General Studies IIEducation

All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2019-20


Union Education Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank today announced the release of the report of All India Survey on Higher Education 2019-20.

  • This Report provides key performance indicators on the current status of Higher education in the country.

Key Highlights:

  • In the last five years from 2015-16 to 2019-20, there has been a growth of 11.4% in the student enrolment.
  • The rise in female enrolment in higher education during the period is 18.2%, and continuous focus given by the government on education of girls, women empowerment and empowerment of socially backward classes are well reflected by the increased participation of women, SCs and STs population in Higher Education as shown by the Report.
  • All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) annually released by D/o Higher Education.
  • Total Enrolment in Higher Education stands at 3.85 crorein 2019-20 as compared to 3.74 crore in 2018-19, registering a growth of 11.36 lakh (3.04 %). Total enrolment was 3.42 crore in 2014-15.

  • Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER), the percentage of students belonging to the eligible age group enrolled in Higher Education, in 2019-20 is 27.1% against 26.3% in 2018-19 and 24.3% in 2014-2015.

  • Gender Parity Index (GPI) in Higher Education in 2019-20 is 1.01 against 1.00 in 2018-19 indicating an improvement in the relative access to higher education for females of eligible age group compared to males.
  • Pupil Teacher Ratio in Higher Education in 2019-20 is 26. In 2019-20: Universities: 1,043(2%); Colleges: 42,343(77%) and stand-alone institutions: 11,779(21%).
  • 3.38 crore Students enrolled in programmes at under-graduate and post-graduate level.  Out of these, nearly 85% of the students (2.85 crore) were enrolled in the six major disciplines such as Humanities, Science, Commerce, Engineering & Technology, Medical Science and IT & Computer.
  • The number of students pursuing PhD in 2019-20 is 2.03 lakh against 1.17 lakh in 2014-15.
  • The Total Number of Teachers stands at 15,03,156 comprising of 57.5% male and 42.5% female.

For detail report

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About AISHE:

To portray the status of higher education in the country, Ministry of Education has endeavoured to conduct an annual web-based All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) since 2010-11. The survey covers all the Institutions in the country engaged in imparting of higher education. Data is being collected on several parameters such as teachers, student enrolment, programmes, examination results, education finance, infrastructure.

Indicators of educational development such as Institution Density, Gross Enrolment Ratio, Pupil-teacher ratio, Gender Parity Index, Per Student Expenditure will also be calculated from the data collected through AISHE. These are useful in making informed policy decisions and research for development of education sector.

In view of the above, Ministry of Education (MoE) initiated an All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) in the year 2010-11 with reference date of 30th September, 2010 to build a robust database and to assess the correct picture of higher Education in the country.

The main objectives of the survey was to

  • identify & capture all the institutions of higher learning in the country
  • Collect the data from all the higher education institutions on various aspects of higher education

A Task Force was constituted with representations from various stake-holders such as Ministry of Education, University Grants Commission, All India Council for Technical Education, Medical Council of India, Indian Institute of Agricultural Statistics Research Institute, Central Statistics Office, Distance Education Council, National University of Education Planning & Administration, Universities, State Higher Education Departments to conceptulise the Survey and to provide technical guidance.

Keeping in view the importance of the information gathered through the survey, Task Force recommended making the survey an annual system of data collection on higher education in the country. The recommendation was accepted by the Ministry and the survey is now an annual exercise.

Data is being collected on following broad items

  • Institution’s Basic Details
  • Teacher’s Details
  • Details of Non-Teaching Staff
  • Programme conducted under various Faculties/Schools & Departments/Centres
  • Students enrolled in these Programme
  • Examination result of terminal year of each Programme
  • Financial Information such as Receipt and Expenditure under various heads
  • Availability of Infrastructure
  • Scholarships, Loans & Accreditation

Overview of Indian Higher Education

  • Enrollment in higher education remains grossly inadequate against a target GER of 30 by 2020.
  • Enrollment is also skewed as females, backward castes and minorities show lesser presence in higher education institutions. These disparities are further widened as a commercial motive has taken over the higher education sector. There has been a mushrooming of private higher educational institutions premised on profit motive bereft of social inclusion and equity concerns.
  • Number of teachers across India has remained stagnant for some years. This spells trouble for the state of education in the country.
  • Further, the declining share of public institutions in student enrollments reflects government withdrawal from the sector. Education, as a result, has also become more expensive. Instead of acting as a socio-economic leveller, education today is an instrument for steepening and further widening the existing socio-economic divides.
  • Indian Campuses also lack diversity and also happen to lack preference among overseas students which is reflected in their small numbers.
  • The low college density reflects the inadequacy in infrastructure against the requisite capacity essential for India to reap the benefits of its demographic dividend. We have only approximately 800 universities against the National Knowledge Commission recommendation of 1500.

Problems in Indian Higher Education

Teaching quality

National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) in its assessment report pointed out that 68% of institutions in India are of middle or poor quality. Recruitment of undergraduates as teachers, ad-hoc appointments and low pay scale, inadequate teacher training are all factors that have caused a deterioration in the quality of education. As a result, nearly three-fourth the number of graduates remain unemployable.


Nearly 35% of professor posts and 46% of assistant professor posts out of total sanctioned strength remain vacant across the country.


India barely spends 2.5% of its budgetary allocations on education. This is far below the required amount needed to upgrade the infrastructure at public institutes. Nearly 65% of the University Grants Commission (UGC) budget is utilised by the central universities when the share of state universities in student enrollments is much higher.

Privatization and Regulation

Withdrawal of public sector has left the space open for private institutions that have turned education into a flourishing business. Most of the teachers in private colleges are underpaid and over-worked. There has been a rampant expansion in the number of colleges with scant regard for standards and quality. This phenomenon also shows the lapses in the regulatory structure which are riddled with corruption.


There is a wide gap between industry requirements and curriculum taught at colleges. This also renders graduates unemployable lacking in specific skill-sets.

Presence of foreign educational Institutions

Multiplicity of regulatory bodies and regulatory standards have prevented foreign educational institutions from opening campuses in the country. As a result curricular and pedagogy lacks competitiveness.


Over-regulation by regulators such as UGC, MCI, which decide on aspects of standards, appointments, fees structure and curriculum has further deterred new institutions from opening campuses.

Academic research

India has barely 119 researchers per million of the population as compared to Japan which has 5300 and US which has 4500. Besides, in US 4% of science graduates finish the doctorate, in Europe, this number is 7%, but in India barely 0.4% of graduates finish the doctorate.


Suggestions for Higher Education reforms in India


An overhaul of teaching method is needed, which needs to become more dynamic and centred on practical aspects of learning.

International cooperation

India needs to collaborate with foreign institutes to foster a culture of research, upgrade pedagogy and facilitate student exchanges. India can also grow its capabilities in providing technical education through such collaboration.


Tiered Funding model can be adopted, whereby institutes with higher performance standards get more funds and also more autonomy. This approach is followed in Singapore and has enabled it to develop world class institutes. Besides, mobilisation of funds in state universities should be explored through other means such as endowments, contributions from industry, alumni, etc

Regulatory overhaul

National Knowledge Commission recommended that UGC be stripped off its powers of sanctioning grants and should not exert influence on administrative decisions.

Making Teaching an attractive and lucrative career

This can be done by improving pay scale offered to teachers and by putting an end to the system of ad-hoc and temporary appointments. The recruitment process should start well before a post is vacated. Moreover, the practice of nepotism in academic appointments must end in order to improve the quality of faculty selected.

Performance audit of teachers

A system of student feedback and peer reviews should be instituted to bring accountability in the sector.

Industry-academia linkage

Through Industry finishing schools, Industry placement schemes and Industry institute student training programs, so as to ensure that curriculum taught in colleges remains relevant to the requirements of industry and adds to the employability of youth.

A robust credit rating system involving rating agencies, media houses and industry associations will further enhance competition among universities. Further, National board of accreditation is to play a key role in quality enhancement and quality assurance.

The above-mentioned reforms will help in improving access to higher education and bridge socio-economic divides across communities while at the same time in ensuring quality education for Indian youth.

Higher Education Initiatives in India

  • The Department of Higher Education, under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, has taken several measures to improve the overall development of the Higher Education sector, both in terms of policy and planning. Some of the taken initiatives are as follows:
  • National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT), to leverage the potential of ICT to make the best quality content accessible to all learners in the country free of cost.
  • Rashtriya Ucchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) aims at providing strategic funding to higher educational institutions throughout the country.
  • Project Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme (EQUIP) to put together an action plan to give a multi-pronged boost to the higher education system in India.
  • Prime Minister’s Research Fellowship (PMRF) to attract the talent pool of the country to doctoral (Ph.D) programmes for carrying out research in cutting edge science and technology domains, with focus on national priorities.
  • Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC) aims at improving the research ecosystem of India’s higher educational institutions by facilitating academic and research collaborations between Indian institutions and the best institutions in the world.
  • Global Initiative for Academic Network (GIAN) launched by MHRD, seeks to tap the talent pool of scientists and entrepreneurs from abroad, including those of Indian origin to augment the country’s existing academic resources.
  • Formation of Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) to finance the creation of capital assets in premier educational institutions in India.

Source: PIB

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