India has significant advantages in the 21st century knowledge race. It has a large higher education sector – the third largest in the world in student numbers, after China and the United States. The library is the chief instrument for accumulating and using our intellectual heritage. Formal education can be conducted effectively and efficiently only with well-equipped libraries. Today, libraries are connected to a vast ocean of Internet-based services. Electronic resources are developing rapidly. Academic libraries are the nerve centres of their institutions, and must support teaching, research, and other academic programmes. The situation in academic libraries in India is the same as that of academic libraries the world over; however, Indian libraries must provide maximum information with limited resources. This article explores the Indian higher education environment in relation to academic libraries.