India was one of the earliest among the developing countries to have established universities and colleges, and it now has the third largest academic system in the world (behind China and the United States). After a long period of protected expansion with state patronage until the mid-1980s, this system is now experiencing unprecedented change. The adoption by the Government of India in 1990 of structural adjustment reforms has meant the gradual withdrawal of state patronage for higher education and a simultaneous privatization of that sphere. However, with the government dithering about the long-term policy to be adopted in this regard, higher education in India is now passing through a period of stunted growth and uncertain future. Based on an analysis of the development of India’s higher education and its contemporary realities, this chapter1 examines the metamorphosis of a system that was not long ago dubbed as “an immobile colossus” (Dube, 1988, p. 46).
KeywordsHigh Education Distance Education Private Tutoring National Importance Academic Profession
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