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ST enrolment in higher education up by nearly 50%, SC & OBC stats on rise too: Education ministry

While increase in SC, ST & OBC numbers have been noticed since 2014-15, according to findings of All India Survey on Higher Education, overall enrolments crossed 4 cr-mark for 1st time in 2020-21.

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New Delhi: The overall enrolment percentage of Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Other Backward Class (OBC) students in higher education institutions has increased notably from 2014-15 to 2020-21, with ST students registering nearly a 50 per cent growth, said the latest All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) released Sunday. 

The annual survey by the Ministry of Education gives an overarching picture of student enrolment and the number of higher education institutions in the country. 

According to the survey, a total of 4.14 crore students – crossing the 4 crore-mark for the first time – were enrolled in higher education institutions in India in 2020-21, of which 14.2 per cent belong to SC, 5.8 per cent to ST, 35.8 per cent are from OBC and the remaining 44.2 percent students are from other communities.  

The enrolment of SC students has grown 27.98 per cent from 2014-15 to 2020-21. While in 2014-15, 46.06 lakh SC students were enrolled in higher education institutions, the number has gone up to 58.95 lakh in the corresponding period in 2020-21

Similarly, the enrolment of ST students has increased from 16.41 lakh students in 2014-15 to 24.1 lakh students in 2020-21, registering a 47 per cent growth. 

“Enrolment of OBC students is about 1.48 crore in 2020-21 which is an increase of 31.67 per cent as compared to 2014-15,” the report added. 

Also, the total student enrolment in 2020-21, at 4.14 crore, was 7.5 per cent up from 2019-20 and 21 per cent from 2014-15. The total number of students comprises 51.3 per cent males and 48.7 per cent females. 

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 enrollment 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 enrollment,” the survey read. 

The education ministry has been conducting AISHE since 2011, covering all higher educational institutions in the country. The survey collects detailed information on different parameters, such as student enrollment, teacher’s data, infrastructural information, and financial information.

(Edited by Smriti Sinha)

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