Muslims' enrolment in higher education dips by 8% while SC, ST, and OBC improvetext_fields
New Delhi: The enrolment of the Muslim community in higher education saw an 8 per cent decline, while the enrolment of SC, ST and OBC students witnessed a commendable growth of 4.2 per cent, 11.9 per cent and 4 per cent respectively, according to the latest findings of the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) for the academic year 2020-21.
According to the AISHE Survey 2020-21, the enrolment of SC students in higher education institutions across the country witnessed a commendable growth of 4.2 per cent compared to the previous academic year.
Similarly, the enrolment of ST students saw a remarkable rise of 11.9 per cent. The AISHE Survey also revealed that the OBC category experienced a moderate growth of 4% in higher education enrolment.
However, the report highlights a concerning decline of 8% in the enrolment of students from the Muslim community. This drop is alarming and raises questions about the barriers faced by Muslim students in accessing higher education.
According to the report, Uttar Pradesh, a state with a Muslim population of approximately 20%, witnessed the most significant decline in higher education enrolment among Muslims, with a staggering decrease of 36%.
Following this, Jammu and Kashmir experienced a decline of 26%, Maharashtra saw a decline of 8.5%, and Tamil Nadu observed a decline of 8.1% in the enrolment of Muslim students in higher education.
Despite a notable increase in the number of colleges in Uttar Pradesh during the year, the enrolment rate of Muslims in the state stands at a meagre 4.5%, as reported by The Hindu.
According to a report published in The Hindu, Kerala is the sole state where Muslims are not at the bottom of the education spectrum. In Kerala, a significant 43% of Muslims pursue higher education.
The underrepresentation of Muslim students in institutes of higher education is mirrored by a similar absence of Muslim teachers. Nationally, teachers from the General Category comprise 56% of the total, while OBC, SC, and ST teachers account for 32%, 9%, and 2.5% respectively. The report highlights that Muslims make up a mere 5.6% of the teaching population.
Before the Assembly election, the previous BJP government in Karnataka had eliminated the 4% reservation for Muslims, despite their significant underrepresentation in higher education.
The report suggests that the notable decline in enrolment, partly attributed to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, highlights the economic challenges faced by the Muslim community. This economic disadvantage compels talented students to enter the job market instead of pursuing higher education starting at the undergraduate level.