Gross Enrollment Ratio abysmally low: Purandeswari

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Chennai, Apr 12 (UNI) The Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) in India was abysmally low at 10 per cent, compared to West and some developing countries, Union Minister of State for HRD D Purandeswari said today.

Speaking after presenting placement letters to 1639 students of SRM University at its campus in suburban Kattankulathur near here, she said the GER has risen from one per cent, when the country attained Independence in 1947 to ten per cent now.

Reeling out statistics, she said the GER was 60 per cent in countries like US and Canada, 40 per cent in Europe, 21 per cent in developing countries. ''The international average is 23 per cent. Even in China, to which we compare for all things, it is 15 per cent'', she added.

''We are abysmally low at ten per cent. But the question is whether this ten per cent is enough at a time when India is aiming for sustained economic growth and every country is looking towards India'', she pointed out.

''We need to increase it at 20 per cent. But it cannot be done overnight. It's a great challenge and a Herculean task before the government. There is also a geographical challenge attached to it'', she said and added that the Planning Commission has fixed a target of reaching 15 per cent GER by the end of the 11th plan period ending 2012.

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