The first-ever survey of higher education in the country shows that Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes have not been able to reap its benefits. The survey reveals that though Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) has gone up to about 20%, private unaided colleges have the lowest number of students.

It is expected that when the final results of survey appear by year-end, enrolment would be go up across the spectrum. But the provisional data for SCs/STs is a cause for worry. Enrolment of SC students is only 10.2%; male students (10.3%) and females (10.1%). In case of STs, the situation is alarming. GER for STs is pitiable at 4.4%; male students (4.3%) and females (4.6%).

With such a poor GER for SCs/STs, it is natural that they have a poor presence as college and university teachers. Only 7.4% of teachers belong to SC and 2.9% are STs.

Other Backward Classes (OBCs) have, however, done well. Though getting reservation in central government institutions for the past five years and also in many state government institutions, politically powerful OBCs enrolment figure stands at 27.1%. Even as teachers in higher educational institutions OBCs have a dominating presence at 23.3%.

The survey in which institutions were asked to provide all information to a dedicated portal has so far received data from more than 450 out of 621 universities, around 9,000 of 27,468 colleges, 1,800 of 4,118 technical institutes and 2,000 of 5,268 standalone institutions. So far, among the institutions that have responded 1% of the university and 9% of the colleges are exclusively meant for girls’ education. Also, out of total enrolment, 17% is under distance education mode.

Provisional data has shown that among responding institutions 36% of the universities, 48% of the colleges and 56% of standalone institutions are located in rural areas. Also, 57% of responding colleges are under private management, 22% under the government sector. As for standalone institutions – teacher training, nursing colleges and polytechnics – 64% of those who have responded to survey are under private management.

Source: TOI