A "mere" nine per cent budgetary support to higher education in India compared to 30 to 40 per cent in developed countries was on Monday criticised by eminent economist and vice-chancellor of the Jawaharlal Nehru University B B Bhattacharya.
This, he said, was leading not only to brain drain but also "brain going down the drain" in the country, Bhattacharya said in his address at the tenth convocation of the Rajiv Gandhi central university in Itanagar.
"India is fast losing its competitive advantage and China and several southeast Asian countries are coming up much faster than India," he said.
Beijing university alone gets more money than what all the 24 central universities put together do in India, he said.
"We made Ambassador cars but now our streets are flooded with cars made in South Korea. We started building super computer during Nehru's time, but we now purchase those from China because they are cheaper," Bhattacharya rued.
"Very soon we will fail to withstand competition from countries like Vietnam, if we don't focus our attention to the education sector, particularly higher education", he said.