The Dilemmas of Higher Education in India

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Thursday, November 17, 2016 - 4:00pm-6:00pm (ended)
223 Moses Hall
Devesh Kapur, Director of the Center for the Advanced Study of India and Professor of Political Science, University of Pennyslyvania

In the last two decades the expansion of higher education in India has been the most rapid in human history after that of China. The talk will first document the characteristics of growth and change in higher education in India.  It will then address the tensions among the core goals of growth, access, cost and quality and the paradox of large skill premiums despite massive increases in supply even as underemployment among the college educated has been rising. Finally, the talk will examine the political economy of higher education in India, and why there has been so little change in the regulation of higher education and the governance of higher education institutions – and its consequences. 

Devesh Kapur was appointed Director of the Center for the Advanced Study of India in 2006. He is Professor of Political Science at Penn, and holds the Madan Lal Sobti Chair for the Study of Contemporary India. Prior to arriving at Penn, Professor Kapur was Associate Professor of Government at the University of Texas at Austin, and before that the Frederick Danziger Associate Professor of Government at Harvard. His research focuses on human capital, national and international public institutions, and the ways in which local-global linkages, especially international migration and international institutions, affect political and economic change in developing countries, especially India. His book, Diaspora, Democracy and Development: The Impact of International Migration from India on India, published by Princeton University Press in August 2010, earned him the 2012 ENMISA (Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Migration Section of International Studies Association) Distinguished Book Award. His latest book, Defying the Odds: The Rise of Dalit Entrepreneurs (co-authored with D. Shyam Babu and Chandra Bhan Prasad), was published in July 2014 by Random House India. Professor Kapur is the recipient of the Joseph R. Levenson Teaching Prize awarded to the best junior faculty, Harvard College, in 2005. He is a monthly contributor to the Business Standard. Professor Kapur holds a B. Tech in Chemical Engineering from the Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University; an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota; and a Ph.D. from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton.