I was just reading this piece by Abhijit Banerjee on decline of higher quality education in India. Though it is on general education, much of is related to economics education in India.
Whereas in the 1950s and 60s good teaching jobs were scarce, and many talented people had to settle for ill-paying part-time jobs in obscure private colleges, finding competent teachers is a major problem these days, and very few places even aspire to attract world-class talent. Even prestigious institutions like the Delhi School of Economics have many unfilled slots.
It is tempting to blame the explosion of institutions. There are of course many more colleges, universities and institutes, which is why places like Presidency University (the erstwhile Presidency College) are now struggling. In 1959 they used to have the pick of the talent; now they have to compete for them against upstarts that are often able to pay much more (more about that later) and offer better working conditions.
But if you think about it, this cannot explain why the entire system is short of talent. After all, the fact that we have so many more institutions also means that we are producing vastly more graduates and each such person is a potential academic, a possible Nobel Prize winner in the making. The same factors that increased the demand for higher education should, in principle, also increase the supply of outstanding researcher-teachers? Why haven’t they?
In another article (HT: Niranjan), Prof Banerjee along with three more economists deplores the decline in statistics systems in India: