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The 71st round National Sample Survey on “Social Consumption: Education” was conducted during January to June 2014. The information in the survey was collected from 36,479 households in rural areas and 29,447 households in urban areas during the 71st round.

The key findings of the 71st round NSS report: Key Indicators of Social Consumption in India Education (published in June 2015) are as follows (please click here to access the full report; please click here to read the summary of findings):

I. Literacy rates

• Literacy rate among persons of age 7 years and above in India was 75%. In rural areas, literacy rate was 71% compared to 86% in urban areas.

• Differences in literacy rate among persons of age 7 years and above was observed with male literacy rate being substantially higher (83%) than female literacy rate (67%).

• Adult literacy (age 15 years and above) rate in India was around 71%. For adults also, literacy rate in rural areas was lower than that in urban areas. In rural areas, adult literacy rate was 64% as compared to 84% in urban areas.

II. Accessibility of nearest primary, upper primary and secondary school

• No significant difference between rural and urban India existed in terms of distance for physical access to primary schooling. In both rural and urban areas, nearly 99% households reported availability of primary school within 2 kms from the house.

• For accessing educational institutions providing higher level of learning, say upper primary or secondary, a lower proportion of households in rural areas compared to the households in urban areas reported existence of such facilities within 2 kms.

• Nearly 86% of rural households and 96% of urban households reported upper primary schools within a distance of 2 kms from the house while nearly 60% of rural households and 91% of urban households reported secondary schools at such a distance.

III. Completed level of education among persons of age 5 years and above

• The proportion of persons having completed higher level of education, say, graduation and above, was more in the urban areas than in the rural areas.

• In the rural areas, nearly 4.5% of males and 2.2% of females completed education level of ‘graduation and above’ while in the urban areas 17% of males and 13% of females completed this level of education

IV. Attendance and enrolment

• In both rural and urban areas, a very small proportion of persons (nearly 1 per cent) in the age group 5-29 years, were currently enrolled but not attending educational institutions.

• In rural areas 58.7% of males and 53% of females in the 5-29 age-group were currently attending educational institution. In urban areas, the percentages being 57% for males and 54.6% for females.

V. Attendance ratios

• Gross Attendance Ratio of or level ‘primary’ was nearly 100% for both males and females in rural and urban areas.

• Gross Attendance Ratio at level ‘primary to higher secondary’ was 91% and 88% for rural males and females respectively, marginally lower as compared to 93% for both males and females in urban sector.

• Net Attendance Ratio in India at primary level was 84% for male and 83 % for female children in the age-group 6-10 years, the official age-group for Classes I-V.

• There was no major rural-urban or male-female disparity at all-India level till elementary level (primary and upper primary) in the Net Attendance Ratio.

VI. Current attendance by type of education

• In India nearly 85% of the students in age-group 15-29 years were pursuing general education.

• Nearly 12.6% and 2.4% students in age-group 15-29 years were attending technical/ professional and vocational courses respectively.

VII. Attendance by type of courses

• Among the male students pursuing general education, 46% were pursuing humanities as compared to 54% of the female students, 35% of the male students were pursuing science compared to 28% female students and 20% of the male students were pursuing commerce compared to 18% of the female students.

• Among the male students pursing technical/ professional education, 46% were pursuing engineering compared to 29% of the female students and 4% of the male students were pursuing medicine (including nursing) compared to 14% of the female students.

VIII. Type of institution attended

• In rural areas, majority of the students were attending government institutions predominantly up to higher secondary levels, whereas a completely different picture was observed in urban areas.

• In rural areas, 72% of the students at primary level, 76% at upper primary level and 64% at secondary & higher secondary level attended Government institutions, while in urban areas, 31% at primary level, 38% at upper primary level as well as secondary & higher secondary level, attended Government institutions.

IX. Incentives received

• Almost 94% students from rural areas and 87% students from urban areas at primary level studying in government institutions were receiving free education.

• At upper primary level, 89% students in rural areas and 80% students in urban areas, studying in government institutions were receiving free education.

• At secondary and higher secondary level, 58% students in rural areas and 52% students in urban areas, studying in government institutions, received free education.

• 63% of students at primary level and 62% of students at upper primary level received mid-day meal.

X. Private coaching

• At the all-India level, nearly 26% of the students were taking private coaching.

XI. Students staying in hostel

• Nearly 5% of the students in India were staying in hostel for study.

XII. Private expenditure on education

• Average expenditure (Rs.) per student incurred and/or to be incurred during the current academic session was nearly Rs. 6788 for general education, Rs. 62841 for technical/ professional (except vocational) and Rs. 27676 for vocational course.

• At primary level, expenditure per student in urban areas was Rs. 10083, more than four times than that in rural areas (Rs. 2811).

• Average expenditure on technical education in private aided & unaided institutions varied between nearly 1.5-2.5 times of that in government institutions.

• Nearly 46% of the expenditure for general education and 73% of the expenditure for technical education was on course fee.

• For students pursuing general courses, 15% was spent on private coaching as against 3% for students pursuing technical/ professional education (including vocational).

XIII. Never-enrolment and discontinuance of education

• In India, nearly 11% of the persons of age 5-29 years in rural areas and 6% in urban areas never enrolled in any educational institution.

• In India, proportion of persons in the age group 5-29 years dropping out/ discontinued studies were nearly 33% in rural areas and 38% in urban areas.

• For the males of age 5-29 years, engagement in economic activities was the most common reason for dropping out (30% in rural areas and 34% in urban areas), whereas for the females, the dominant reason was engagement in domestic activities (33% in rural areas and 23% in urban areas).

• In rural areas, the major reason for  never enrolment for persons of age 5-29 years was ‘not interested in education’ (33% male and 27% female) while in urban areas, nearly 33% males and 30% females in the age group 5-29 years never  enrolled  because of ‘financial constraints’.

XIV. Access to computer and internet

• Nearly 6% of rural households and 29% of urban household possessed computer.

• In India, among households with at least one member of age 14 years and above, nearly 27% had internet access in the survey year, 2014. The proportions were 16% among rural households and 49% of urban households.

• Among persons of age 14-29 years, nearly 18% in rural areas and 49% in urban areas were able to operate a computer.

Rural Expert

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