A recently concluded Google India survey has enough fodder to keep the nation's expansive youth population brimming with pride for days to come. Called Students on the Web, the study found that India comes second only to the U.S. now, as far as education-related search queries on Google go. Earlier, in 2008, India ranked 8 in this respect. Times of India reports that the results of the study were compiled using Google search query patterns and an offline research by TNS Australia on behalf of Google India, which was conducted across seven Indian cities – New Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bangalore. The study found that more than 60 percent of the Indian students who had access to the Internet used it as their primary source for research information pertaining to educational courses and institutes. That India is a nation with a buzzing youth population is not an unheard fact. What is an even more interesting bit of detail here is that more than half of the nation's population fall within the age bracket of 18-35 years, quite explaining the term 'Young India'. 

Education most googled word in India (Image credit: Getty Images)

Education most googled word in India (Image credit: Getty Images)

Other findings of the study include the fact that queries pertaining to education in the country are increasing at over 46 percent on a yearly basis. Interestingly, it was found that of all search queries, more than 40 percent pertained to course and institutes for pursuing higher education. The study found that IT/Vocational courses was a popular search category in India with 44 percent searches coming through for it, followed by engineering courses for which there were 40 percent of the searches coming, while institutes and postgraduate courses offering MBA had 16 percent of the searches coming. Narrowing further down, the study found that Sikkim Manipal University was the most searched private institute, while IIM-A and IIT-Delhi came out on the top, as far as IIMs and IITs were concerned, between the period January to June 2012. 

What is also an interesting find here is that search queries that came from mobile phones also saw an impressive growth figure of 135 percent year on year, while contributing towards 22 percent of all education-related queries. Some other interesting bits found on student preferences showed that on an average, students took 5-6 months on researching before zeroing down on the course and the institution of their choice. The study also comprised of an offline research, wherein it was found  that placement was the most important criteria that students had in mind while selecting an institute, with 56 percent of students agreeing to it. This was followed by the faculty with 49 percent of the students agreeing to it; course content had 48 percent of the students agreeing, while fac tors like reputation of the institute and fees took up for 43 and 41 percent of students' approval, respectively. 

Technology progressing at a fast pace has found its reflection in the fact that students in their wishlist asked for more mobile-friendly websites and here, 66 percent of the students said that they use their mobile phones to access content. 56 percent of the students stated that they wanted to watch videos on career options or placements, whereas 44 percent wanted to watch videos of faculty. 29 percent stated that they wanted videos of existing students and alumni, while 26 percent sought for videos of classroom sessions. The study found that the students felt these factors would help them in making informed decisions. 

The report further quoted Rajan Anandan, Vice-president and managing director of Google India as saying, “With over 60 million internet users in India in the age group of 18-35, education related search queries are exploding on Google. Our core objective behind compiling this study is to understand the impact internet is having on this young population with regard to education-related decision-making by the students. With more users getting online every day, the internet today is the biggest catchment area for youth and we hope this study will help advertisers realize the potential of the digital medium.”

At a glance, India's most searched for terms between the period starting January 2012 to June 2012, on both desktop and mobile platforms read (in that order):

  • Sikkim Manipal
  • Amity
  • Nirma
  • Lovely Professional
  • Sharda University

while in the IIMs it read:

  • IIM Ahmedabad
  • IIM Bangalore
  • IIM Indore
  • IIM Calcutta
  • IIM Kozhikode

and in the IITs it read:

  • IIT Delhi
  • IIT Chennai
  • IIT Kharagpur
  • IIT Roorkee
  • IIT Kanpur 

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