Education Trends in India: Recent Census Results in Context

Chapter
Part of the Demographic Transformation and Socio-Economic Development book series (DTSD, volume 5)

Abstract

India has experienced large changes, both relative and absolute, in the education of her population in recent decades. Literacy levels have been steadily rising. During the last decade alone, it is estimated that the number of out-of-school children has been reduced by as much as 17 million. However, not least due to sheer population size, India continues to contribute a large share to global levels of non-enrolment and other areas of concern in global educational development. In particular, while socio-economic and regional inequality are of course also present in other countries, the educational development trajectory of India is something of an outlier among large emerging economies in terms of its persistent and deep polarisation. The present study attempts to trace India’s educational development during recent decades by juxtaposing statistical data from a wide variety of sources, including census aggregates, administrative school statistics, the school census, and various household surveys. With their different underlying education measures (literacy, enrolment, attainment) and different methodologies, complete agreement between these sources cannot be expected. Nevertheless, analysing their points of agreement as well as their inconsistencies can only improve our understanding of the underlying educational trends. Where possible, micro-data are analysed within a household and/or family context, to gain insights on intergenerational transmission of education, and its evolution over time. Results from the most recent 2011 national census are analysed in this context of existing trends. This includes census estimates of literacy rates and their gender differentials.

Notes

Acknowledgement

The author wishes to acknowledge the Indian Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation that provided the data for the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series, International: Version 6.3 [Machine-readable database]. Minneapolis: Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota, 2014.

References

  1. Azam, M., & Kingdon, G. G. (2013). Are girls the fairer sex in India? Revisiting intra-household allocation of education expenditure. World Development, 42, 143–164. doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2012.09.003. Elsevier Ltd.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cárceles, G. (1990). World literacy prospects at the turn of the century: Is the objective of literacy for all by the year 2000 statistically plausible? Comparative Education Review, 34, 4–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chattopadhyay, S. (2009). The market in higher education: Concern for equity and quality. Economic and Political Weekly, 44, 53–61.Google Scholar
  4. Chitnis, S. (1993). Gearing a colonial system of education to take independent India towards development. Higher Education, 26, 21–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Collins, J. (1995). Literacy and literacies. Annual Review of Anthropology, 24, 75–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Desai, S., & Kulkarni, V. (2008). Changing educational inequalities in India in the context of affirmative action. Demography, 45, 245–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dreze, J., & Murthi, M. (2001). Fertility, education, and development: Evidence from India. Population and Development Review, 27, 33–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dyer, C. (1994). Education and the state: Policy implementation in India’s federal polity. International Journal of Educational Development, 14, 241–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Economic and Political Weekly. (2004). Small gains in Bihar. Economic and Political Weekly, 39, 5.Google Scholar
  10. Gopalakrishnan, R., & Sharma, A. (1998). Education guarantee scheme in Madhya Pradesh: Innovative step to universalise education. Economic and Political Weekly, 33, 2546–2551.Google Scholar
  11. Jayachandran, U. (2007). How high are dropout rates in India? Economic and Political Weekly, 42, 982–983.Google Scholar
  12. Jeffrey, C., Jeffery, P., & Jeffery, R. (2004). “A useless thing!” or “nectar of the gods?” The cultural production of education and young men’s struggles for respect in liberalizing north India. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 94, 961–981.Google Scholar
  13. Kingdon, G. G. (1996). Private schooling in India: Size, nature, and equity-effects. Economic and Political Weekly, 31, 3306–3314.Google Scholar
  14. Kingdon, G. G., & Sipahimalani-Rao, V. (2010). Para-teachers in India: Status and impact. Economic and Political Weekly, 45, 59–67. Ministry of Human Resource Development.Google Scholar
  15. Leclercq, F. (2003). Education guarantee scheme and primary schooling in Madhya Pradesh. Economic and Political Weekly, 38, 1855–1869.Google Scholar
  16. Lutz, W., Goujon, A., KC, S., & Sanderson, W. (2007). Reconstruction of populations by age, sex and level of educational attainment for 120 countries for 1970–2000. Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, 193–23.Google Scholar
  17. Mahal, A. (2005). Policy implications of the distribution of public subsidies on health and education: The case of Karnataka, India. Comparative Education Review, 49, 552–574.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Mukhopadhyay, A., & Sahoo, S. (2012). Does access to secondary education affect primary schooling? Evidence from India (Discussion Paper 6507). Bonn: Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).Google Scholar
  19. Nambissan, G. B. (1996). Equity in education? Schooling of Dalit children in India. Economic and Political Weekly, 31, 1011–1024.Google Scholar
  20. PROBE Team, & Delhi School of Economics Centre for Development Economics. (1999). Public report on basic education in India. Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Ramabrahmam, I. (1989). Literacy missions: Receding horizons. Economic and Political Weekly, 24, 2301–2303.Google Scholar
  22. Ramachandran, V. (2006). Literacy and education. Economic and Political Weekly, 41, 4853–4857.Google Scholar
  23. Reddy, V. R., & Nageswara Rao, R. (2003). Primary education: Progress and constraints. Economic and Political Weekly, 38, 1242–1251.Google Scholar
  24. Sadgopal, A. (2010). Right to education vs. right to education act. Social Scientist, 38, 17–50.Google Scholar
  25. Shariff, A., & Ghosh, P. K. (2000). Indian education scene and the public gap. Economic and Political Weekly, 35, 1396–1406.Google Scholar
  26. Siddhu, G. (2010). Can families in rural India bear the additional burden of secondary education? Investigating the determinants of transition (Research Monograph 50). Consortium for Research on Educational Access, Transitions; Equity (CREATE).Google Scholar
  27. Siddhu, G. (2011). Who makes it to secondary school? Determinants of transition to secondary schools in rural India. International Journal of Educational Development, 31, 394–401. doi:10.1016/j.ijedudev.2011.01.008. Elsevier Ltd.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Srivastava, P. (2006). Private schooling and mental models about girls’ schooling in India. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 36, 497–514. doi:10.1080/03057920601024958.Google Scholar
  29. Tilak, J. B. G. (1989). Center-state relations in financing education in India. Comparative Education Review, 33, 450–480.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Tilak, J. B. G. (1997). Five decades of underinvestment in education. Economic and Political Weekly, 32, 2239–2241.Google Scholar
  31. Tilak, J. B. G. (2004a). Free and compulsory education: Legislative intervention. Economic and Political Weekly, 39, 618–620.Google Scholar
  32. Tilak, J. B. G. (2004b). Public subsidies in education in India. Economic and Political Weekly, 39, 343–359.Google Scholar
  33. Tilak, J. B. G. (2006). Cess-driven allocations for education. Economic and Political Weekly, 41, 1331–1333.Google Scholar
  34. Tilak, J. B. G. (2007a). Inclusive growth and education: On the approach to the eleventh plan. Economic and Political Weekly, 42, 22–28.Google Scholar
  35. Tilak, J. B. G. (2007b). Post-elementary education, poverty and development in India. International Journal of Educational Development, 27, 435–445. doi:10.1016/j.ijedudev.2006.09.018.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Tsujita, Y. (2012). Poverty, education and inter-generational mobility in India: A review of the literature. In Y. Tsujita (Ed.), Regional and class disparities in India (pp. 32–60). Chiba: Institute of Development Economics/Japan External Trade Organization (IDE-JETRO).Google Scholar
  37. Vaid, D. (2004). Gendered inequality in educational transitions. Economic and Political Weekly, 39, 3927–3938.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, ÖAW/VID, WU)ViennaAustria

Personalised recommendations