Enhancing gender equality in India’s higher education| Opinion

By - 6 March 2020

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6 March 2020

Women’s enrolment in higher education, which was less than 10% of the total enrolment on the eve of Independence, has risen to 48.6% in 2018-19. The total enrolment has grown to 37.4 million(Hindustan Times)

Keeping in mind the vision of the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, and allied to the theme for International Women’s Day, March 8, 2020 — I am Generation Equality: Realising Women’s Rights — it is imperative to take forward the momentum of empowerment of girls and women through education in all institutes. In particular, it is time to focus on the inclusion of female participation in higher education institutes and address a set of fundamental questions. Has the participation of women has increased over the years in higher education and, if not, what measures need to be taken to increase their participation? How far have we got in achieving sustainable development goals Target 4.3 ie, by 2030, to ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable quality technical, vocational and tertiary education?

Consider the trends of female participation as per the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) report, in the past six years from 2013-14 to 2017-18. We can clearly see that India has been able to deal with inequalities in higher education, which has resulted in a two-way expansion — in enrolment of female students in higher education along with enlarging the delivery system.

Women’s enrolment in higher education, which was less than 10% of the total enrolment on the eve of Independence, has risen to 48.6% in 2018-19. The total enrolment in higher education has grown considerably to 37.4 million, with 19.2 million male and 18.2 million female. Females per 100 male students have also increased significantly in central universities, deemed universities, and government-aided institutions.

Consider the trends of female participation as per the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) report, in the past six years from 2013-14 to 2017-18. We can clearly see that India has been able to deal with inequalities in higher education, which has resulted in a two-way expansion — in enrolment of female students in higher education along with enlarging the delivery system.

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