Survey brings cheer to OBC, disappoints SC/ST

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New Delhi, Sept 29: The first-of-its-kind report titled "All India Survey on Higher Education", conducted by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has inspired mixed feelings among various communities of the country. The survey report indicates the rise in number of Other Backward Community (OBC) students in various higher educational institutions across the country. But the survey clearly shows low percentage of students belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SC/ST) in these academic institutions. While the news has brought cheers among the OBC people as the survey depicts progress among the young members of the community, but the SC/ST groups are left disappointed.

"The percentage of students from the Other Backward Communities who have enrolled in higher education has gone past 27 per cent, but the number of students from the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes continues to be unacceptably low," stated the report.

"Of the students in higher educational institutions, OBC students comprise 27.1 per cent, with 27.3 per cent being male and 26.8 per cent being female. However, the Scheduled Castes comprise only 10.2 per cent of the enrolment, with 10.3 per cent male and 10.1 female, while the Scheduled Tribe enrolment is extremely low at 4.4 per cent, with males and females almost on a par," further added the report.

The survey was released by Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal on Friday, Sept 28. The survey was based on information collected from 448 universities, 8,123 colleges and 4,076 standalone institutions, until Jul 31. The survey was a voluntary exercise and will help in gathering relevant statistics on higher education on various parameters.

"Higher enrolment indicates growing interest in higher education in India. The figures show that India has the highest number of students in colleges after the United States," said Sibal.

However, Sibal added that students from SC/ST communities need to have a greater presence in higher educational institutions as their numbers are very less.

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