This book examines the relationship between the English language and growth – economic and inclusive – in India. It explores why English continues to be the language of aspiration long after Independence. With the second largest English-speaking population in the world today, India is testimonial to how a linguistic legacy continues to cast a long shadow on its contemporary discourse in the economic arena.
- Explores how English language proficiency constitutes as human capital.
- Draws in the latest India Human Development Survey data.
- Investigates the relationship between the language and economic indicators such as wages, household income and state growth.
- Purther investigates the role of English language in the inclusivity of growth.
- Provides a snapshot of the pedagogy of English in the Indian education system.
First of its kind in scope, this volume will be of great interest to scholars of economics, education, sociolinguistics, development studies, politics and sociology. It will also be of great interest to the general reader.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. History of the English Language in India 3. English and Economic Growth 4. English and Inclusive Growth 5. The Indian Education System
Jaskiran Bedi has a PhD in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge, UK. She is currently working as a Fellow under the Chief Minister’s Urban Leaders Fellowship, New Delhi, India. Prior to this, she pursued an MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge and a BSc (Hons) degree in Philosophy, Politics, Economics (PPE) from the University of Warwick. Her area of academic research within the development domain concentrates on Labour and Education Economics – particularly, the role of Language as Human Capital and its subsequent impact. She has also worked with several public and private sector agencies, including Ernst & Young, the Department for International Development, Oxfam and the International Labour Organization.
"Jaskiran Bedi has written a path-breaking study on the role of language in development. This is an extremely important but greatly under-researched topic. English language has essentially become the language of globalisation. Use of the English languge is potentially of great importance in relation to economic and social development. Arguably, its significance in developing countries has increased as the role of global services has expanded. India is a wonderful case study to use for research into this topic. It is especially interesting because the penetration of the English language in India is far less than is commonly thought to be the case. Dr Bedi’s study makes use of highly original fieldwork and provides valuable insights for both scholars and policy-makers." — Peter Nolan, Director, China Centre, Jesus College, Cambridge, UK
"This is a riveting analysis of the history, politics and economics of the English language in India. Based on survey data and statistical analysis, it shows that knowing English has large economic payoffs in the labour market, making it a source of economic inequality. The author considers many aspects and offers policy directions. High quality scholarship presented in an engaging, accessible, manner." — Geeta Kingdon, Professor of Education Economics and International Development, Institute of Education, UK
"This volume is innovative in its objective of bringing language learning into the field of the economics of education. A commendable range of views: from the history of the English language, to the implications of English learning economic growth, and the challenge of inclusivity. The careful balance between primary research and secondary analysis will make it invaluable to academics and policy makers." — Shailaja Fennell, Fellow and Research Director, Cambridge Central Asia Forum, Jesus College, Cambridge, UK