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Chapter 3: Bottom Line: Hefty Price Tag for All

San Francisco, June 1994: Anand and Poonam Mehta and their two young children just finished their green card processing at San Francisco International Airport’s (SFO) immigration desk. They have come a long way from India. Anand and Poonam want a bright future for their kids, so they are migrating to United States. Their story is similar to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of families who have left India to escape the broken higher education system and the burden it places on students and families.

How is India’s higher education system affecting its stakeholders – students, parents, industry, economy, society, and the nation?

In Chapter 3, I describe five key areas where we are paying a price for our broken and disconnected higher education system. This chapter draws from extensive research and interviews with leading industrialists, university leaders, faculty members, and students in six countries across four continents.

There is hyper competition among students for a limited number of premier institutions. This and many other reasons are causing students to leave India for higher education. As a result, India is facing a significant drain of financial and human resources. Further, unemployability and under-employment is a big issue for college graduates. On the other hand, corporations and start-ups are facing a shortage of well-prepared students. This has created hyper competition for talent. Finally, the nation’s numerous mega challenges are going unsolved and India’s research, innovation, and entrepreneurship engine is sputtering.

Directly or indirectly, everyone is paying a hefty price. How so? Find out in my book.

(Shail Kumar is the author of Building Golden India: How to unleash India's vast potential and transform its higher education system. Now. To find out more about the author and the book, visit:

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