Knowledge, Inequality and Education: The Political Economy of New Education Policy in Higher Education in India
Ish N. Mishra
The concept of knowledge, in terms of the ideas, imaginations and values regarding the visible world of the objects and the invisible world of ideas, as the source of hegemony in all the ages, is prehistoric and predates the institutions of education. The system of education began with the advent of civilization after the disintegration of the primitive communal egalitarianism due to the emergence of inequalities for historical reasons and the class division of the societies. The institutions of education emerged to define, manage, homogenize and monopolize the knowledge to maintain the hegemony of the ruling classes. The education is one of the most effective ideological apparatuses of the ruing classes in transforming the ruling class ideas are the ruling ideas. The neoliberal political economy of the global capital needs neo-liberal education in place of liberal one in order to sustain it. That is why the WTO included it in GATS as a tradable service. Indian government that in principles has committed to sign the treaty, has resorted to hurriedly impose drastic, arbitrary changes in the education policy in violation of the established statutory procedures, in order to pave the way for full implementation of GATS provisions. This paper seeks to examine various aspects of the political economy of India’s new education policy documents in the historical perspective and its linkages with global capital that is no more geocentric either in terms of its source or the destination. Most appropriate method to deal with the subject is the historical method.