x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Talks over education boom in India and the UAE

Leading minds of the UAE and India gathered at the Emirates Palace to talk about the growing education market in the two countries.

ABU DHABI // Leading minds of the UAE and India gathered at the Emirates Palace to talk about the growing education market in the two countries. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, addressed the gathering on Monday, saying that knowledge was the foundation of every economy. Kapil Sibal, the Indian minister for human resource development, predicted a human resources "meltdown" by 2050. He foresees a shortage of young professionals as the world's population ages, especially in some European countries where the birth rate is declining.

"There will be a huge HR deficit in the West while at the same time India will have the world's youngest population," he said. India will boast 546 million people under the age of 25, he said, "more than the population of Europe". He added: "We have a stake in each other's futures." Globally, 100 million people were in higher education in 2000. Seven years later, that number jumped to 150 million, he said.

The education market in India is worth US$40 billion (Dh147bn), and is growing by 16 per cent annually, said MK Lokesh, the Indian ambassador to the UAE. "This is not just about money," he said. "This is about social development." ashah@thenational.ae sbhattacharya@thenational.ae