Over 170 mn students not receiving higher education: FICCI

November 19th, 2008 - 6:16 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 19 (IANS) Over 170 million students eligible to pursue higher education in India are out of its ambit, according to a joint report by the industry lobby Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and research firm Ernst & Young.“With a total eligible population for education at 460 million, only about 63 percent are studying in India,” said the report, released Wednesday.

“This percentage is very low when compared to other nations like Brazil and Russia where 88 percent and 89 percent of the eligible education population are studying.”

Though the report did not mention in detail the reasons behind such a scenario, it certainly has pointed fingers at inadequate and uneven infrastructure across the country.

The report highlights India’s low gross enrolment ratio (GER) of 11 percent in higher education as compared to about 60 percent in the US and Canada.

It underlines that while public expenditure on education has increased, the percentage share of GDP spent on higher education has come down from 0.77 percent in 1991 to an estimated 0.7 percent in 2008.

“The share of expenditure spent on higher education as a percentage of total education expense has remained stagnant at around 13 percent for the past three years.

“Further, the Indian higher education system suffers from imbalanced reach of education institutions across the country which in turn impacts the GER. For instance, the rural areas of the country, which represent about 65 percent of the total population, have just 20 percent of the total professional colleges,” it said.

The report further states that around 58 percent of all higher education institutions are located in six states - Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

However, GER across states and union territories range from four percent in Arunachal Pradesh to about 26 percent in Chandigarh.

It notes that Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu are the preferred states to establish private institutions, with approximately 60 percent of the private medical colleges located in these states.

Maharashtra and Karnataka account for almost half of the all the hotel management institutes, while Andhra Pradseh and Tamil Nadu have about 50 percent of the country’s nursing colleges.

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