Journal article

Beyond improvisation? The rise and rise of youth entrepreneurs in north India

Stephen Young, Satendra Kumar, Craig Jeffrey

TRANSACTIONS OF THE INSTITUTE OF BRITISH GEOGRAPHERS | WILEY | Published : 2017

Abstract

This paper draws on qualitative fieldwork conducted in 2004–5, 2010 and 2012 to examine the recent expansion of higher education markets in north India. It focuses on a group of young men who attended university in the city of Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. Faced with dismal job prospects, they began to improvise, making money ad hoc by acting as small-scale political brokers on campus. However, some of them subsequently utilised these improvisational skills to try and attain loftier economic ambitions. As India's education sector was liberalised, they honed in on an opportunity to establish their own profitable colleges. Our paper points to a paradox that resonates far beyond India; namely, that th..

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Grants

Funding Acknowledgements

We would like to acknowledge the support of a University of Wisconsin Alumni Research Fund (WARF) Fall Competition grant. We are grateful for the feedback provided by participants in the "Grounded: Youth in Transition" workshop at Oxford University in May 2015. Thanks also to Claire Champion for her work coding some of the interview data.