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An Arrested Virtuous Circle? Higher Education And High-Tech Industries In India

By Rakesh Basant and Partha Mukhopadhyay

Abstract

We provide a brief but comprehensive overview of linkages between higher education and the high tech sector and study the major linkages in India. We find that the links outside of the labor market are weak. This is attributed to a regulatory structure that separates research from the university and discourages good faculty from joining, which erodes the quality of the intellectual capital necessary to generate new knowledge. In the labor market, we find a robust link between higher education and high-tech industry, but despite a strong private sector supply response to the growth of the high-tech industry, the quality leaves much to be desired. Poor university governance may be limiting both labor market and non-labor market linkages. Industry efforts to improve the quality of graduates are promising but over reliance on industry risks compromising workforce flexibility. Addressing the governance failures in higher education is necessary to strengthen the links between higher education and high tech industry.

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