs. 1 Cr are not uncommon in India, this move towards cashless economy could well be a game changer for those who were looking to pursue graduation or post-graduation from abroad. These hefty donations have crippled our education system, which is why middle and lower class people aren’t able to come out on top.
As India advances to cash free digital nation, these Institutes would no longer be able to accept cash donations. This, in turn, would make the study a lot affordable at school and graduate level. Thus, the money saved from these donations at school and graduate level can be invested to fulfill thousands of student’s dreams of studying in a foreign land.
In today’s world, where a degree from abroad not only offers knowledge but also provides critical skills to create and adapt to the jobs of future, this reform would undoubtedly pave the way for students looking to study abroad. When the higher education was only prerogative of riches, this tilt towards a cashless future is, perhaps, the brightest time for investing in foreign studies.