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Abstract

West Bengal, one of the major states of India, is recognized for its rich legacy in education. West Bengal’s strategic location, sharing three international boundaries and its sixth largest contribution to India’s GDP, puts heavy demand on the higher education sector of the state. The paper analyses the higher education scenario in the state from various aspects. The government is in no dearth of policies that advance higher education. The state has experienced expansion in the higher education infrastructure, though mostly not at par with all-India level.  Sopher’s Index assumes high values for participation, attainment and labour market outcome indicators, proving the prevalence of disparity between West Bengal vis-à-vis All-India level. Gender Parity Index of West Bengal is also lagging behind that of India, though there is a tendency to converge over time. Cluster analysis shows the existence of disparity across the districts of West Bengal. Unidimensional and multidimensional indices of inequality also show evidence of disparity across the districts.

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