ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Empowerment through Higher Education

Gains on the gender front must now be extended to other disadvantaged groups and laggard states.

The All India Survey on Higher Education 2020–21 highlights some interesting trends in the growth of the tertiary sector in recent years. At a macro level, the growth in the number of students enrolled in higher education more than doubled to 7.3%, taking the total number of students to 4.1 crore. The 2.1 crore male students only a little more than the 2 crore females. Thus, the overall share of female students has edged closer to the halfway mark and reached 48.7%.

However, the inclusion of students from the disadvantaged social groups remains far from satisfactory. Trends for the last five years show that while the overall share of the Other Backward Classes (OBC) in the total number of students has increased by 1 percentage points to 35.9%, the increase in the share of Scheduled Tribe (ST) students to 5.8% was even smaller. Worse still, the share of Scheduled Caste (SC) students stagnated at 14.3% over the period, while that of the Muslim students declined marginally to 4.7%. These increasing disparities across social groups are a major setback which should be immediately remedied.

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Updated On : 11th Feb, 2023
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