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

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De Facto Privatisation in Indian Public Higher Education

A Transition from FYUP to CBCS

The National Democratic Alliance government has maintained continuity with its predecessor when it comes to education policy. Privatisation has remained the government's credo. Though it scrapped the Four Year Undergraduate Programme, the NDA government's Choice Based Credit System too was designed to foster privatisation of education.

Despite a change of government at the centre in 2014, one can hardly discern any change in the economic principles underlying the policy of higher education. The policy of successive governments has been based on the neoclassical economics framework, with a goal to make higher education a profit-oriented and tradable commodity (Patnaik 2015). In the last two decades, one has witnessed a consensus among the ruling class to liberalise higher education (Mazumdar and Sunand 2015). Whether it was the introduction of the Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP) in 2013 under the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government or the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) under the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in 2015, the aim has been to tailor the curriculum to facilitate privatisation in the sphere of higher education.

The policy orientation of successive governments can be attributed to India’s offer made during World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations in 2005 to provide market access to the higher education sub-sector. The offer could not be translated into “commitments” during the last 10 years since various conditions had to be satisfied first. Laws had to be changed to make higher education into a tradable commodity and to guarantee that the government would not subsidise public-funded institutions at the cost of private institutions.

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