The number of Muslim students enrolling for higher education in India has dropped in the 2020-21 academic year compared to the previous year, according to a report by the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2020-21.
The study showed that the number of students from the community decreased to 19.21 lakh (4.6 per cent) in 2020-21 from 21 lakh (5.5 per cent) in 2019-20.
As per the data released by the Education Ministry on Sunday, students from other minority communities such as Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jain and Zoroastrians (Parsis) constituted 2 per cent (8.29 lakh enrolments), which was less than the previous year’s data of 2.3 per cent.
The number of Muslim student enrolment, however, had witnessed an increase of almost 10 per cent in the past four academic years. A total of 17.3 Muslim students were enrolled in 2016-17, which increased to 18.3 lakh in 2017-18, 19.5 lakh in the subsequent year of 2018-19, and topped at 21 lakh in 2019-20. The number, however, shrunk in 2020-21.
A notable feature in the report is that the Muslim minority and other minority communities have more female students than males. There were 9.6 lakh female Muslim students as against their 9.5 lakh male counterparts, and 4.48 lakh female students from other minority groups, in comparison to their 3.81 lakh male counterparts.
According to the survey, Uttar Pradesh (2.99 lakh) has the highest number of Muslim minority students while Tamil Nadu (1.62 lakh) tops in other minority students list. Apart from UP, the Muslim students are largely distributed in West Bengal (2.38 lakh), followed by Kerala (1.70 lakh), Bihar (1.53 lakh) and Maharashtra (1.50 lakh).
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