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Should there be an exit tax on IIT & IIM graduates?

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September 06, 2007 13:00 IST

A recent report of the parliamentary standing committee of the union Human Resource Development ministry wants those IIT and IIM students leaving India to pursue higher studies or going for jobs abroad to pay an exit tax.


No sooner do they move out of these hallowed centres of higher education -- some get mind-boggling offers even when they are studying during campus interviews -- in India they move into high-paying jobs in India as well as abroad.


IIT and IIM education in India is offered at a subsidised rate, runs the argument, so why shouldn't these students give something in return before moving abroad, in the form of an exit tax?


To put things in perspective, the government spends Rs 1.5 lakhs on every IIT student per annum, while the students have to pay only Rs 40,000 a year. The subsidy for an IIM student is Rs 3.5 lakh per annum.


Opponents argue that such a tax is not effective in stemming the problem it seeks to address, to wit, brain drain. They say, too, that many questions need to be answered: How will such a tax ever be implemented? What will happen to the amount collected? Is imposition of such a tax practical? How will it help us improve higher education in India?


Tell us what you think: Should such a tax be imposed and if so, why? Or why not?