11-Digit UDISE+ School Id is No More Shared with Data Users

By Arun C Mehta, Formerlly Professor of EMIS @ NIEPA, New Delhi
(This note has been prepared from the data-users & researchers point of view)

The UDISE+ 11-Digit School Id

One of the most important features of UDISE since its inception is the allotment of an 11-digit Identification Code to every school covered under it which was said to be unique and was envisaged that the same will neither be replaced nor changed nor the same code will be allotted to another school. In other terms, it was envisaged that each school will have a Unique 11-digit Identification CODE: 2 digits each for States, Districts & Blocks, 3 digits for Village/Wards, and 2 digits for School Sequence which was strictly been followed over a period of time. However, the said 11-digit school ID is no more unique to the data users as the same is no more being shared; instead, they are being provided with a pseudo code and school name which is specified in the Data Sharing Policy of the Department of School Education & Literacy released by the Ministry of Education in September 2020 as described below.

 Actial Vs Pseudo Code & School Name

“Department of School Education & Literacy may, at its discretion, decide to openly publish any data which it feels is required in the interest of transparency or public good. An example of this from the UDISE+ is given at Annexure D (i): Sample School Report Card (Urban) and D (ii): Sample School Report Card (Rural) which shows the school-wise data items which would be available for all users. This will neither reveal UDISE+ code nor school name, but shall carry a pseudo code for each school instead of UDISE+ Code. All data items available in this will be available in bulk form for use as non-sensitive data.” [Source [Data Sharing Policy for School Education and Literacy, Version 1.1, September 2020].

UDISE+ Data Sharing Policy: A Guide to Sharing Education Data in India 2023

It may further be observed that even the pseudo ID is not unique as during the next year’s UDISE+ data collection, the school may be allotted another pseudo-Id. Not sharing unique IDs with researchers may have far-reaching implications and would have an adverse impact on research studies, especially the longitudinal studies being undertaken based on the UDISE data. The Data Sharing Policy of the Ministry of Education has not provided the logic for not sharing/hiding the school Ids with the users and its benefit and impact on the quality and consistency of UDISE+ Data, if any. However, the Unique Id is still attached to the same school and being maintained in the UDISE+ database but due to unknown reasons, it is no more being shared with the data users. Not sharing the school IDs with the data users without proper justification seems illogical. Had the decision to hide school ID was taken in consultation with the Data Users and EMIS Experts or the decision to hide the ID with the researchers has been taken by a few indiviuals? No information in this regard is available in the public domain.

What is the Justification? It is illogical

Many a time, a few indicators such as grade to grade drop out and promotion rates as well as transition and retention rate, etc. are required to be computed based on the common schools. Common schools are the schools which are covered in a year as well as in the previous year. Drop-out rates etc if are not based on common schools may generate an underestimate of the same; unless computed based on the common schools may not be treated as presenting the true picture of retaining capacity of the system; there are a few other such crucial indicators which needs to be generated based on the common schools given which the Ministry of Education must relook into its Data Sharing Policy and may like to provide the user school-specific data with the actual 11-digit Identification Code of each school, not the pseudo ID and dummy name of the school. In addition, the Ministry may also furnish benefits of hiding the school IDs with the data users, if any.

For more details on School Ids, a historical perspective is documented sepearlty.