All India Survey on Higher Education 2020-21

Context: The Union Ministry of Education on Sunday released data from the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE), 2020-2021,  which showed a 7.5% increase in student enrolments across the country compared to 2019-20, with total student enrolments reaching 4.13 crore.

About the Study

  • The Ministry of Education, Government of India has released All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2020-2021.
  • The Ministry has been conducting All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) since 2011, covering all higher educational institutions located in Indian Territory and imparting higher education in the country.
  • The survey collects detailed information on different parameters such as student enrolment, teacher’s data, infrastructural information, financial information etc.
  • For the first time, in AISHE 2020-21, HEIs have filled data using entirely online data collection platform through the Web Data Capture Format (DCF) developed by Department of Higher Education through the National Informatics Centre (NIC).

About All India survey on Higher education

  • The survey covers all the Institutions in the country engaged in imparting of higher education. Data is being collected on several parameters such as teachers, student enrolment, programmes, examination results, education finance, infrastructure.
  • Indicators of educational development such as Institution Density, Gross Enrolment Ratio, Pupil-teacher ratio, Gender Parity Index, Per Student Expenditure will also be calculated from the data collected through AISHE.
  • These are useful in making informed policy decisions and research for development of education sector.

Findings of the Survey

  • Enrollment in Distance Education : The survey also revealed that in 2020-21, the year when the COVID-19 pandemic began, there was a 7% rise in enrolments in distance education programmes.
  • SC, ST and OBC students enrollment – The data showed that there were 2 lakh more SC students who got enrolled in 2020-21 compared to the previous year. The year also saw about 3 lakh more ST students and 6 lakh more OBC students getting enrolled for higher education.
    • There is a notable increase in OBC student enrolment since 2014-15 of around 36 Lakh (32%). While the increase was noted in absolute numbers compared to 2019-20, the proportion of SC students dropped to 14.2% in 2020-21 from 14.7% the previous year and the proportion of OBC students dropped to 35.8% in 2020-21 from 37% the previous year.
  • Enrollment of Muslim Students : Further, the proportion of Muslim students enrolling for higher education dropped from 5.5% in 2019-20 to 4.6% in 2020-21 with the proportion of ‘other minority students’ dropping from 2.3% to 2% in the same period.
  • Enrollment of PWD students – The number of students in the Persons with Disabilities category also dropped in 2020-21 to 79,035 from 92,831 the previous year.
  • Female Enrollment – Female enrolment in higher education programmes had increased to 49% of total enrolments in 2020-21 compared to 45% the previous year and the Gross Enrolment Ratio for all enrolments (as per 2011 Census) increased by over 2 points to 27.3.
    • The highest enrolment was seen at the undergraduate level, which accounted for 78.9% of all enrolments, followed by postgraduate level courses, which accounted for 11.4% of the year’s total enrolments.
  • Most Popular Courses : Among all undergraduate enrolments, the most popular remained the Bachelor of Arts programme, which saw 104 lakh enrolments (52.7% women; 47.3% men), followed by Bachelor of Science courses, where too women outnumbered men.
    • At the postgraduate level, the most popular courses remained in the Social Sciences stream, where women accounted for 56% enrolments in 2020-21, followed by Science courses, where women accounted for 61.3% of all enrolments.
    • Except for management courses at the PG-level, where enrolment of women stood at 43.1%, all other PG courses saw women outnumbering men.
    • At the PhD level, the most popular course was in the field of Engineering and Technology, followed by Science; in both disciplines, women accounted for less than 50% enrolments (33.3% for Engineering and Tech; and 48.8% for Science).
    • The overall figures for STEM enrolments (at all levels of higher education) showed that women lagged behind men, who accounted for over 56% of enrolments in these fields.
  • Teachers : While the survey found that the number of teachers increased across higher education institutes, SC and ST teachers continued to be under-represented. “At All-India level, 56.2% teachers belong to General category; 32.2% to OBC; 9.1% to SC and 2.5% to ST category. About 5.6% teachers come from Muslim minority group and 8.8% are from other minority groups.”
    • The survey also found that there were 75 women teachers to every 100 male ones across institutes in the country. The teacher-pupil ratio was at 27 for all universities, colleges and standalone institutions and at 24 if only regular mode is considered. It concluded that the best teacher-pupil ratio was found in States like Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
  • While Uttar Pradesh; Maharashtra; Tamil Nadu; Madhya Pradesh; Karnataka and Rajasthan are the top 6 States in terms of number of students enrolled, Uttar Pradesh; Maharashtra; Karnataka; Rajasthan; Tamil Nadu; Madhya Pradesh; Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat are the top 8 States in terms of number of colleges

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