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Gurgaon, the mecca of education

As soon as he finished school, Bedi Mudamba packed his rucksack and caught the first flight from Congo to New Delhi to pursue his dream of becoming a software programmer. Though it has been just eight months since he's been studying at Gurgaon's Ansal University, he feels the advice of his seniors back home has already paid off. Himabindu Reddy reports.

india Updated: Aug 04, 2013 21:41 IST
Himabindu Reddy
gurgaon

Nearly-20-students-from-African-countries-are-studying-at-Ansal-University-in-Gurgaon-HT-photo

As soon as he finished school, 22-year-old Bedi Mudamba packed his rucksack and caught the first available flight from Congo to New Delhi to pursue his dream of becoming a software programmer.

Though it has been just eight months since he's been studying at Gurgaon's Ansal University, he feels the advice of his seniors back home has already paid off.

"As soon as I finished school, everyone told me that India was the best place to study computers," said Mudamba, who's pursuing a degree in computer applications.

Mudamba's is not an isolated self-celebratory example of Gurgaon's growing pull as an education hub.

With state-of-the-art infrastructure, more than 30 educational institutes and a wide assortment of professional courses being offered at a cheaper cost - Gurgaon has rightfully earned a berth in the hallowed list of hot education destinations.

The fact that it has already been recognised as one of the preferred medical destinations further consolidates Gurgaon's position on the global map as one of the best places to live in.

"India is known for its IT and computer sciences sector in the world. These courses are hot sellers. However, one needs to keep in mind that matching international standards of education and producing employable graduates needs good quality programmes," said Dr Raj Singh, vice chancellor, Ansal University, Sector 55.

Some of the most sought-after institutes in the city are the Management Development Institute (MDI) and Amity University with architecture, management and technology attracting the maximum candidates.

At present, nearly 20 students from African countries are studying at Ansal University, which offers courses in computer sciences, business management, architecture and design.

Besides this upward swing in influx of foreign students, the education industry is witnessing another interesting trend.

There has been a significant increase in demand for courses in Indian languages, architecture, scriptures and design among the city's expat community.

Gurgaon is home to the one of the largest expat population in the country with more than 3,000 Japanese and 2,000 Koreans residing here.

Many of them feel the need to learn Hindi for better communication.

"We have been living in Gurgaon for nearly two years. We find it difficult to communicate with our maids. Learning Hindi helps us to understand what our colleagues in office sometimes say in passing," said 32-year-old Hiroshi Kuze, who works in a fire protection firm in Gurgaon.

Kuze has been learning Hindi with his wife, Fumie, at the Hindi Guru Language Institute.

"When we opened in November last year, we had just 15 students. Today we have nearly 40 students in Gurgaon and 100 in New Delhi. Mostly professionals enroll with us in Gurgaon while it's the tourists in Delhi," said Chandra Pandey, founder, Hindi Guru Language Institute.

Then there's the American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS) which was established to promote Indian Studies in America.

Located in Sector 32, the institute gets nearly 150 American scholars every year who pursue their fellowship or complete their research in Indian studies. The institute also imparts courses in 14 Indian languages.

Besides, the city is soon going to get its first ever 'education city' as per Gurgaon-Manesar Urban Complex-2031 Master Plan.

According to the plan, 470 acres of land has been earmarked by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) in Sector 68.

Out of this, 250 acres has been dedicated for setting up of a government university while the rest has been earmarked for private educational institutions.

"Gurgaon has become the biggest city of Haryana with the IT and health industries booming. However, the city also needs government universities," said SS Prasad, principal secretary for higher education, Haryana.

Health plus Thanks to presence of over 250 multi-specialty hospitals, the Millennium City has marked its footprints on the world map of top healthcare hubs.

The city gets as many as 20,000 foreign patients every year. Majority of them belong to Iraq, Afghanistan, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries and African countries.

The patients usually come for tertiary care treatments such as cardiology, spine surgery, neuro surgery, cancer treatment and orthopedics. Lately, plastic and other reconstructive surgeries have also been gaining prominence.

For Fortune and Franchise Qabasele, sisters from Congo, the healthcare facilities of Gurgaon have been truly impressive.

"We went to Medanta - The Medicity and Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI) to visit our ailing friends. The hospitals here are very clean and the employees are very courteous," says 23-year-old Franchise.

"In Congo, it is just the opposite. It's is filthy and the good hospitals are very costly. Since people there are poor, they cannot afford good hospitals," added Franchise, who has been staying in Gurgaon's Sector 47 for the last eight months.

(With inputs from Snehil Sinha and Badri Chatterjee)