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Emergence of New Capitalist Class and Issues of Market, Merit and Social Justice: The Business and Economics of Higher Education in India

Authors: Subramaniam Chandran


This paper analyses the structural changes in education sector since the introduction of liberalization policy in India. This paper explains how the so-called non-profit trusts and societies appropriated the liberalization policy and enhanced themselves as new capitalist class in higher education sector. Over the decades, the policy witnessed the role of private sector in terms of maintaining market equilibrium. The state also witnessed the incompatibility of the private sector in inculcating the values of social justice. The most important consequence of the policy is to witness the rise of new capitalist class and academic capitalism. When the state came to realize that it no longer cope up with market demands, it opens the entry of private sector in higher education. Concessions and tax exemptions were provided to the trusts and societies to establish higher education institutions. There is a basic difference between western countries and India in providing higher education by the trusts and societies. In western countries the big business houses contributed their surplus revenues to promote higher education and research as a complementary service to society and nation. In India, several entrepreneurs came up with business motive using education sector. Over the period, they accumulated wealth at the cost of students and concessions from the government. Four major results can now be identified: production of manpower in view of market demands; reduction of standards in higher education; bypassing the values of social justice; and the rise of new capitalist class from the business of education. This paper tries to substantiate these issues with the inputs from case studies.

Keywords: Social Justice, Market, New capitalism, higher education

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