The interplay of institutional forces behind higher ICT education in India
For several years, academics have debated the extent to which ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) can help poor people in developing countries. The conversation contains diverse views, yet education is always given a prominent role. Education helps shape how people think about technology and in turn, how the technology is used. This dissertation examines how the idea of ICTs is constructed at Indian universities, and how this process is impacted by institutional forces. The research findings indicate that for a variety of reasons, higher ICT education in India is markedly Western-focused, instrumental and technocratic. These characteristics of higher ICT education in India are impacted by a process that can be described as institutional collaboration - several diverse institutional forces are acting in ways that are coherent and mutually reinforcing. This institutional field can be theorised in many ways, some more appropriate than others. The findings fit well with neo-institutional theory but do not fit equally well with discourses of Development. The findings are particularly commensurate with Angell's theory of the Information Age, characterised by a looming conflict between Old and New Barbarians.