Edited by Roger King, Simon Marginson and Rajani Naidoo
Chapter 16: Neoliberal Globalization and Higher Education Policy in India
Sangeeta G. Kamat INTRODUCTION It is important to recognise that there is a quiet crisis in higher education in India which runs deep. The time has come to address this crisis in a systematic and forthright manner . . . because India’s future depends on it. (National Knowledge Commission, 2009, p. 73) Higher education has moved center stage in India’s national economic reform process. While higher education was accorded priority in the country’s development plans from the early years of Independence, the current sense of a foreboding crisis marks a significant departure from the sense of pride and accomplishment that characterized appraisal of the higher education sector in the early postcolonial period. After all, the historic task of development of a young democracy could hardly be realized without higher education playing a directive and constructive role to produce the requisite scientific and professional class that could build industry, nurture a modern democratic temperament among the public, and expand the numbers of the educated middle classes. Higher education had lived up to its promise on all three counts and especially in comparison with its south Asian neighbors was seen as a success story. In this period of roughly 50 years, it was school education that was the bête noire of policy planners and educators, having made minimal and highly uneven progress in ensuring universal schooling even at the elementary level. There is reason therefore to pause and ask why higher education in India at this moment is seen to be in such a...
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