Bringing the focus back to the state of academic research in India, the report of an all-India survey by the Union HRD Ministry revealed on Monday that PhD scholars account for less than 0.4 per cent of the total students in higher education.
Even though the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education has registered a decent jump — 19.4 per cent in 2009-10 to 23.6 per cent in 2014-15 — a larger chunk of the increase seems to have taken place at the undergraduate (UG) level.
Out of the total 3.32 crore students, almost 80 per cent are enrolled in undergraduate (UG) courses, according to the provisional figures of the All India Higher Education Survey (AIHES) 2014-15. Pointing to a sharp decrease in enrolment at higher levels, postgraduate (PG) students make up just 11.44 per cent of the total, which is approximately 38.1 lakh youngsters.
Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of students enrolled in higher education followed by Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
The trend of gender disparity continues with more men than women at almost all levels except MPhil. At the UG level, men comprise 53 per cent of total students. In PG courses, they make up 49 per cent men of total students, while women comprise 51 per cent. At the PhD level the gender gap increases with men comprising 60 per cent of researchers.
The survey findings are based on responses of 716 universities, 29,506 colleges and 6,837 standalone institutions. There are a total of 757 universities, 38,056 colleges and 11,922 standalone institutions in India.