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Ministry of Education releases All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2020-2021

GS Pape 2

Syllabus: Government programmes and policies, Education


Source: PIB, The Hindu


Direction: MoE has recently released the AISHE report – don’t get overwhelmed by the huge amount of data. Know the trend: whether it is increasing or decreasing. Note down one or two important data for Mains.


Context: The Union Ministry of Education released data from the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE), 2020-2021, which showed a 7.5% increase in student enrolments across the country compared to 2019-20.


About ASIHE Report:

  • The All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) was initiated in 2011, during which data for the year 2010-11 was collected.
  • The entire survey was conducted through electronic mode and a dedicated portal was developed for this purpose.


Key findings from the report:

For the first time, the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) of India have filled their data using an entirely online data collection platform through the Web Data Capture Format (Web DCF) developed by the Department of Higher Education and the National Informatics Centre (NIC).


Number of Institutions

  • The number of Universities has increased by 70 during 2020-21, to 1,113 in 2020-21 from 1,043 in 2019-20.
  • Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Telangana, and Kerala are the top 10 States in terms of the number of colleges.
  • Among the districts, the maximum number of colleges (1058) is situated in Bangalore Urban followed by Jaipur (671). About 32% of colleges are situated in 50 districts.


Student Enrolment in Higher Education:

  • Total enrolment in higher education: It has increased to nearly 4.13 crore in 2020-21 from 3.85 crore in 2019-20 (an increase of 28.80 Lakh).
  • Female enrolment increased from 18.8 million in 2019-20 to 20.1 million in 2020-2021
  • SC: There were 2 lakh more SC students who got enrolled in 2020-21 compared to the previous year.
  • ST: The year also saw about 3 lakh more ST students and 6 lakh more OBC students getting enrolled for higher education.
  • According to the survey report, at the undergraduate level, enrolment was highest in humanities ( nearly 33%), followed by science ( nearly 15%), commerce, and engineering & technology. At the postgraduate level, the maximum number of students opted for social science followed by science
  • Gender Parity Index (GPI) has increased from 1 in 2017-18 to 1.05 in 2020-21. More women enrolled themselves on science courses than men
    • The Gender Parity Index is a socioeconomic index usually designed to measure the relative access to education of males and females. This index is released by UNESCO.
  • The top 6 States in terms of Student Enrolment are Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, and Rajasthan.


Teaching and Non-Teaching Staff in Higher Education:

  • The number of teachers has increased by 47,914 in 2020-21 over 2019-20.
  • There are 75 female teachers per 100 male teachers.



  • The total number of pass-outs has increased to 95.4 Lakh in 2020-21 as against 94 Lakh in 2019-20.


Significance of Higher Education:

  • Atmanirbhar Bharat: Self-reliant India needs a continuous supply of trained, skilled human resources
  • Demographic Dividend
  • Better Employment opportunities
  • Economic development
  • Technological advancements
  • Solving Societal Issues
  • Plurality, Inclusivity & Diversity: To develop the horizons of the mind, it is important to provide a diversified, plural environment.
  • Empowerment of Women


Initiatives for Higher Education in India:

  • National Education Policy (NEP) 2020
  • Rashtriya Ucchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA)
  • Project Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme (EQUIP)
  • Prime Minister’s Research Fellowship (PMRF): Attract the talent pool of PhD programmes
  • Paramarsh/Mentor-Mentee Relationship:Under this scheme, accredited institutions would help aspiring institutions that want to get accredited.
  • Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC):It aims to improve the research ecosystem
  • Global Initiative for Academic Network (GIAN):It aims to tap the talent pool of scientists and entrepreneurs from abroad.
  • Formation of Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA): It aims to finance the creation of capital assets in premier educational institutions in India.
  • Institutes of Eminence (IoE) Scheme: It aims to provide opportunities for a few chosen institutions to grow in the direction of being renowned globally for their excellence.
  • SWAYAM Portal

Way Forward:

  • There is a need to shift focus from enrolment to attendance.
  • Multi-stakeholder approach: Extensive consultation involving parents, local self-governments, and civil society are key.


Insta Links:

Higher Education in India


Mains Link:

Q. “Commercialization of higher education in India is bound to create issues of access and exclusion”. Critically comment on the statement and suggest measures to address the related issues. (15M)