The Future of Indian Higher Education
December 16, 2009
Pawan Argarwal, Principal Secretary to the Government of West Bengal
Demand for quality higher education, is continuing to outpace the supply due to growing population of young people, gains in school education, growing middle class and their rising aspirations. At the same time, the country has a unique opportunity to convert this demographic surplus to its economic strength by providing its young people the right kind of skills. Thus, higher education now occupies a central position in the country's strategy for global competitiveness and inclusive growth. Steps have been initiated to augment supply, improve quality and fix problems. The National Knowledge Commission (NKC) has made several useful and important recommendations and the government has significantly increased funding during the Eleventh Five Year Plan.
In the backdrop of these developments, Indian Higher Education: Envisioning the Future, describes the Indian higher education landscape. The author spells out the needs, identifies the gaps, and based on the lessons learnt from the experiences of other countries provides perspectives to shape its future.
Pawan Agarwal is a senior civil servant from India and author of a recent book, Indian Higher Education: Envisioning the Future (Sage, 2009). He developed substantial expertise in policy and practice of higher education while working at senior positions in the national government in India. His research focuses on financing and regulatory practices in higher education, private higher education, linkage of higher education with labor market, innovation, cross-border student flows, and related themes in South Asia and India in particular.