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

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The Governance Conundrum

Power Centres in the Governance of Higher Education in Bihar

Rules and rationalities are the bases of analysis in a rules-determined governance model. Power as the ability to influence decision-making and the influence of power centres are not sufficiently examined in the literature on the governance of higher education. Various centres of power in the functioning of universities are analysed in this paper. It is found that conflict among power centres affects governance in an amorphous way. Power centres in the governance of higher education are a useful instrument to study the governance of universities.

The author would like to acknowledge the anonymous reviewer’s valuable feedback on this paper.

Bihar is the only state in India which enrols 76% of its students in 545 government colleges. At an all-India level, the scenario is the reverse65% of students are enrolled in private colleges. This shows that the government shares the major responsibility, unlike all the other states, in enrolling students. The average enrolment per government college is also the highest at 2,088 in Bihar, as opposed to the average national enrolment at 709. The number of colleges per lakh population is eight, which is the lowest in comparison to all the other states. Delhi is the only state which has eight colleges per lakh population. This shows that it is a deficit state in terms of college density, and government colleges are overcrowded in terms of enrolment of students. The gross enrolment ratio of Bihar at 17.1% is one of the lowest among all the states in India. The gender parity index at 0.92 is also one of the lowest. It shows that access to colleges is low and participation of women in higher education is the lowest (AISHE 2022).

The scenario in terms of the quality of higher education is also not satisfactory in Bihar. The studentteacher ratio in the regular mode is 64, a figure that is much higher than the all-India average of 23, thus adversely affecting the quality of higher education in Bihar (AISHE 2022). Reports point out that there is a huge outmigration of students from Bihar to other states for admissions in higher education institutions (HEIs). Partly, the reason could be the severe shortage of HEIs in Bihar. However, an important cause of the outmigration of students is the low quality of higher education in Bihar. According to a University Grants Commission (UGC 2008) report, out of 38 districts, there are 25 educationally backward districts in Bihar.

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Published On : 9th Mar, 2024

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