It is a popular perception in the minds of both educated laymen and distinguished academicians that the quality of higher education in our country is on a declining course since Independence. The 'quality' that everybody is referring to is not defined precisely. The global rankings published by a couple of international agencies in which no Indian university figures anywhere in the top hundred, added to the confusion. The opening statement also implies that Indian institutions of higher education (HEI) were better off before we attained political independence compared to the post-independent period, particularly in the sphere of science education and training. There was never any confusion about the University-Society interaction dynamics. Socio-economic-cultural milieu kept changing in the last one hundred years and accordingly what kept changing was the public understanding and expectation of what a University is and what it should be. The Government of India appointed many commissions and committees to assess the Indian education system from primary through secondary and tertiary stages to suggest appropriate reforms. Voluminous reports were also submitted and new organizations like University Grants Commission (UGC), National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), etc., were also floated to put into action some of the well-meaning suggestions. The growth of institutions of higher learning in terms of numbers, funding, administrative framework, infrastructure, etc., did not stop in the same period. Why then this common perception? We need a comprehensive study, and an analysis of the educational system to diagnose the problem. We also need tangible plans of action and clear recommendations on how to restore quality.