In a first, women at par with men in UG science courses, dominate masters level programmes: HRD

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Published: July 28, 2018 11:51 AM

A report by All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) has revealed the changing scenario in the country when it comes to women in higher education.

HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar (File Photo)

A report by All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) has revealed the changing scenario in the country when it comes to women in higher education. In the report unveiled by HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar showed that women are no more lagging behind men when it comes to higher education in science. In fact, they are as many women in the undergraduate science programmes across the country as men and, they are also the dominating percentage when it comes to masters level programmes.

The report showed that until 5 years ago, B.Sc courses had 95 female students to every 100 male students, whereas last year it increased to 100 female for every 100 male student. As per the report released by AISHE, out of the 48.19 lakh BSc students who got enrolled last year, 50.7 per cent were men and 49.3 per cent women. And out of the 11.51 lakh students who finished their B.Sc. and B.Sc. (Honours) degree last year, 5.97 lakh or 52 per cent were women.

In the Masters of Science programmes, there were 171 women for every 100 male students last year, and have an equally strapping presence as women in Master of Arts programmes. In 2013-14, there were 138 women for 100 men in postgraduate science as compared to 147 women for 100 men in M.A. Last year, 171 women got enrolled for every 100 men in MSc, against 173 women in M.A. The AISHA report stated that in M.Sc, out of a total of 7.11 lakh students, 60.80 per cent female.

The report also stated that the national average of Gross Enrolment Ratio or GER for women stands at 25.8 per cent, which is highest in Chandigarh at 67.7 per cent, across all categories of bachelors and masters programmes. It is followed by Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Manipur, Punjab, Sikkim, Haryana, Telangana and Uttarakhand who have female GER ratio over 30 per cent, and well over than the national average.

However, the scenarios have not changed much in engineering and technical fields as it continues to register lowest female participation. Amongst the 21.19 lakh students registers for B.Tech courses, nearly 72 per cent were men, in BE or Bachelor of Engineering or B.E., out of the 18.2 lakh enrolled students, 29 per cent students were female.

The total number of students enrolled in higher education in 2017-18 was 3.66 crore students, out of whom 1.92 crores were men and 1.74 crore women. Almost 80 per cent of whom resulting in 2.83 crores, were studying at the undergraduate level and 41.14 lakh students amounting to 11.23 per cent of the number were enrolled at the postgraduate level. Whereas PhD scholars accounted for less than 0.5 per cent of the total students in higher education.

The study also showed that the top eight states in India with the highest number of colleges are Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh – with nearly 28 or more colleges per lakh population. The state with the worst college density with just seven colleges per lakh population is Bihar; while Karnataka and Telangana have the best average with 51 colleges for every one lakh people.

However, even though the numbers have improved at a national level, little has been done for internationalisation of education in a time when many Indian institutions are figuring in global ranking, stated an IE report. Meanwhile, the number of foreign students in the country saw a marginal improvement, from 47,575 in 2016-17 it became 46,144 in 2017-18, with most students coming from the neighbouring countries of Nepal (24.9 per cent) and Afghanistan (9.5 per cent).

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