March 2024

5:00 PM IST

Room 113, School of Arts and Sciences
Central Campus
Ahmedabad University


Enterprise Culture in the Galli: Youth, Coaching Classes, and Higher Education in Patna

Social Sciences Division Seminar Series
Manisha Priyam | Professor of Education Policy, National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration, New Delhi.

Manisha Priyam

Professor of Education Policy
National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration
New Delhi

India is now home to the world's largest population of youth, most of whom are first generation learners from poor, rural backgrounds in the populous North Indian states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Youth aspirations for higher education are linked to a desire for social mobility and for secure futures in low-paid government jobs. These aspirations are being fulfilled only partly in declining public universities, and more so in low-cost, poor quality coaching centres in urban gallis. I present an embedded account of the shifting geographies of higher education in Patna, from the once reputed Patna University, to the galliacross the university, where a visible enterprise culture of coaching promises the youth "guaranteed success" in entrance exams for jobs. The lofty ideals of the university as promoting knowledge for its own sake, and the historical reputation of the Patna University, is thus counterposed with a story of its decline and abandonment by the youth; and a rising shadow market of poor quality coaching, adopting explicit metaphors of competition and success.


Manisha Priyam

Manisha Priyam is Professor of Education Policy at the National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration, New Delhi. She is a Senior Academic and Researcher, and works on issues of development and politics. She holds a doctorate from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), in International Development, where she examines education policy reforms in an international and comparative perspective. Among her published books are Reclaiming Public Universities: Comparative Reflection for Reforms (Routledge, 2022), and The Contested Politics of Education Reforms in India: Aligning Opportunities with Interests (OUP, 2015). Priyam has served on various national and international committees. In her policy advisory role, she has served for the Ministry of Human Resource Development, the World Bank, and the UNDP. She is a regular commentator on national politics on national and international electronic media.