The MHRD published the annual All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) report 2018-19 on Saturday. According to the report, enrolment for Higher Education Courses Attract More Students but Sinks for Technical Courses (B.Tech and M.Tech programs).Some professional courses like MBA, MBBS, B.Ed and LLB continue to attract more students.

Enrolment for Higher Education Courses Rises But Sinks for Technical Courses

The Ministry of Human Resource Development published the annual All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) report on Saturday. According to the report, enrolment for Higher Education Courses Attract More Students but Sinks for Technical Courses. The popularity of the technical courses (B.Tech and M.Tech programs) have recorded a huge dip. However, some professional courses like MBA, MBBS, B.Ed and LLB continue to attract more students.

According to the latest, All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE 2018-19) released by Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank the Cabinet Minister of Human Resource Development (MHRD) on Saturday, September 21, Students enrolment in higher education has grown considerably during the last five years, from 3.42 crore in 2014-15 to 3.73 crore in 2018-19.

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The government defines professional education as higher education programmes that are meant for students to acquire knowledge, skills, and competencies for a specific profession or a class of occupations. So, B.Tech, MBBS and MBA are professional programmes, to name a few.

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Since the academic year 2014-15, the number of students pursuing professional courses at the undergraduate level has decreased by 4,83,970 (roughly 11%). Enrolment in postgraduate professional programme M.Tech (master of Technology) dropped from 2,89, 311 in 2014-15 to 1,35,500 in 2018-19.

The survey report noted that there are 993 universities, 39,931 colleges and 10,725 standalone institutions in India. There are 548 General, 142 Technical, 63 Agriculture & Allied, 58 Medical, 23 Law, 13 Sanskrit and 9 Language Universities and rest 106 Universities are of other categories. Reportedly, the number of universities has grown from 903 in 2017-18. The survey is based on responses collected from 962 universities.

Enrollment in Technical/Professional Courses

A little surprise for the technical courses as Traditionally, engineering has dominated as the most sought after undergraduate course in India. But as the news that over 50% seats in engineering colleges across India are vacant. The waning interest can be attributed to the job market.

According to the AISHE report, B.Tech enrolment fell by 11% from 42.5 lakh (42,54,919) in 2014-15 to 37.7 lakh (37,70,949) in 2018-19. Similarly, student enrolment in M.Tech programs almost halved, falling drastically from 2.89 lakh (2,89,311) to 1.35 lakh (1,35,500)  in the same period.

The number of students pursuing an MBA grew from 4,09,432 in 2014-15 to 4,62,853 in 2018-19. At PhD level, maximum number of students are enrolled in the Science stream followed by Engineering and Technology.

Enrollment in Other Courses

Furthermore, enrolment in BA, which has the highest enrolment, also fell from 98.6 lakh to 91.9 lakh in the five years.  Maximum numbers of students are enrolled in B.A. programme followed by B.Sc. and B.Com.

For B.Ed, enrolment jumped from 6,57,194  (6.57 lakh) to 11,75,517 (11.75 lakh), an jumped by almost 80%.

Outcomes of AISHE 2018-19 Report

Total Enrollment in Higher Education 

Interestingly, even as technical courses saw a drastic dip in enrolment, the overall student enrolment in other academic courses grew popular and overall enrolment in higher education increased.

According to the survey outcome, the total enrolment for higher education has been estimated at 3.74 crore compare to 3.66 crore enrollments done last year.

Distance enrolment constitutes about 10.62% of total students enrollments in higher education. Additionally, the undergraduate level program amounts to 79.8% of student enrolment, while student enrolled in PhD courses are just 1,69,170 students, that is less than 0.5% of total student enrollments.

GER Ratio

According to AISHE 2018-19, the present Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) for higher education is 26.3%, in 2018-19 up from 25.8% in 2017-18. GER is a statistical measure for determining the number of students (expressed as a percentage of the population)  in the 18-23 years age group enrolled in undergraduate, postgraduate and research-level studies within the country. GER for SC is 23% and 17.2% for ST.  GER for male population is 26.3% and for females

Gender Gap in Higher Education

There is an increase in the Gender Parity Index (GPI) for all the categories. It has increased during the last 5 years, from 0.92 in 2014-15 to 1 in 2018-19. GPI is the female to male ratio in higher education, measures progress towards gender equity.

Out of the total 3.74 crore students in higher education in 2018-19, 1.92 crore (51.34%) are men, and 1.82 crore (48.6%) are women. For SC, GPI has increased from 0.91 to 1.02 and for ST; it has increased from 0.81 to 0.92 during the period. This rise has been observed largely in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka.

Programme-wise Enrolment

The survey states that The highest number of students are enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts (Arts courses). The total number of students enrolled in Arts courses are 93.49 lakh, of which 46.96% are male and 53.04% are female. Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) is the second major stream with 46.80 lakh students, of which 48.3% are male and 51.7% are female. Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com) is the third major stream with 40.3 lakh students enrolled. The share of male students enrolled in Commerce is 51.2%, whereas female enrolment is 48.8%. B.Tech. has 21.25 lakh enrolled students out of which 72% are male whereas the percentage of the female is 28 %. Bachelor of Engineering (B.E.) has 16.45 lakh students enrolled out of which 71.14% of students are from male category.

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