All-India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE) 2019-20

  • IASbaba
  • June 16, 2021
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  • GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in Education sectors 
  • GS-2: Issues relating to development and management of Education, Human Resources

All-India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE) 2019-20

Context: The ministry of education released the findings of the All-India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE) for 2019-20 on June 10.

Key Highlights of the report

Total Enrolment

In Higher Education

  • 3.42 crore in 2014-15.
  • 3.74 crore in 2018-19.
  • 3.85 crore in 2019-20: Growth of 11.36 lakh (3.04 per cent)

Out of these, nearly 85% of the students (2.85 crore) were enrolled in the six major disciplines such as Humanities, Science, Commerce, Engineering & Technology, Medical Science and IT & Computer.

Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER)
  • 24.3% in 2014-15
  • 26.3% in 2018-19
  • 27.1% in 2019-20

GER in higher education is calculated for the 18-23 age group. It is the ratio of enrolment in higher education to the population in the eligible age group.

 Gender Parity Index (GPI)
  • GPI in Higher Education in 2019-20 is 1.01 against 1.00 in 2018-19 indicating an improvement in the relative access to higher education for females of eligible age group compared to males.
Students Pursuing PhD
  • 1.17 lakh in 2014-15.
  • 2.03 lakh in 2019-20 
Total Number of Teachers
  • 15,03,156 comprising 57.5% male and 42.5% female
  • Pupil Teacher Ratio in Higher Education in 2019-20 is 26.

However, the report also contains enough evidence to suggest that India’s higher education sector confronts serious issues of inequality across the gender, caste, and regional axis.

  1. Headline improvement in enrolment numbers hides access to professionally rewarding courses
  • When it comes to accessing professionally rewarding education, caste and gender seem to be major determinants.
  • The only professional courses — among the top 10 most pursued programmes at bachelor’s and master’s level — where women do better than men are BEd and MEd, which are usually pursued by aspiring school-teachers
  1. Multi-layered social inequality among teachers in Higher Education
  • More than 40% of the teachers in India’s higher educational institutions are non-SC-ST-OBC Hindus. Their population share, as per the findings of the 2015-16 National Family and Health Survey (NFHS), is just 17.6%.
  • Even in Institutes of National Importance, which include institutes such as IITs, NITs, AIIMS, and IIMs, the share of non-SC-ST-OBC Hindu teachers is more than 70%.
  • The share of women at the demonstrator/tutor position in educational institutions is 65.5%, but it falls to 27.5% at the level of associate professor/professor.
  1. Geography matters as much as sociology
  • Access to higher education varies significantly across states. 
  • GER is 15.8% and 13.1% for men and women in Bihar and 44.9% and 51.8% in Delhi. 
  1. Regional Distribution of Government Colleges 
  • Only 8,565 of 39,955 colleges in India or about a fifth (21.4%) were government colleges in 2019-20. But there is wide regional variation in the share of government colleges across different states.
  • In poorer states in the east, government colleges make up a third to half of educational institutions, while in southern and western states government colleges are less than a fifth of all colleges.
  • Government colleges are almost as big a chunk of total colleges in Delhi (55.7%) as they are in Bihar (59.8%). This should make it clear that the public sector footprint is hardly an indicator of quality of education

Connecting the dots:

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