1887

OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

English, French

Improving Access and Quality in the Indian Education System

Education has been given high priority by India’s central and state governments and continues to grow fast. School access has been expanded by investment in school infrastructure and recruitment of teachers. In higher education too, the number of providers continues to rise rapidly. A new law enshrining the rights of all children to free and compulsory education will further lift enrolment, bringing closer the government’s goal of universal elementary education, which comprises eight years of schooling. Nevertheless, high drop-out rates and low attendance continues to be a challenge at lower levels and enrolment at higher levels remains modest by international standards. Private sector involvement is on the rise. While it helps expand education infrastructure, particularly in higher education, access has not always been assured and the availability of student loans for higher education needs to improve. Poor learning outcomes amongst school students and mediocre higher education provision call for more effective government regulation and funding arrangements. Expanding resources will help but they need to be deployed more effectively, while incentives and professional development systems for teachers need to be strengthened. In higher education the government has proposed reforms which have the potential to bring about much-needed improvements in regulatory effectiveness. Efforts should focus on reducing micro-regulation and improving institutional autonomy, in order to stimulate innovation and diversity. Increasing the number of institutions subjected to quality assessments will be important for lifting standards across the higher education system, while reform of recruitment and promotion mechanisms could help attract and retain talent in academia.

English

Keywords: human capital, literacy, vocational education, India, secondary education, primary education, universities, tertiary education, schools, education spending, education policy
JEL: H75: Public Economics / State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations / State and Local Government: Health; Education; Welfare; Public Pensions; I21: Health, Education, and Welfare / Education and Research Institutions / Analysis of Education; I2: Health, Education, and Welfare / Education and Research Institutions; I22: Health, Education, and Welfare / Education and Research Institutions / Educational Finance; Financial Aid; I15: Health, Education, and Welfare / Health / Health and Economic Development; I23: Health, Education, and Welfare / Education and Research Institutions / Higher Education; Research Institutions; O15: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Economic Development / Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration; O10: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Economic Development / Economic Development: General; O53: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Economywide Country Studies / Economywide Country Studies: Asia including Middle East; J24: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demand and Supply of Labor / Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity; I28: Health, Education, and Welfare / Education and Research Institutions / Education: Government Policy; H52: Public Economics / National Government Expenditures and Related Policies / National Government Expenditures and Education; I20: Health, Education, and Welfare / Education and Research Institutions / Education and Research Institutions: General
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