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Sustainable Development of the Higher Education Sector in India for Catalyzing Services-Driven Growth


  • Seema Joshi

    (The author is working as Visiting Professor to Indian Council for Cultural Relation’ s (ICCR’s) recently constituted Tagore Chair, the Department of Indian Studies –Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. She was also a And participant in the MsM Annual Research Conference, November 2011)


In a knowledge-intensive world driven by information technology, primary education is a must but the importance of higher education cannot be ignored. This current era of globalization has offered immense opportunities. But people must have the necessary knowledge, skills, capacities and capabilities to seize those opportunities. Herein lays the role of education and especially higher education in building up and improving human capital. Since the economic growth of India in recent years is driven primarily by services sector and within services sector by IT and ITES the sustainable development of higher education is not an option but imperative. In this light, the paper raises the following questions: Where does India’s higher education stand today? What are the challenges confronting this sector? And what are proposed reform measures in this sector? The paper concludes that there is a serious mismatch between demand and supply in higher education sector. It is imperative therefore to enhance Indian talent pool by reforming higher education system to maximize the potential of IT and ITES on the one hand and to catalyze the country’s growth driven by services sector on the other. The expansion of the higher education sector and improvement in its quality can assist India in avoiding the unemployability of graduates on the one hand and the phenomenon of ‘missing teachers’ on the other. In addition it can ensure inclusive growth by making higher education accessible and affordable. India’s Eleventh Five Year Plan is aiming at enhancing public spending, encouraging private initiatives and initiating long major institutional and policy reforms to bring about positive changes in India’s education system. The outcomes will depend upon political commitment and good governance.

Suggested Citation

  • Seema Joshi, 2012. "Sustainable Development of the Higher Education Sector in India for Catalyzing Services-Driven Growth," Working Papers 2012/01, Maastricht School of Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:msm:wpaper:2012/01

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    File Function: First version, 2012
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. George Psacharopoulos & Harry Anthony Patrinos, 2004. "Returns to investment in education: a further update," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 111-134.
    2. Pawan Agarwal, 2006. "Higher Education in India: The Need for Change," Working Papers id:576, eSocialSciences.
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    More about this item


    human capital; information technology; higher education; economic growth.;

    JEL classification:

    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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