ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Challenges of India’s Higher Education

Navigating the Labyrinth: Perspectives on India’s Higher Education edited by Devesh Kapur and Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Hyderabad: Orient BlackSwan, 2017; pp 284, 895.


The book under review, Navigating the Labyrinth: Perspectives on India’s Higher Education, is a welcome addition to the still rather meagre volume of scholarship on higher education in India. Without prejudice to the centrality of school education, the higher education sector has its own demands, urgencies, opportunities, and significance. Beyond the media panic around the lack of Indian universities in the top global brackets, an honest and realistic introspection is required of what the constraints are, and in what direction reforms ought to be mobilised. In the Introduction, Devesh Kapur and Pratap Bhanu Mehta touch upon several points, such as democratic goals of mobility and stability, training for varied and unpredictable labour markets, India’s demographic bulge, as well as trust and governance crises across the board. The explosion of higher education, they argue, has been “driven primarily by low-quality private sector institutions that focus on professional education, which has allowed increased access to all social groups” (p 3).

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