Marmar Mukhopadhyay’s book is a welcome addition to a still somewhat under-represented segment of educational discourse in India. In his present endeavour, with almost pedantic devotion, Mukhopadhyay focuses on his quest to define and operationalize quality management and quality knowledge creation in higher education. Without any biases or pre-judgements, he delves into the philosophical underpinnings of higher education and analyses its need and purpose. Very refreshingly the book goes beyond the usual clamour for more higher education institutions to ensure access and quality. Instead, the text focuses on the need to find a philosophical stance that unifies the nature, purpose, utility and significance of quality in higher education. Mukhopadhyay makes an explicit declaration that clearly spells out his frame of reference. ‘It is not a generic macro-system discourse on higher education. The book has been styled to serve as a handbook of quality management in higher education institutions with concrete suggestions backed by well-tested tools and techniques.’ He draws from Indian philosophical roots in his attempt to explain how education is a potent entity of our culture.
An analytical comparison of texts from different religions has been done to highlight that one of the most significant aims of education is to foster holistic development, leading to perfection. He asserts with conviction that, unlike in the traditional view where quality education is seen through the prism of student performance in examinations, there is a strong need to change the lens and see education as a means to self-actualization. Taking this idea further, he elaborates on the concept of holistic development to include all the spheres in which human beings live, namely physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. In his view, individuals coming out of higher education institutions ought to have cognitive skills, emotive skills, life skills, employability skills and the like.