Volume 6, 2023
Research Article

Academic Ghost-Writing in India: Situating the Transformations in the University System

Sangita Dutta
Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, 113, Chandrabhaga Hostel, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi- 110067

Published 2023-12-07


  • Ghost-writing; contract cheating; neoliberal university; common sense; knowledge; education

How to Cite

Dutta, S. (2023). Academic Ghost-Writing in India: Situating the Transformations in the University System. DIALOGUE: Science, Scientists and Society, 6, 1–18. https://doi.org/10.29195/DSSS.06.01.78


Ghost-writing in academia has always existed, but it is no longer limited to individual or scattered cases that do not warrant the status of an endemic problem worthy of serious research in education and knowledge production. With the progress of technology and communication, academic ghostwriting has crossed local boundaries, and it is now a global industry worth billions of dollars known as the contract cheating industry. While the academic community must understand and prevent how this global industry operates, it is equally important to understand the larger structural forms of a neoliberal society that enable the rise and endless expansion of the phenomenon of 'academic ghostwriting.' Consequently, it is also crucial to begin a conversation on the possible implications of the growth of this industry on science and the processes of knowledge production. This paper, therefore, discusses the phenomenon of academic ghost-writing or contract cheating and how it operates in a global market by drawing observations from one transnational ghost-writing company. The paper's primary objective is to situate the phenomenon of academic ghost-writing within the larger framework of the transformation of higher education, student mobilities, and the internationalization of University education.


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