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Updated: October 9, 2012 12:00 IST

Marching ahead

Aarti Dhar
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Reason to cheer: The degree leads to women empowerment. Photo: Nagara Gopal
The Hindu
Reason to cheer: The degree leads to women empowerment. Photo: Nagara Gopal

Enrolment ratio of under-graduate women has seen a significant jump in the last couple of years

The recently released All India Survey on Higher Education has given Indian women a reason to cheer as their Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) has shown an impressive jump between 2009-10 and 2010-2011 from 12.7 per cent to 16.5 per cent.

This clearly indicates that a larger number of women in the age group of 18-23 years are going in for higher studies now. However, though the enrolment is highest at the under-graduate level, it witnesses a sharp drop at the post graduate level. Similarly, diploma and certificate courses also appear to be quite popular among women with 3.13 lakh women having completed their certificate and diploma courses in 2009-2010 with the number crossing the 10 lakh mark in 2010-2011.

The percentage of female students among the Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and the Other Backward Classes (OBC) is equivalent to that of male students. In fact, it is slightly higher than male students in the case of the ST category with 4.6 per cent women enrolled in higher education as against 4.3 male students. For SCs, it is 10.1 per cent women as against 10.3 of male students and 26.8 per cent girl students for OBCs against 27.3 per cent males.

The provisional estimates of the Survey for 2010-2011 — the first of its kind exercise undertaken by the Ministry of Human Resource Development to identify and capture various aspects of all the institutions of higher education in the country — has data from 448 universities, 8123 colleges and 4076 stand alone institutions which is uploaded on the web portal on a specially designed pro forma. The idea behind this voluntary exercise and the resulting document is to prepare a sound database on the large and diverse system of higher education in the country. A list of 621 universities, 27,468 colleges and 11,643 stand alone institutions has been prepared under the survey of which 72 per cent universities, 29.6 per cent colleges and 35 per cent stand alone institutions have uploaded their data.

Interestingly, approximately only one per cent of the university and nine per cent of the colleges are exclusively meant for girls’ education. The survey found that more ST women are employed in teaching and non-teaching posts in the responding institutions than ST men. As far as the teaching staff is concerned, 3.1 per cent ST women are employed against 2.7 per cent ST men; 6.7 per cent SC women are employed in comparison to 7.7 per cent SC men. Under the OBC category, 22.5 per cent women are employed as against 23.8 per cent men.

In the non-teaching staff category, the number of women employees is more in all three reserved categories when compared to men. The percentage stands at 13.8 per cent against 11.8 per cent men among the SCs, 4.6 per cent in the ST category as against 3.8 per cent men and 24.7 per cent in OBC category as against 22.3 per cent men.

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