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Decline in Higher Education Enrollment among Muslim Students


A report based on the analysis of data from the Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+) and the All India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE) reveals a notable decline in the enrollment of Muslim students in higher education.


GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Key Findings on Dropout Among Muslims: A Report Analysis
  2. Recommendations for Addressing Dropout Among Muslim Students
  3. UDISE Plus Report
  4. All India Survey for Higher Education (AISHE)

Key Findings on Dropout Among Muslims: A Report Analysis

Overall Enrollment Trends:
  • Significant drop of over 8.5% in the enrollment of Muslim students (age group 18-23) in higher education for the academic year 2020-21.
  • Enrollment decreased from 21 lakh students in 2019-20 to 19.21 lakh in 2020-21.
  • Despite an overall increase in enrollment from 2016-17 to 2020-21, there was a decline in the latest year, marking a decrease of 1,79,147 students from 2019-20 to 2020-21.
Percentage Comparison:
  • The percentage of Muslim students enrolled in higher education compared to the total student population slightly decreased from 4.87% in 2016-17 to 4.64% in 2020-21.
Educational Stage Trends:
  • Across States and Union Territories, a consistent trend is observed where Muslim student representation gradually declines from Class 6 onwards, reaching its lowest in Classes 11 and 12.
  • Enrollment percentage of Muslim students drops from 14.42% in upper primary (Class 6-8) to 10.76% in higher secondary (Class 11-12).
State-wise Disparities:
  • States like Bihar and Madhya Pradesh exhibit relatively low Gross Enrolment Ratio for Muslim students, indicating that many Muslim children in these States are still out of the education system.
  • Assam (29.52%) and West Bengal (23.22%) record high dropout rates among Muslim students, while Jammu and Kashmir records 5.1%, and Kerala records 11.91%.

Recommendations for Addressing Dropout Among Muslim Students

  • Enhance Scholarships, Grants, and Financial Aid:
    • Increase the availability of scholarships, grants, and financial aid specifically designed for Muslim students.
    • Alleviate financial burdens to enhance access to higher education.
  • Tailored Support for Low-Income Families:
    • Recognize the financial challenges faced by many Muslim students from low-income families.
    • Tailor support programs to address the unique economic circumstances of these students.
  • Inclusive Policies for Equal Opportunities:
    • Implement inclusive policies that ensure equal opportunities for all students, regardless of religious background or economic status.
    • Bridge the education gap by fostering an environment that promotes diversity and inclusivity.
  • Targeted Support Programs:
    • Develop targeted support programs to address the specific needs of Muslim students in higher education.
    • Focus on creating a supportive ecosystem that fosters academic success and overall well-being.

UDISE Plus Report:

  • Comprehensive Study:
    • A comprehensive study providing information on enrollment and dropout rates of school students, number of teachers, and other infrastructural facilities like toilets, buildings, and electricity.
  • Initiation and Launch:
    • Launched in the academic year 2018-2019.
    • Aims to speed up data entry, reduce errors, improve data quality, and ease the verification process.
  • Data Collection Application:
    • An application designed to collect school details, focusing on factors related to a school and its resources.
    • An updated and improved version of UDISE, which was initiated in 2012-13 by the Ministry of Education.

All India Survey for Higher Education (AISHE):

  • Initiative by the Ministry of Education:
    • AISHE is an initiative by the Ministry of Education in India.
  • Annual Web-Based Survey:
    • Conducted annually, the survey is web-based and aims to assess the state of higher educational institutions in India.
  • Objectives:
    • Determine the overall condition of higher education institutions.
    • Identify areas for improvement in the higher education sector.
  • Student Involvement:
    • Students enrolled in higher educational institutions actively participate in the AISHE survey.
  • Rating System:
    • Allows students to rate their colleges on various categories such as teachers, exam results, education finance, programs, student enrollment, and infrastructure.
  • Utilization of Data:
    • The data collected in the AISHE survey is used to make informed policy decisions and conduct research in higher education.
    • Contributes to enhancing the quality and efficiency of higher education in India.

-Source: The Hindu

February 2024