AMN / NEW DELHI
There has been substantial increase in the enrollment of girl students across the country, according to report of the All India Survey on Higher Education 2016-17 in New Delhi.
The report was released by Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javadekar here on Friday
The survey shows that India registered its best performance on the Gender Parity Index (GPI) in the last seven years — 0.94 in 2016-17 from 0.86 in 2010-11. It shows that in at least seven states — Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, J&K, Nagaland, Sikkim and Kerala — women in higher education out number men. In J&K, the total number of women students overtook men only two years ago.
Although the proportion of students pursuing higher education hasn’t increased dramatically from 2015-16 to 2016-17 — in the range of 23% to 25% since 2013-14 — six states registered GER higher than the national average (25.2%), with their share of students entering higher education growing twice as fast as the overall rate. These states are Himachal Pradesh (36.7%), Kerala (34.2%), Punjab (28.6%), Tamil Nadu (46.9%), Andhra Pradesh (32.4%) and Haryana (29%).
GER is a statistical measure for determining the number of students enrolled in undergraduate, postgraduate and research-level studies within the country and expressed as a percentage of the population. Tamil Nadu has the highest GER in India at 46.9 per cent.
However, eight states — UP (24.9%), MP (20%), Odisha (21%), Bihar (14.4%), Gujarat (20.2%), Rajasthan (20.5%), Mizoram (24.5%) and West Bengal (18.5%) — had an enrolment ratio far less than the national average.
Bihar has the lowest GER with just 14.4 per cent of its eligible population (in the age group of 18 to 23 years) pursuing higher education.
According to the survey, there were 864 universities in the country last year compared to 799 in 2015-16. The total number of students in higher education was about 3.57 crore, of which 1.9 crore were boys and 1.67 crore girls. Almost 80 per cent of the enrolment, or 2.83 crore, were studying at the undergraduate level. About 40 lakh, or 11.2 per cent students, were studying at the postgraduate level. PhD scholars accounted for less than 0.4 per cent of the total students in higher education.
Although India aims to attain a GER of 30 per cent by 2020, it’s still far behind countries like China with an enrolment ratio of 43.39 per cent and US with 85.8 per cent — Pakistan’s GER is 9.93 per cent.
The Government has decided to allow supernumerary seats for girl students in IITs and NITs, to increase their enrollment in higher education.
Mr Javadekar said, quality, autonomy, research and innovation are the key pillars of the Government’s vision for improving higher education.