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

Articles by Saumen ChattopadhyaySubscribe to Saumen Chattopadhyay

Union Budget 2022–23

The Union Budget 2022–23 proposes a step forward towards the implementation of the National Education Policy 2020 by invoking the increased use of information and communications technology as a policy instrument to repurpose education towards skill formation and to globalise Indian higher education.

Pandora Papers and Illicit Financial Flows

The revelations of Pandora and other papers indicating extensive use by Indian entities of the international financial system and offshore corporate structures fit in well with the empirical findings of this article that large scale illicit financial flows have taken place through trade misinvoicing in India’s trade with 19 countries over 2000–18. This article highlights that India is a net recipient of illicit flows, whose actual scale would be higher if commodity level trade data is used in estimating trade misinvoicing.


National Education Policy, 2020

The National Education Policy, 2020 unveiled finally seeks to usher in major structural reforms in higher education. Among many measures, revamping of the entire regulatory structure to construct a system based on enhancing students’ choice in opting for courses assumes critical significance. This has the potential to obliterate the concepts of time and space associated with a university. This innocuous measure will serve the purpose of fostering competition among the higher education institutions to improve their performance primarily under the surveillance of the National Accreditation Council and other institutions, with a renewed thrust on going online amid the pandemic.

Public Funding of Universities

The ongoing protests by the students against the fee hike in Jawaharlal Nehru University have brought to the fore the contentious issue of adequacy of public funding of universities. Assessing the pros and cons of different sources of funding, focusing on the issue of the fee hike, it is argued that public funding of the universities should remain the most preferred source in a country like India to not only mitigate the possible trade-offs among the three objectives of efficiency, equity, and excellence, but also foster publicness of higher education.

Black Economy and Demonetisation

In response to the macromodel in “Theoretical Analysis of ‘Demonetisation’” (EPW, 17 December 2016), this article looks at some fundamentals of macroeconomics—consumption function, money demand function, investment behaviour, and money supply—taking the black economy into consideration.

Academic Performance Indicators

The Academic Performance Indicator, the University Grants Commission's method of assessing teacher performance, curtails academic freedom, reduces all academic engagement to time spent, and has created an academic environment that is driven by competition for points.

An Elitist and Flawed Approach towards Higher Education

The philosophy of the draft Foreign Educational Institutions Bill is in tune with an ideology that treats higher education as a private or quasi-public good to be delivered in the market. Will this paradigm with a supposed emphasis on "efficiency" bring about "reform" and an improvement in the poor indicators of higher education? The answer is no, and the bill, if enacted, will only result in greater commercialisation, poor delivery of quality and a failure to achieve goals of social equity.

The Market in Higher Education: Concern for Equity and Quality

This paper brings to the fore problems associated with application of market logic to higher education, which is poised to play an important role in India's pursuit of inclusive growth. In a context where marketisation of higher education continues unabated and the government is keen to encourage private sector involvement, it is necessary to analyse their impact on the three stated objectives of expansion, inclusion and excellence. It is therefore crucial to understand how the market for higher education works and to critically examine the actual impact of the market on education in India. This paper argues that the market logic seriously compromises value and quality of higher education and this weakens our ability to build an inclusive society.

Exploring Alternative Sources of Financing Higher Education

Higher education holds the key to "inclusive growth" and to lead in the world of knowledge production. The mode of financing higher education is crucial for understanding how higher education is provided to society and at what price. Despite recent increases in budgetary allocation for higher education, the importance of exploring alternative sources of financing higher education remains. This paper reviews literature on government intervention in education and discusses the pros and cons of some alternative sources of financing higher education from the point of view of social justice and efficiency in allocation of resources. It argues that keeping in mind India's imperatives, the government has to continue to play a leading role in the provision of higher education. Among the measures suggested, fee enhancement and education loans are of limited significance in a country like India.

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