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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.
Indian higher education is complex with many contradictions and this book breaks several myths and enables a clear understanding of its complexity in a holistic manner by adopting a comparative approach for analysis. It lays down a framework for creation of a competitive environment in higher education to ensure that both public and private institutions develop and become more responsive and innovative, public funds are better utilized and apart from increasing the supply of high quality institutions, raise the average standards of all institutions. It also recommends that strategic interventions with an incremental approach are required in higher education. While reviewing various facets of the Indian higher education, the book adopts a systems approach to achieve coherence and multi-level coordination required to address its genuine concerns on a long-term basis.
Chapter 2: Access and Equity
Access and Equity
Next to life and liberty, we consider education the greatest blessing bestowed upon mankind.
Issues of access and equity are central to the higher education debates in countries around the world. The expansion of higher education and growing private share, as noted in the previous chapter, had obvious impact upon access ...