9.5.1 Education is the key to all processes of human development. As such, educational planning needs to be done meticulously and executed with great sensitivity. Education improves the quality of life and develops manpower for different sections of the economy. It empowers the poor masses to become self-reliant and enables them to participate in the process of national development. Education is a concurrent subject, which implies a meaningful partnership between the Union Government and the States. As per the National Policy on Education, (NPE, 1986), the Union Government has the responsibility to reinforce the national and integrative character of education, maintain its quality and standards, to study and monitor the educational requirements of the country with regard to manpower development, to cater to the needs of research and advanced study, to look after the international aspects of education and human resource development and in general to promote excellence at all levels of the educational system. To fulfil its role, the two departments concerned with education in the Ministry of Human Resource Development, one for Elementary Education and Literacy and the other for Secondary and Higher Education, closely interact with the States and UTs. This task requires the support of a robust mechanism for collection, compilation, processing and dissemination of Educational Statistics. Efficient decision-making has to be based upon a large amount of information and quantitative data. While the policy makers and administrators experience the need for comprehensive database for policy formulation and monitoring of programmes, the researchers and other data users also feel the need for updated, reliable and inter-temporally comparable data and information.
9.5.2 The Educational Statistics System in India dates back to the pre-independence period. Annual Educational Statistics began to be collected from 1913-14 followed by elaborate quinquennial reviews. Prior to 1947, the Directorate of Commercial Intelligence collected Educational Statistics. The activity was taken over by the Ministry of Education (MOE) after independence when the Government was required to plan for Universalisation of Elementary Education (UEE). To assess the status and to prepare a plan to this effect, the MOE conducted the first All-India Educational Survey (AIES) in 1957. Since then, five more AIESs have been conducted by NCERT from time to time, the last one in 1993. These surveys have become an integral part of the system of Educational Statistics in India.
9.5.3 Various reviews of the Educational Statistics system in the past have led to the existing system of collection of data from the States in prescribed formats. A high level Committee to review the Educational Statistics system appointed by the Ministry of Education in 1981 had made a number of recommendations to improve the system, but many of them remained unimplemented. The High Level Evaluation Committee (Khusro Committee, 1983) also brought to light some important data gaps in the Educational Statistical system of the country. Recently, in June 1999 the Ministry of Human Resource Development constituted an Advisory Committee on Educational Statistics under the Chairmanship of Secretary (Education) to suggest measures for improvement on all matters concerning Educational Statistics to the Ministry. The current problems and issues were also discussed in the Conference of Central and State Statistical Organisations held in September 2000. The Commission also interacted with the representatives from the Department of Education. In view of the complexity of data collection and multiplicity of agencies collecting data on technical and higher education, the National Statistical Commission sponsored a study to examine the availability of data on higher and technical education, as compiled by various agencies in the country. The Commission took note of the findings, recommendations and suggestions of the above-mentioned study, Committees and outcomes of the interaction with the States and Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), while attempting an analysis with a view to improve the timeliness, reliability and adequacy of Educational Statistics.
9.5.4 The two main sources of educational data are the educational institutions and households. The educational institutions provide the data on enrolment and number of teachers, which is collected annually from all recognised institutions being compiled at the national level by the Planning, Monitoring and Statistics Division (PMSD) in the Department of Secondary and Higher Education (DS&HE) of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). More detailed statistics on students, teachers and physical facilities in schools up to higher secondary level are collected in 5 to 7 years through All India Educational Surveys (AIES) conducted by the NCERT. Important educational data that can be collected only from the households relate to such items as literacy and the educational level of the population, whether the person or child is attending school or not, and private expenditure on education. Important sources of household data on education are the decennial Population Census and the sample surveys conducted by the National Sample Survey Organisation. Data on literacy, level of education and schooling status are collected in the decennial Population Census. The data on these and some other items such as expenditure on education and school dropouts are also collected in certain rounds of National Sample Surveys.
9.5.5 The PMSD in MHRD collects compiled data from the States. In the States, there are divisions or units in the Department of Education, which collect data from schools, through their district and block offices and compile the same in the ES proformae1 prescribed by the PMSD for onward transmission to MHRD. In general, the data collected from schools are first compiled manually at the block level, then the block level figures are aggregated to prepare district tables and finally, State level tables are prepared by aggregating the district level tables. Most of the compilation up to the State level is done manually. The DS&HE brings out a publication, Selected Educational Statistics annually based on the data received from the states. The data are supposed to be collected from the educational institutions, but in many cases the data supplied for the publication are provisional figures, which in the case of some States are simply repetitions of the previous year’s figures. Being provisional, they are of limited value but are the most widely used since the detailed statistics are published after a time lag of 6-7 years.
9.5.6 Given below is a brief description of the other major sources of Educational Statistics:
All India Educational Surveys Conducted by NCERT: All India Educational (AIE) Surveys conducted by NCERT are a very important source of Educational Statistics for school education in India. So far, six surveys have been conducted and the latest Survey, the sixth in the series was conducted in 1993 and its report was published in 7 volumes over the period 1997-98. Apart from the detailed data on enrolment, teachers and physical facilities in schools, these surveys provide information on habitations in different population slabs not served by a primary school, middle school or a secondary school within the habitation or within a certain distance range such as 3 kms or 5 kms. Such information is not available from any other source for all rural habitations of India. The data provided by this survey is very significant in the context of Universalisation of Elementary Education, which has received a high priority in the educational planning of the country. So far, the AIE Surveys have not been conducted with any definite periodicity. The six surveys were conducted in the following years: 1957, 1965, 1973, 1978, 1986 and 1993. Of these, the first survey was conducted by the Ministry of Education and the rest by NCERT. In these surveys, NCERT prepares the survey schedules, does all the planning and carries out the national level data analysis and prepares the national survey reports. For the survey period, State Survey Units are set up in each State and officers are also appointed at the State and district levels to conduct the survey. They are generally officers of the State Education Department. In the sixth AIES, these officers handled the survey work in addition to their normal duties, but in the earlier surveys, they used to be full time survey officers. The two main schedules used in these surveys are Village (or Urban) Information Form and School Information Form. The forms are filled up by school head teachers with the help of patwaris who provide information on habitations and population. All the forms are checked by the block level Education officer and some sample checking is also done by the district and State level officers as well as by investigators appointed by NCERT at the National level. While in the earlier surveys, all the tabulation was done manually at block, district, State and National levels, in the sixth AIE Survey, the NIC was entrusted with the job of computerised data processing. As each school was given a unique code it is possible to retrieve even school level information from the computerised records. As the school code includes the village code too, one can relate the school data with village characteristics also.
Population Census: The decennial census is an important source of data on literacy, persons attending/not attending school and level of education of the population of the country. In the 1991 and 2001 Census, the literacy data has been collected and compiled for the population in the age group 7+. While the literacy rate for the age group 7+ is made available just after the census, the tables on literacy for different age groups become available after 5 to 6 years of the census. Internationally, the age group for which literacy data is reported is 15+; it took nearly six years after 1991 to make the literacy data available for this age group.
Surveys Conducted by NSSO: The NSSO collects data on social consumption, including social consumption on educational services. The last survey in which the NSSO collected data on social consumption was the 52nd Round (1995-96). In this survey, data on literacy, school attendance, dropouts and educational expenditure from the Sample Households was collected and the findings brought out in a report published in October 1998. The earlier surveys in which literacy and other educational items were covered in detail were the 35th Round (1980-81) and 42nd Round (1986-87). The attendance ratio from the survey being based on household data usually differs significantly from the enrolment ratio obtained from school data. For other years, NSSO provides estimates of literacy rates derived from much smaller samples.
Data on Technical and Higher Education: There are various agencies involved in the collection of data on technical and higher education in the country. This area comprises higher (general education), technical education, medical education, agricultural education and teacher education. The UGC is responsible for collection and reporting of data on higher education obtained directly from colleges and universities. Prior to 1982, the Department of Education in MHRD as well as UGC collected data on higher education but in order to avoid duplication, it was decided that UGC alone should collect data on higher education. However, the UGC faces problems of time lag and non-response from the reporting institutions, but some basic statistics are published every year in UGC’s Annual Report. The MHRD has again started collecting data on higher education from the States for the year 1994-95 onwards. The Central Bureau of Health Intelligence (CBHI) in the Department of Health collects data on education in allopathic and dental systems of medicine from the Medical Council of India (MCI) and the Dental Council of India (DCI). The Department of Indian System of Medicine & Homeopathy (ISM&H) collects and publishes data on ayurveda, unani, siddha and homeopathy education. The All-India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) – the apex body to regulate technical education in the country – does not collect any data at present, but intends to collect the same in the near future. With regard to agricultural education, the Department of Agricultural Research & Education (DARE) is the apex body, but it does not collect data on agricultural education on a regular basis. In the area of teacher education, the National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE) collects limited data annually and has developed a computerised Management Information System (MIS), but the data are collected only to monitor the teacher education programmes of various institutions and to ensure that the prescribed norms are adhered to. At present these data are not tabulated or compiled for any statistical purpose.
9.5.7 Mention may be made of the statistics collected annually from schools for the primary level of education in the districts covered under the District Primary Education Programme (DPEP). The DPEP is a Centrally sponsored scheme providing a special thrust to achieve universalisation of primary education through decentralised management, participatory processes, empowerment and capacity building at all levels. The programme launched in 1994 in 42 districts of seven States has now been extended to cover 271 districts of 18 States including the 3 new States created in the year 2000. The DPEP-EMIS is an important source of data on enrolment, teachers, physical facilities, etc. for the primary level of education, but since it is confined to the DPEP districts and the statistics at present remain unpublished, it cannot be regarded a part of the country’s statistical system as yet. However, the data is compiled annually and is made available generally within a year. Checking of the data and data entry takes place at the district level and tabulation is done both at the State and National levels. The system has the potential of becoming a full-fledged statistical system for at least up to secondary level of education.
9.5.8 In addition to the above, there are other organisations that provide data on Education Statistics. These are given below:
Directorate of Employment & Training for data on the educational level of the job seekers through Employment Exchanges;
National Family & Health Welfare Survey, 1992-93 & 1998-99; for data on literacy and children attending school, based on a sample survey of households;
Database Report on Vocationalisation of School Education-1991 survey;
Database created by the State Governments; and
IAMR Project on National Technical Manpower Information System;
9.5.9 Some basic Educational Statistics are given in Annexe 9.9 Major educational data coverage, mode of collection, the periodicity, and the availability from various organisations is detailed in Annexe 9.10 and important publications on Educational Statistics by different organisations are listed in Annexe 9.11
9.5.10 Although educational data are available from different sources, there are several deficiencies in the data. The reliability of data on certain items is questionable and there is a considerable time lag in the publication of statistics. Also data on many important aspects of education are not available. The status with regard to computerisation of data is highly unsatisfactory. Data on education are also compiled by individual State governments and published in their official publications such as annual statistical reports. The data published in these reports and those available in the Government of India publications often do not tally although it is the States, which supply the data to the Central Government. The State Government memoranda submitted to the Finance Commission for the purpose of getting Central assistance contain yet another set of data relating to education. Thus the situation relating to the Educational Statistics in the country is highly confusing. The deficiencies in the Educational Statistics system of the country can be broadly grouped as follows:
Quality, Reliability and Time lag in Educational Statistics
9.5.11 The most serious problem with the Educational Statistics that are collected annually from educational institutions and are published at the national level by the Ministry of HRD, is that of data reliability and time lag. The data are provided by schools on the proforma supplied by the State Education Departments, but there is no proper system of data validation and checking. Since tabulation work is done manually at the block, district, State and National levels, delays occur in compiling the statistics at every level (see Annexe 9.11 for latest publications on educational statistics and Annexe 9.12 for State-wise position in respect of collection of Educational Statistics in ES Forms). If some institutions fail to provide the statistics in time, preparation of block level tables get delayed. Similarly, delay in compiling the data at any level leads to further delay in the preparation of tables at the next level. Thus the delay at every level accumulates and results in a time lag of 6 to 7 years in the publication of all-India statistical reports. The statistics which are published within two years of the date of reference in Selected Educational Statistics are just provisional Statistics, which sometimes include the figures of the previous year for some of the States, which do not supply data in time.
9.5.12 The reasons for poor reliability of data are manifold. Apart from the absence of a suitable data checking and validation mechanism, errors creep in during manual tabulation. Also the institutional records (such as admission registers, attendance registers and stock registers) are not properly maintained at the institutions, as a result of which correct information based on records cannot always be given. Another worrisome cause for inaccuracy in data is the tendency to give distorted information when it suits the school heads and the administrators. There have been cases of schools providing inflated enrolment data as the number of teaching posts in a school depends on the enrolment. In the fields of higher and technical education, different agencies are involved in collection and publication of data such as the University Grants Commission (UGC), Association of Indian Universities (AIU), National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE), Institute of Applied Manpower Research (IAMR), and All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). These organisations collect data only for specific purposes without any coordination with the Department of Education in MHRD, which collects all the data from the States independently. As a result, there are often differences in the data reported by the different agencies on the same items.
9.5.13 The UNESCO has developed an International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) to serve as an instrument for assembling, compiling and presenting comparable Educational Statistics and indicators, both within a country and internationally. Originally developed during the late seventies, it was revised recently in 1997. In India, so far not much use has been made of ISCED for reporting Educational Statistics. Such a classification, if adopted would be quite useful in providing comparable statistics and indicators across the States and internationally.
Conclusions And Recommendations
9.5.14 Collection of reliable data from schools and other institutions and their timely processing and dissemination to the users requires immediate attention in the light of the problems discussed above. The Commission recommends:
The institutional records such as registers of admission, attendance, stock, and teacher’s registers, etc. should be maintained properly by all institutions. State Departments of Education should facilitate maintenance of records by supplying suitable registers and guidelines to schools. During school inspection, inspectors and officers of the State Education Department should check the records to ensure that these are up-to-date and are maintained as per guidelines. Suitable manuals should be provided to the concerned teachers and staff for this purpose while some training programmes should also be organised for them at the State and district levels.
Scrutiny and verification of all filled-in-forms should be done meticulously at the block level. Errors and omissions should be checked at the block level itself for primary/elementary schools and at the district level for secondary and post-secondary institutions. In order to ensure accuracy of data, verification should be undertaken by the concerned authorities while undertaking inspections. This should not only include scrutiny and verification of records but an on-the-spot assessment of actual situation that exists in respect of enrolment, attendance, teachers in position and facilities that exist in schools.
Computerisation of education data at all levels is needed to tackle the problems of quality, consistency, reliability and time lag in data transfer and data retrieval. Use of Information Technology and Internet facilities should be made for data transmission from district to the State and from State to National level. Computerisation will not only reduce the time lag, but in due course of time, it should also do away with the system of supplying State level compiled statistics on cumbersome forms such as Educational Statistics – I (ES-I), Educational Statistics – II (ES-II), etc. A computerised Educational Management Information System should be developed right from the district level to the State and National levels. The Educational Management Information System (EMIS) that has been developed for District Primary Education Project (DPEP) districts should be expanded and implemented in all the districts of the country for collection, processing and dissemination of all educational statistics upto the higher secondary stage.
Efforts should be made to provide accurate data on the number of institutions, teachers and students (by sex, grade, SC/ST, rural/urban, etc.) for each level and type of education within a year in the publication Selected Educational Statistics, which is a very widely used source of Educational Statistics. Other detailed statistics should be included in subsequent publications, which should be produced within 2 years, and not with a time lag of 5 to 6 years as at present. The main results of large-scale surveys that provide educational data, such as those conducted by National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and NSSO should be available in published form within a year of the date of reference with the detailed results being made available within 2 years. A detailed timetable should be prepared and all data collection and compilation activities at every level should be monitored to ensure strict adherence to the timetable.
The administrators in charge of education and human resource development should pay sufficient attention and give priority to the tasks of data collection and compilation. Some incentives and recognition should be given for supplying accurate information on time. Also punitive measures may be taken in the case of inordinate delays and carelessness in filling forms, for example, release of funds to schools could be made dependent on the receipt of statistical returns on time.
The present sets of Educational Statistics (ES) forms in which data are being supplied by the States to the Ministry of Human Resource Development are unwieldy and need to be rationalised. These forms would, however, no longer be needed when the computerised system become operational.
For collecting and compiling all Educational Statistics, the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED 1997) developed by United Nations Educational and Scientific Organisation (UNESCO) should be used to ensure standardisation and comparability of data across the States and internationally.
Non-availability of Data on Some Important Items
9.5.15 The following are some of the items on which reliable data are not available at present, and whatever data are available, are only from ad hoc surveys and not on a regular basis for all the institutions.
Data on Age of Students: At present single age-wise enrolment statistics are not collected by the Ministry, NCERT or any other agency. Such data are presently being collected in District Primary Education Project (DPEP) districts only, using District Information System for Education (DISE) forms from schools having primary classes. Similarly, single age-wise break up of total population according to highest qualification achieved separately for workers and non-workers is not being collected presently. Only limited data are available from the decennial census. Data on age distribution of new entrants in primary education, which are not available from any source, are very much needed for making dependable educational projections.
Data on Educational Expenditure and Finance: At present, hardly any data are available on educational expenditure for the different levels and types of education except from the budget and expenditure statements of the Government. Data on income and expenditure of the private institutions are particularly lacking. The data on expenditure incurred by parents and guardians on education are presently collected through socio-economic and social consumption surveys conducted by NSSO.
Data on Teachers: At present, only meagre data are collected on teachers, which gives information on the number of teachers by sex and SC/ST, for different types of institutions. With a new category of para teachers coming up for primary education in most of the States, it is necessary to collect and process the data on such teachers separately. Also the data on age, experience, qualifications of teachers are either not available or are quite scanty.
Socio-economic Background of the Students: Under the existing system, the only item on which data under this category are being collected relates to educational status of SC/ST and in some States, OBC also. However, statistics are required to measure the benefit from different types of educational programmes to the students coming from different socio-economic backgrounds. Such data are being collected by NSSO on a periodic basis in their occasional rounds once in five years. Also there are a few ad hoc studies on education of the SC and ST children.
Attainment levels of students: No data are collected on the achievement levels of students on a regular basis. However, statistics of examination results at the end of classes X and XII are available from the Boards of School Education, which conduct these examinations. Recently, achievement surveys conducted in DPEP districts, and a few other large-scale achievement surveys have also provided data on achievement levels of pupils at the primary stage. In higher education, UGC provides statistics of graduates passing out from various universities.
Incentives: The All-India Educational Survey provides data on State-wise and scheme-wise number of beneficiaries and schools covered. A large number of incentive schemes have been started by the State Governments such as free text-books/reading material, free hostels, free uniforms for girls, and scholarship for certain categories of students, mid-day-meal scheme, etc. The Central Government has also initiated a national programme of nutritional support to primary education for which the data on quantity of food grains distributed are available with Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). But disaggregated data on beneficiaries and amount spent on various incentive schemes are not available on a regular basis.
Data on Attendance: At present only the data on enrolment in various institutions are collected but no data are collected on the attendance of children at various stages of education. There are attendance registers in schools, but these are not properly maintained and the information is often not reliable.
Educational Facilities: Ever since the beginning of development planning a number of facilities in terms of school buildings, teaching staff, additional equipment, teaching-learning material, laboratory equipment, etc. have been provided under such schemes as Operation Blackboard, District Institutes of Education Training (DIETs), Improvement of Science Education, etc. Though the data on facilities becomes available from All India Educational Surveys, there are hardly any data on the utilisation and the existing condition of these facilities.
Household data on Children Attending or not Attending School: Such data should be collected annually from village education registers to be maintained in each village, as a part of the micro-planning exercise. A system could be evolved which requires simple procedures of updating the data every year after an initial comprehensive door-to-door survey. The school enrolment data should be compared with the data on school attendance supplied by households at the village level itself to remove discrepancies. A few States, such as Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, have already undertaken such surveys and are even computerising all the data, but most other States have not yet initiated such a programme of collecting and analysing household data on an ongoing basis.
Enrolment and Other Data for Unrecognised Institutions: There has been a significant increase in the private sector educational programmes in recent years, most of which are outside the control of the Education Departments. If the private institutions, whether Government aided or not, fulfil certain conditions of the State Education Department, they get recognised and are covered in data collection for official Educational Statistics. But some schools and institutions remain unrecognised because they either do not fulfil the requirements for recognition or they do not want to be controlled in any way by the Education Department. At the secondary and post-secondary levels, because of the market demand, private institutions running on commercial lines that offer a variety of new courses have multiplied. These centres do not care for recognition by universities or such bodies that give recognition, as long as there are employment opportunities for their graduates. The courses that are offered by a growing number of such private institutions and that are at present are not covered in any official Educational Statistics, include courses in computer applications, software development, tourism, hotel management, medical transcription, business management, e-commerce, music, dance, etc. Even large institutions such as NIIT, APTECH that have some major educational programmes are not covered. Also there are coaching schools in every town, which prepare students for various examinations, though their students may also be regular students of some recognised institutions. Even at the primary stage of education, many unrecognised schools have come up in a number of States. Even in rural areas, they are proliferating since some parents who feel that they provide better education are ready to and pay the high fees charged by them. In a recent study sponsored by EDCIL’s Technical Support Group for DPEP, in two districts of U.P., 6 to 8 per cent children were found to be enrolled in unrecognised private schools. The 52nd Round of NSS has also shown that 4.8 per cent students of primary classes were in such unrecognised schools. At the pre-primary level, it is well known that most of the schools are actually unrecognised schools.
Conclusions And Recommendations
9.5.16 Due to the absence of age data there are difficulties in precisely calculating the intake rate, net enrolment ratio and related indicators. Hardly any data are available in a compiled form on children of 6-13 age group attending or not attending school, except for the data provided by certain rounds of NSS and more recently by the National Family Health Surveys 1 and 2. Data on income and expenditure of educational institutions, on profiles of teachers and other gaps identified above need to be collected on a periodic basis for efficient functioning of the Educational Statistical System. Some data can be collected on a sample basis too. The data on other items like economic and financial aspects required from the national accounts point of view, that are presently not covered in the annual data collection programme also require attention. The Commission therefore recommends:
The forms for collecting data annually from schools should be reviewed and new items on which data are needed annually, but not collected at present, should be included. Data on a minimum set of items should be collected by all the States, while the States should be free to add items that they consider important specifically for the State.
Data on the age of students, teachers’ qualifications and experience, income and expenditure of private schools, incentive schemes, educational facilities and equipment, children with disabilities, etc. should be collected in the All India Educational (AIE) Surveys on school education conducted by NCERT. The data on age and some other items should be collected on a sample basis in these surveys.
All India Educational Surveys on school education should be conducted regularly at intervals of five years and the results of the survey should be published within two years of the date of reference. Data on some of the items should be collected only on a sample basis, as was done in the Sixth All India Educational Survey of 1993.
All schools should be given a permanent code number, which should be used both in AIE surveys of NCERT and in the annual data collection programme of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) from schools.
Data on new categories of schools and teachers such as different type of alternative schools or schools under the Education Guarantee Scheme (EGS) and teachers categorised as para-teachers (known as shikshakarmi, guruji, shikshamitra, etc.) should be collected annually and information on them should be provided separately in statistical reports.
The data on income and expenditure of institutions managed by the Government or local bodies should be collected annually from the offices that maintain the record of disbursement of grants and payment of teacher salaries.
Certain periodical studies should be conducted by institutions such as NCERT, National Institute for Educational Planning & Administration (NIEPA), Institute of Applied Manpower Research (IAMR) and University Grants Commission (UGC) on the expenditure incurred by educational institutions by level and type of educational programme to estimate the unit cost for each level and type of education.
Collection of data on beneficiaries, cost and effectiveness of various incentive schemes should be collected in All-India Educational Surveys (AIES) and through special studies.
While data on educational facilities becomes available through All-India Educational Surveys, data on the present condition and extent of such facilities should also be collected periodically at least on a sample basis.
The data on economic aspects such as finances of educational institutions and some other aspects such as average attendance of enrolled students, should be collected on a regular basis in one or more of the following ways, through:
All India Educational Surveys conducted by NCERT once in five years;
Sample surveys of institutions to be conducted by NCERT or the proposed Educational Statistics Bureau of MHRD on a regular basis once in 3 years or through ad hoc sample surveys, if necessary, at the National or State level.
Data on literacy, educational level of population, expenditure on education incurred by parents, socio-economic background of students, children attending or not attending school, dropouts, etc. should be collected, apart from the Population Census, through household surveys conducted by NSSO. As these items are normally covered under ‘social consumption’ it is suggested that the rounds of NSS that cover social consumption should be conducted regularly every five years.
The unrecognised schools and institutions should be covered in sample surveys to be conducted by MHRD and in AIE surveys of NCERT. Effort should be made to provide data at least on the number of such institutions, enrolment and number of teachers. To begin with, the local authorities (e.g. Block Education Officers at the block level) should enumerate all private unrecognised schools and keep a record of the same and update them every year.
The secondary and post-secondary level unrecognised institutions (such as those offering courses in computer applications, management, etc) should be covered through periodical sample surveys. To begin with, a comprehensive survey should be undertaken to enumerate them and a system of updating their statistics annually should be evolved. Eventually, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) should be entrusted with the task of collecting and maintaining their statistics.
Data Collection in Higher and Technical Education
9.5.17 It was observed that no reliable data on Higher (General) Education are available and the last statistical publication, Higher Education in India of MHRD relates to 1986-87. Data collection by the UGC is in bad shape, as their latest annual publication, University Development in India- Facts and Figures is for the year 1984-85. UGC, however, publishes some contemporary data in its Annual Report every year. But much of the information is extrapolated on the bases of statistical returns received from hardly 50 per cent of the total educational institutions. The unsatisfactory functioning of the UGC’s statistical system is due to a number of cumbersome proformae (presently 15 in number) prescribed by the UGC. The universities and colleges do not have the staff to compile the data and as they do not use modern data processing devices and computers, this results in a considerable time lag. As a result, the MHRD, again started collecting data on higher education directly from the States from 1994-95 for the purpose of reporting the same in its annual statistical publications.
9.5.18 The AICTE – the apex body for regulating technical education in the country – has so far not started collection of data on technical education. AICTE is however, funding a scheme of National Technical Manpower Information System (NTMIS), which is being implemented by the Institute of Applied Manpower Research (IAMR). Further, due to non-availability of data from the State Governments no data on technical education has been published by the MHRD. It is understood that AICTE proposes to establish a statistical section to collect data on technical education in the country in the near future. With regard to medical and dental education, the available data are not sufficient, as these are meant for the specific purpose of regulating admissions to the MBBS and PG courses for Allopathic and Dental systems of medicine. The available data suffer from poor response and a time lag to the tune of five years.
9.5.19 There is no system of regular data collection on agricultural education in the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE). Presently, DARE is collecting data pertaining to the years 1991-92 to 1996-97 through various schedules. There is no statistical unit in the Department to collect data on a regular basis.
9.5.20 The NCTE has a computerised Management Information System (MIS) to maintain limited data on teacher education collected through the Performance Appraisal Report. The data are again limited to the specific purpose of regulating the teacher training programmes and do not include data on enrolment, teachers, finance, etc. It is thus obvious that in the field of technical and higher education no satisfactory system of data collection, compilation and dissemination exists at present and a lot of improvement is needed.
Conclusions And Recommendations
9.5.21 The above analysis of the system of data collection and compilation in the field of Higher and Technical Education reveals that there are serious problems in the regular and timely collection and dissemination of data in an area, which is vital for an assessment of the supply of educated (higher) and technical manpower in the country. No proper system exists to collate the data available from various sources and the existing system has failed to meet the current data requirements. The Commission is of the view that in the area of higher and technical education, the respective controlling agencies like UGC, AICTE, DARE, MCI, DCI and NCTE should be mainly responsible for collecting data directly from the institutions under their control. The Commission therefore recommends that:
University Grants Commission (UGC) should shoulder the main responsibility of collecting and publishing data pertaining all types of institutions of higher education. It should use its regional centres and universities for collection and transmission of data of colleges and other institutions under their jurisdiction instead of collecting data from colleges directly. Universities should collect and compile data from their affiliated colleges and should use computers and Internet/e-mail for processing and transmission of data to UGC for which they should have adequate statistical and computer personnel. UGC should reduce the number of data collection forms and simplify the existing forms. UGC should also organise quinquennial surveys of Higher Education Institutions on the pattern of All India Educational Surveys of school education conducted by NCERT.
Since MHRD requires some basic statistics on technical and higher education for dissemination through its annual statistical publications, it should continue to collect the same from the States to avoid delay. However, a common institutional form should be devised for collection of basic data (on enrolment, graduates, facilities, teachers, etc.) and the data on this form with the same date of reference should be sent to the concerned Government Department in the State and also to the affiliating university or UGC’s regional centre for compilation and transmission to UGC. This should help in eliminating the difference if any, between the two sets of statistics, one produced by MHRD and the other by UGC at the national level. UGC may use other forms for collecting data on additional items that should be needed for other purposes.
AICTE should have a full-fledged Statistical Unit to collect and compile data on enrolment, intake, teaching staff, graduates, educational facilities, finances, etc. from all types of technical and vocational education institutions, through its regional offices. So far as the minimum data needs of the State Governments and MHRD are concerned, a procedure similar to that suggested above for institutions of higher education should be adopted to reduce the time lag in compilation of Educational Statistics at the National level by MHRD.
The above arrangement of data collection should also apply in respect of institutions offering courses in Ayurvedic, Siddha, Unani, and Homeopathic systems of medicine, for which the Department of ISM &H is responsible.
The limited data on education in Medical and Dental colleges, presently collected by Medical Council of India (MCI) and Dental Council of India (DCI) is not sufficient and additional items of information on enrolment, teaching staff, etc. should also be collected by the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence (CBHI) through MCI and DCI or directly from the institutions.
The Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE) should collect and publish the data on Agricultural Education on an annual basis and develop the necessary infrastructure for the purpose.
The NCTE should expand its data collection programme to include data on enrolment, teachers, finance, etc. Suitable formats should be developed by it in consultation with MHRD and UGC. Also National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE) should bring out a statistical publication on teacher education institutions annually.
All the above agencies should strengthen or establish Statistical Units to take up the responsibilities of collection and compilation of data on various programmes of technical and higher education. They should also supply data to the MHRD regularly as required by it and bring out their own statistical publications annually without much time lag.
A Coordination Committee on Technical and Higher Education comprising representatives of MHRD, UGC, AICTE, CBHI, DARE, NCTE, etc. should be set up under the aegis of MHRD to devise measures for avoiding duplication of data collection on similar items by different agencies and devising measures to improve the quality and coverage of statistics on all types of technical and higher education.
Weak Infrastructure at Centre, State and District levels
9.5.22 Since 1950-51, the number of primary, upper primary and secondary educational institutions has increased manifold. Similarly, the enrolment of students in these schools has increased to many times that of 1950-51. For example, in 1950-51 there were about 210 thousand primary schools, which have almost tripled to 627 thousand primary schools in 1998-99. The enrolment in primary classes increased to 111 million that is about six times during the same period. In higher and technical education also, there has been a tremendous increase in the number of institutions as well as in the enrolment of students. In India, more than one sixth of the population is engaged in the pursuit and promotion of education when we take into account 186 million students, 4.5 million teachers and one million educational institutions. It involves huge amounts of financial inputs as currently more than Rs. 40,000 crores is spent on education annually.
9.5.23 Further, education in independent India has witnessed a sea change in terms of content, curriculum, quality and modes of teaching. New fields like hotel management and catering technology, fashion technology, interior decoration, computer education, tourism, management education, medical transcription and a variety of para-medical courses and many others have been introduced in recent years. The concept of multiple entry points has also come into existence. Apart from formal education, correspondence courses, distance education, open education, home study, etc., have found wider acceptance in the society.
9.5.24 The educational administrative set up at every level has also undergone changes in recent years. The Directorates of Education have been bifurcated/ trifurcated into a number of Directorates to look after different levels and types of education. Most States have separate Education Officers at the district level for primary/upper primary and secondary schools. The infrastructure and manpower requirements of the statistical units have not kept pace with the tremendous growth in educational facilities and programmes. Despite the existence of posts specifically for the purpose of collection and compilation of educational statistics, the staff is diverted to other areas of work in some States. Further, the vacant posts are not filled up and ultimately some of these posts are abolished. The multiplicity of the Directorates has also created problems of coordination amongst them. Even at the Centre, after the creation of two Departments (one for Elementary Education and Literacy and the other for Secondary and Higher Education), the Statistical Unit of the Programme Monitoring and Statistics Division placed in the latter Department, has to cater to the requirements of both the Departments and faces some problems of coordination.
9.5.25 In addition to the above, there are several other Departments of the State Governments, which perform educational functions. These include the departments dealing with Technical Education and education in the fields of Medicine, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, etc. From these academic and financial statistics are also collected and coordinated by the State Education Departments. There are difficulties in inter-departmental coordination for collection of Educational Statistics in respect of these areas.
Conclusions And Recommendations
9.5.26 The infrastructure for collection of Educational Statistics, from the national level down to the State, district and block levels over the years has not kept pace with the increasing demands on the system. The framework is quite weak and needs substantial physical and financial inputs and statistically trained and computer literate manpower for improving the overall system of Educational Statistics in the country.
9.5.27 Considering the problems of coordination, poor response, increased workload over the years, growing data requirements for framing suitable policies and implementing such programmes as Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, and also taking into account several emerging new types of educational programmes particularly in the private sector, the need to build appropriate educational indicators and time series on important parameters and undertaking sample surveys for meeting a variety of data requirements, the Statistical Unit in the Ministry of Human Resource Development must be strengthened and suitably upgraded at the earliest. Similarly, strengthening and upgrading of Educational Statistics Units in the States and districts, also needs utmost attention and priority for which adequate financial and other resources are needed. The Commission therefore recommends that:
In order to ensure that statistical activities get due attention, there should be a full-fledged Educational Statistics Bureau in the Ministry of Human Resource Development. It should be headed by a Statistical Adviser from Indian Statistical Service, in the rank of Joint Secretary to take care of all statistical activities of the two Departments namely, Department of Secondary and Higher Education and Department of Elementary Education and Literacy. The Educational Statistics Bureau should have two Units, each headed by a Statistical officer in the rank of Director/Joint Director to handle the work of these two Departments. The Statistical Adviser will advise the two Departments in all matters related to the collection of Educational Statistics, will coordinate with the National Statistical Office, organise sample surveys on education and liaise and coordinate with international agencies and agencies of the Central and State Governments responsible for generating and supplying educational statistics.
Apart from providing basic statistics on enrolment, number of teachers, etc., through periodical publications, the Bureau should bring out various indicators derived from the data and make them available to users. It should also undertake special studies based on time series data from time to time and also make educational projections on a regular basis.
It should be possible to bring about the above changes without creating new posts (except that of Statistical Adviser) by suitably upgrading the existing posts and by reallocation of work among the existing staff and with provision of suitable training for handling the new type of work.
At the State level, the Educational Statistics Unit should be preferably located in one of the Directorates instead of there being several small units for statistical work in every Directorate. A statistician in the rank of Joint Director should head this Unit. The unit should be provided adequate manpower and computer resources to handle data collection and processing of State level data.
The concerned Directorate should be the nodal agency in the State to coordinate all the work related to Educational Statistics with other Departments, which perform educational functions such as Technical Education and Education in Medicine, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, etc.
The State Educational Statistics Unit should also undertake sample surveys and ad hoc studies in the field of education on topics of interest to them. It should also be responsible for conducting training programmes for the staff engaged in statistical work at various levels.
The district level establishment should be well equipped to cater to data collection and processing needs for education upto the higher secondary level in the district and to undertake scrutiny and verification of forms received from the block level. It should, however, be ensured that the main statistical work does not suffer because of the staff meant for Educational Statistics being used for other activities.
The Educational Statistical Bureau at the Centre and the Educational Statistics Units in the States and districts should be equipped with adequate computer hardware and software for data entry, scrutiny, verification and data analysis. Sufficient resources should be provided by both the Central and State Governments to implement computerisation uniformly for the educational statistical system. Some facilities and staff already provided in DPEP States and districts for EMIS should be upgraded for handling the statistics of all institutions up to secondary level and the same should be extended to non-DPEP States and districts also.
The Statistical Bureau at the Centre should network with the States and the districts for receiving data directly from the districts, as well as consolidated State level data from the State Education Departments.
The staff handling statistical work at the Centre and States should be provided with adequate training in statistics and use of computers for statistical work. Their skills should also be upgraded through proper training. The proposed Bureau in the Ministry of Human Resource Development should organise refresher and other training programmes periodically for the staff to upgrade their knowledge and skills.