There has been an increase in the enrollment of students from Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST), and Other Backward Classes (OBC) in higher education institutions between 2014–15 and 2020–21, according to the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2020-21.
ST students have seen the largest growth, with a nearly 47 per cent increase. According to the Ministry of Education‘s report, 14.2 per cent of the 4.13 crore students registered in 2020–21 belonged to the SC group, 5.8 per cent into the ST category, and 35.8 per cent fell into the OBC category. The remaining 44.2 per cent of pupils came from different communities.
“The growth in enrolment of Scheduled Caste students in 2020-21 as compared to 2019-20 is 4.2 per cent, whereas the growth in 2019-20 over 2018-19 was 1.6 pc. Further, overall increase in SC student enrollment since 2014-15 is 27.96 per cent. Enrolment of Scheduled Tribe students has increased to 24.1 lakh in 2020-21 from 21.6 lakh in 2019-20,” the report said.
“This increase (11.9 pc) is significantly higher than the increase recorded the previous year (4.3 pc). Notably, overall increase in ST student enrolment since 2014-15 is 47.00 pc,” it added.
According to the survey report, enrolment of students from Other Backward Classes has increased to about 1.48 crore in 2020-21 from 1.42 crore in 2019-20. Also, overall increase in OBC student enrolment since 2014-15 is 31.67 per cent.
The Ministry of Education has been conducting All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) since 2011, covering all higher educational institutions located in the country and imparting higher education. The survey collects detailed information on different parameters such as student enrolment, teachers’ data, infrastructural information, financial information, etc.
For the first time, in AISHE 2020-21, the higher education institutions, or HEIs, have filled the data online through the Web Data Capture Format (DCF) developed by the Department of Higher Education with the help of the National Informatics Centre (NIC). The AISHE report noted that total enrolment in higher education has increased to nearly 4.13 crore in 2020-21 from 3.85 crore in 2019-20 (increase of 28.80 lakh).
“The annual rate of increase in enrolment has also shown an improvement over the years. The increase in enrolment in 2020-21 over 2019-20 is 7.4 pc, which was 3 pc during 2019-20 and 2.7 pc during 2018-19. Further, overall increase in enrolment since 2014-15 is 20.9 pc.
“A total of 2.12 crore (51.3 pc) male and 2.01 crore (48.7 pc) female students were enrolled in higher education. In 2019-20, the number of male students enrolled was 1.96 crore and female students enrolled was 1.89 crore,” it said.
The Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education has also reached 27.3 per cent. GER is the ratio of 18-23-year-old adults attending college to the total population. It has been calculated according to the 2011 census.
Talking about the institute-wise enrolment, the survey said that majority of the enrolment is in government institutions, despite a large share of private institutions in the country.
“The government universities that constitute 59.1 per cent of total universities contribute 73.1 per cent of total enrolment of students. Whereas, private universities that constitute 40 per cent of the total higher education institutions account for only 26.3 per cent of the total enrolment,” the survey read.