Millions of Indians regularly visit temples and religious sites to pray and seek divine help in fulfilling their wishes. Most pray for a child or well being of their loved ones, but in recent years, some unusual temples have come up, including a few that offer divine help in procuring a visa.
Indian Visa temples and Higher Educated mentality to go abroad
This 150-year-old Sikh gurdwara (temple) in Talhan village in the northern Indian state of Punjab is the go-to place for thousands of Sikhs wanting to travel out of India.
Many believe that praying at the Shaheed Baba Nihal Singh gurdwara will improve their chances of securing a visa.
The devotees often bring offerings of toy aeroplanes as they believe it will boost their chances of travel and a number of shops outside the gurdwara sell these toys.
The Chilkur Balaji Temple in the southern state of Telangana is another shrine where tens of thousands of people go to pray to the "Visa God".
The temple, dedicated to Lord Balaji, is one of the oldest temples near the city of Hyderabad and attracts a lot of computer professionals.
The temple became popular about two decades ago when some computer software professionals who prayed here got visas to travel to the United States.
The temple is open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and on those days, reports say between 70,000 and 100,000 devotees visit the shrine.
Brain drain has become a major concern of the developing countries especially, India. The term, which was emerged in 1960s when the skilled workforce started emigrating from the poor countries to the rich countries in search of better job opportunities and living conditions, became a hot topic of discussion over the years.
When the expatriates are going abroad in search of greener pastures, India has been losing its majorskilled workforce that includes doctors, engineers, scientists and technicians. If we analyze the brain drain trends in India, we could find that there are many reasons why the country fails to hold back its talented youth.
Higher education scenario in India
In the recent years, the cut-offs for admissions became close to 100% in the best Indian universities. While the institutes are in the race of getting the best students in the country, the ambitious youth who fail to meet the “irrational” demands had to compromise on their dream of occupying a seat in any of the prestigious Indian universities. This leads them to explore the scope of higher education abroad. Most of the students who try their luck in higher studies abroad get into good universities as they have an edge over the students from other countries in terms of skills and knowledge.
While this is the case of young students, the academically well qualified people prefer going abroad for higher research because they don’t get the best chances, resources and facilities for research in India.
A recent study conducted by Indian Institute of Management- Bangalore (IIM-B) shows that the students going for higher studies abroad has increased by 256% in the last 10 years. When 53,000 Indian students went abroad for higher studies in 2000, the figure shot up to 1.9 lakh in 2010.
The US is the most sought after destination for the students, followed by the United Kingdom. There are many Indian students exploring study opportunities in countries in Australia, Germanyand France.