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Indian Higher Education Envisioning the Future by Pawan Agarwal

Indian Higher Education Envisioning the Future


Indian Higher Education Envisioning the Future by Pawan Agarwal

India is in the throes of great developments in the field of higher education. This book identifies the needs and gaps in this sector and provides suggestions for improvement based on the lessons learnt from the experiences of other countries. It facilitates a clear and holistic understanding of the sector's complex nature and breaks several myths related to it. The availability of quality higher education in India, though increasing, is unable to meet the demands of a growing youth population, improvements in school education and a growing middle class. At the same time, it has been widely recognised that the country has a unique opportunity to convert its demographic surplus into its economic strength by providing its young people the right kind of skills. Following this understanding, and due to the persisting problems in the sector, higher education now occupies a central position in the country's strategy for global competitiveness and inclusive growth, and several steps have been taken for its improvement. Apart from an analysis of the prevailing situation, the author also suggests a framework for the creation of a competitive environment in higher education that would ensure better utilisation of public funds and improvement of both public and private institutions. This book will be a valuable resource for centres of education and higher education in universities and research organisations, as well as think-tanks. It would also be a useful tool for consultants and private organisations working in the higher education sector.


By bringing out a comprehensive book Indian Higher Education, the author has filled a gap in literature on higher education....everyone who regards higher education as fundamental to nation building ought to read it. -- Current Science Through this book, Agarwal has aimed to take up a comprehensive review of the Indian Higher Education system, assess its needs, identify the gaps and provide perspectives for the future. The book delivers the objective it sets out to achieve.... Agarwal`s prose is reader friendly, and the book is certainly a valuable and handy guide for both national and international readers who desires to understand the character of higher education in India. -- Businessworld Agarwal`s book is an indictment of the existing Indian higher education system and a reiteration of the urgent need to reform it. Indian Higher Education is rooted in data, each bit carefully selected to illuminate the higher education scene, rather then justify any one particular viewpoint.... [The book] is the definitive work on the subject. -- Economic and Political Weekly This book attempts to analyze the socio-economic and political scenario impacting on higher education...Pawan Agarwal has done a good job and deserves gratitude of the reader for his endeavour....The book will be of interest to educational administrators, teachers, policy makers and legislators interested in improving higher education. -- Journal of Educational Planning and Administration The book has several suggestions for shaping the future of Indian higher education. He has so defined the options and solutions that underline their practicality. -- Business India This book deals with the contested terrain of higher education in India...the book is an impressive collection of relevant, valuable and diverse data, assiduously gathered from many sources, and this makes it a useful base document for opening fresh debate on higher education policy. -- The Hindu It is essentially a good bureaucratic compilation, rich in factual material and international comparisons and with some analysis...the book serves as a carefully prepared and annotated agenda note that draws attention to decisions to be taken and actions to be initiated. -- Frontline The book under review provides a very detailed and comprehensive account of the Indian higher education system, its predicaments and prospects. It makes a sincere attempt to grapple with the entire gamut of issues, problems and challenges that Indian higher education is confronted with and also outlines a roadmap for a better future... Data gathered and collated from various studies, national and international, have been used liberally. Relevant concepts and important pieces of information have been assigned due importance which will be of immense help to readers across professions and backgrounds. -- Contributions to Indian Sociology

About the Author

Pawan Agarwal is serving as Adviser, Higher Education in the Planning Commission, where he has steered the formulation of the country's Twelfth Plan for Higher Education. He has earlier worked as Director in the Ministry of HRD and Financial Advisor, University Grants Commission. He has been a Fulbright New Century Scholar at Harvard University/Emory University, a visiting scholar and fellow at ICRIER, New Delhi and the Centre for the Study of Higher Education in University of Melbourne. He is the recipient of the Emerging Leaders Fellowship of the Australia India Institute for the year 2011-12 and Bloomberg-UTV Policymaker of the Year, 2012. He has conducted studies for the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Inter-American Development Bank, the South Asia Network of Economic Research Institutions, the Observatory for the Borderless Education, and the Indian Council for International Economic Research. He has published on a range of higher education issues in India and comparative perspective in the South Asian context. He has previously authored a book with SAGE India, titled Indian Higher Education: Envisioning the Future (2009).

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Book Info

Publication date

31st March 2009


Pawan Agarwal

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SAGE India an imprint of SAGE Publications India Pvt Ltd


520 pages


Higher & further education, tertiary education



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