Introduction to All India Educational Surveys on School Education, Educational Administration and Technical Manpower Information System

Educational Surveys in India 2023

Arun C. Mehta
National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration
17-B, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi- 11 00 16 (INDIA)


Since the advent of planning in India in 1951, the successive Five Year Plans have aimed at improving the living conditions of the people with particular emphasis on improving the lot of socio-economically weaker sections of the society (Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and land-less agricultural labours) and other under-privileged and vulnerable population groups (such as, women, children physically handicapped persons) in need of social sector (Singh, 1988) which led to a growing demand for much more data. It was realised that the available statistics from the official agencies was not adequate enough to develop reliable educational plans.

For example, detailed numeric data on students and teachers were not available and were inadequate to undertake in-depth studies. Practically, no data was available on schooling facilities in rural areas and in habitations and also the distance of school from the habitation and facilities available in schools to fulfill constitutional obligation to provide free and compulsory education to all children up to the age fourteen. Similarly, information on a number of other variables required for making educational plans both at the macro and micro levels were also not available. At the same time, it was also emphasised that the requisite information is not required on an annual basis and even, it is made available periodically would serve the purpose.

Therefore, it was decided at that time to collect information on selected items periodically, so that the same may coincide with those of the plan periods. The information required was grouped under the following three headings:

Selected items on school education with focus on access and infrastructural facilities in schools;

  • Information which is administrative in nature and related to inspection and supervision of educational programmes; and
  • Information related to availability of technical and manpower personnel in the country.

The Present Article

With the above in the background, in the present article, the following surveys/agencies have been discussed in detail with particular reference to their objectives, coverage, scope, publications and limitations. However, it may be noted that the Department of Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) remains the main agency responsible for collection of information on educational variables on regular basis which are mainly quantitative in nature and covers information on institutions, teachers, enrolment and income and expenditure on education (Mehta, 1995).

  1. All India Educational Survey (NCERT)
  2. All India Educational Administration Survey (NIEPA) and
  3. National Technical Manpower Information System (IAMR)

All India Educational Survey (NCERT)

The responsibility of collecting information on variables relating to schools was entrusted to the then Ministry of Education and Culture but later the task was taken over by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) in year 1965 when it conducted Second All-India Educational Survey (Box 1).

Thereafter, all the remaining educational surveys were conducted by the NCERT in collaboration with the State Governments. Over a period of time, a lot of changes have been taken place both in terms of its coverage and methodology adopted in collection and dissemination of educational statistics but they all have an important common objective of providing the basic data needed for planning additional facilities to attain the status of `Education for All’ in the country.

Exceptionally in the Third survey, all sectors of education, namely, school, higher and technical education were covered but in all other surveys information related to only school education were collected and disseminated. The First All India Educational Survey was conducted by the Ministry in the year 1957 in collaboration with the NCERT. The main objective of this survey was to identify rural habitations without schooling facilities. Though, decennial population according to habitation, village, district and state was available through regular Census operations but the same was not available for the year in which a particular survey was conducted. Therefore, the survey collected its own data from the habitations itself but adequate attention was paid so that the same do not deviate significantly from the figures provided by the Census actuaries.

These surveys gave enough indication about the availability of schooling facilities habitation-wise and also percentage of rural population served by the schooling facilities in their vicinity so that opening and upgradation of schools can be properly planned in the year which follows survey. But over a period of time, the survey couldn’t cope-up with the plan year and the time-lag increased with each successive survey. However, there is no doubt that these surveys have thrown a lot of valuable data which is of immense use to both Educational Planners and Policy Makers. Srivastava (1988) discussed the objectives of each educational survey conducted up to year 1987 which are briefly summarised below.

The main objective of the First survey conducted by the Ministry was to identify and enumerate all distinct habitations in the country, as well as, education institutions up to school level and also the habitations served by them. The date of reference of the survey was March 31, 1957 so as to use survey data for planning school education.

So far as the utilisation of data is concerned, it was mainly used to know the habitations unserved by the primary schooling facilities within a reasonably walking distance and also to prepare locational plans to identify where new schools are to be opened. With a gap of about eight years, the Second survey was conducted in 1965 with December 31 as its date of reference but its scope was wider than the First survey. The main objective, apart from studying the condition of schools in terms of their staff, student and physical facilities, was to revise and update the data collected in the First survey with an aim to prepare `District Development Plans’ to locate new schools.

The scope of the Third survey was much more wider and comprehensive than the first two surveys in the sense that other components, such as, higher education, educational administration and technical education were also included in the survey. The date of reference of the Third survey was December 31, 1978. The responsibility of collecting information on higher education was entrusted to University Grants Commission (UGC) whereas National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA) was given the responsibility of educational administration and

Box 1
All-India Educational Surveys: Date of Reference

Survey Agency Date of Reference
First Survey Ministry March 31, 1957
Second Survey NCERT December 31, 1965
Third Survey NCERT December 31, 1973
Forth Survey NCERT September 30, 1978
Fifth Survey NCERT September 30, 1986
Sixth Survey NCERT September 30, 1993

Institute of Applied Manpower Research (IAMR) of technical education. Again, updating and revision of statistics collected in the Second survey was one of the main objective but a number of new proformae were evolved and implemented to gather information on variables of vital importance. Such variables were hostel, building, playground, library, laboratory, incentive schemes (free uniforms, mid-day meal and text-books), teachers and finance.

In the next survey, not only the date of reference was changed to September 30 but gap between the two surveys was also reduced to five years from the existing eight years, data through this survey was made available for year 1978-79. No significant change, in terms of its coverage, was noticed and again the main objective was to revise the statistics collected during the previous survey. The period between the two surveys was again changed to eight years when Fifth survey was conducted in the year 1986 with September 30 as its date of reference.

The main objective of this survey was to assess the facilities available in the primary schools and also to collect detailed information on teachers so as the information generated can be viewed in the light of National Policy of Education (1986). The latest Sixth survey was conducted in 1993 to collect information as on September 30 which shows a gap of about seven years as compared to earlier five/eight years. The main objectives of the survey were as follows ( NCERT, 1993):

  • to assess the present position of educational facilities at various school stages in respect of (i) coverage of the school-going population (ii) the distance to be covered by a child to reach school and (iii) enrolment in general and of SC and ST children and girls in particular with special reference to UEE;
  • to assess the position of educational inputs, like, blackboard and chalk, library, laboratory, textbook bank etc;
  • to assess the availability of physical facilities, like school building, playground, furnitures, etc;
  • to assess the availability of basic amenities, like medical check-up, drinking water, urinals etc;
  • to identity incentive schemes and the number of beneficiaries;
  • to know about the academic and professional qualifications of working teachers with special reference to teaching of science and mathematics, and to determine attrition rate in the teaching profession;
  • to assess the availability of other educational facilities like, non-formal education, education for disabled children and pre-primary education;
  • to create databases on the variables of Sixth survey that can be shared by different agencies and
  • to develop MIS to be maintained and updated on an annual basis at various levels of administration.

The methodology adopted in the Sixth survey in terms of its organisation, coverage, flow of information, training, limitations and dissemination is presented below in detail.

(i) Coverage and Organisation

All the previous surveys except the present one were based on the complete enumeration of all the educational institutions and as its name suggests All-India Educational Survey, no information was collected on sample basis.

However, for the first time in the history of All-India Educational Surveys, both the methodologies, namely, complete enumeration and sample survey have been employed in the latest Sixth survey for which eight structured questionnaires were developed as a survey tools (Box 2). It was planned to collect information on sample basis from schools to know medium of instructions and languages taught, grade-wise repetition rates and monitoring improvement programmes.

Keeping in view the time-lag in earlier surveys, it was decided to use computers for information processing so that the time-lag be reduced for which the services of National Informatics Centre (NIC) were utilised. Earlier, during the Third survey unsuccessful attempts were made to partially tabulate and computerise the survey data but due to a number of problems, it was decided not to use computers in successive surveys. Hence, for the first time, it was a joint venture of MHRD, NCERT and NIC at the Central level and Education Department at the State level.

So far as the coverage of the survey is concerned all the States and Union Territories were covered and all the proformae mentioned above were canvassed. The main activities of the survey were concentrated at the District, State and National level.

The survey was conducted under the over-all guidance of two committees, namely, Steering and Advisory Committees constituted for the purpose. The role of these committees was to monitor the progress and to provide administrative and academic support. The Steering Committee was chaired by the Union Education Secretary while the Director (NCERT) was the Chairman of the the Advisory Committee. Those who were involved in data collection, data users, educationists and sample survey experts were the members of both these committees.

To conduct survey, District Survey Units (DSU) were established in all the revenue districts of the country except those in the Union Territories. But at the block level, no separate structure was created and work was handled by the Block Education Officers. At the State and Union Territory, a State Survey Unit was established with State Survey Officer as its incharge. At the National level, though NCERT was the responsible for the coordination and management of the survey but Department of Education, MHRD and NIC were also actively involved in the conduct of the survey. All the work relating to computerisation, such as, development of software, data entry, generation of graphs, charts, diagrams and tables was entrusted to NIC. NIC was also involved in the training programmes conducted for survey functionaries at different levels.

In the Sixth survey, about ten thousand Survey Officers were involved in the management and execution of collection and computerisation of data. So far as the organisational aspects of the survey is concerned, the functionaries at the block level had a crucial role to play but keeping in view the expertise available at the block level and involvement of block functionaries in a number of other tasks do not suggest that they are competent enough to handle the enormous task efficiently. However, the tasks assigned to them included other than to receive blank forms from District Survey Officer (DSO) and distribute them to head of the institutions and Patwari, scrutiny of all the filled-in proforma and reconciliation of discrepancies pointed out by the Data Entry Agency.

Among others, the main responsibility of District Survey Unit was scrutiny of five per cent of filled-in proforma. Similarly, apart from coordination and management, State Survey Unit was entrusted to scrutiny one per cent of filled-in proformae and reconciliation of inconsistencies, if during computer validation stage some thing abnormal is noticed

Box 2
Survey Tools: Sixth All-India Educational Survey

Form Respondent
Village Information Form All Villages
Urban Information Form All Urban Areas
School Information Form-1 All Recognised Schools
School Information Form-2 Sampled Schools (SS)
Teacher Information Form All Teachers of SS
Educational Finance From All Districts
Educational Statistics- A Flash All CD Blocks/Urban Areas
College Information Form All Degree Colleges with Classes XI and XII

(ii) The Respondents

The respondent of different forms vary from form to form which mainly depends upon the objectives of a particular form for which it is developed. For example, Village Form was canvassed to each and every village which is listed in 1991 Census or even the new villages came into being after 1991 Census have also been included in the survey.

Generally, the Village Form was responded by the School Teacher/Head Teacher who were helped by the Village Patwari and knowledgeable person of the village. School Form-1 was canvassed to all recognised schools and independent Junior/Intermediate Colleges.

But School Form-2 was canvassed to only sample recognised schools and independent colleges to obtain information on special variables mentioned above and was responded by the Principal/Headmaster of the school or independent college. Like School Form-2, Teacher Information Form was filled up by all the teachers of the sample schools. Whereas, Educational Finance Form was canvassed at the district level and the respondent was the District Survey Officer. Based on the Village, School and College forms, the aggregated data was supplied by the Block Education Officer in a form, entitled Educational Statistics – A Flash on priority basis to next higher survey authority.

(iii) Training

For successful implementation of any survey, training of those involved in conduct of survey plays an important role. In the Sixth survey, due attention was paid to training and it was imparted to functionaries at different levels of operation. For example, a three days training was proposed at the state level to District Survey Officers (DSO), Assistant Survey Officers (ASO) and Statistical Assistants.

The trained DSO will in turn imparted a two days training to Block Education Officers and Principal of Central Schools, Sainik Schools and Navodaya Vidhayalaya for which they received help from the NCERT and NIC. So far as the contents of the training at the State level is concerned topics like, duties and role of DSO/ASO in conduct of survey, discussion on survey tools, coding procedure, manual scrutiny of the filled-in forms, maintenance of records and registers, despatch of filled-in forms to Data Entry Agency and data validation on computer were envisaged to discuss which seems to be very ambitious in a programme of three days.

The same themes with particular reference to information at the block level except that of data validation on computers were envisaged to cover in two days training at the district level. Since, the detailed report of the survey operations is not yet available, it is not known how much training was actually imparted at different levels.

(iv) Flow of Information

Before the conduct of Sixth survey, the method of collection and consolidation of educational statistics was same as that of the regular collection of statistics by the Department of Education, MHRD. It was a usual practice to tabulate information manually at the block level which in turn was aggregated at the district, state and national level.

The manual system was time consuming and chances of errors in terms of information loss was also high. Therefore as mentioned above, the NIC computer facilities available at different levels were utilised for data processing, tabulation and dissemination of information. In the modified method of information collection, it was envisaged that information from the district would directly flow to national level through NIC computers. One of the unique distinction between survey and the official methodology of collecting information is the basic unit on which information is collected.

In the MHRDs collection, the basic unit is generally the institution but in the survey, it is habitation according to which information is collected. Apart from the habitations, some information in the survey is also collected according to school as its basic unit.

(v) Provisional Statistics

In the latest survey, the following information has already been disseminated in a document titled Sixth All-India Educational Survey -Provisional Statistics released recently by the Minister of Human Resource Development. Initially, the Provisional Statistics was planned to released in May 1994 but the same could be released only in November 1995.

If the past trend is any indication, it is unlikely that the entire survey statistics would be available in the near future. The information generated in the provisional volume is presented for all the States/Union Territories and a country as a whole and for the first time, it is also made available on NIC terminals and on computer floppies.

As mentioned, information on the following variables have been made available which, as mentioned, is generated through a proforma, Educational Statistics – A Flash. Progress has also been presented since the previous Fifth survey is conducted in 1987. Thus, state-wise information on the following variables is available through this publication though reliability of statistics disseminated is questioned by many data users (Mehta, 1996).

  • Educational facilities in rural habitations
  • Schools in rural and urban areas
  • Class-wise enrolment
  • Enrolment in rural and urban areas
  • Gross enrolment ratio
  • Percentage of girls enrolment in rural and urban areas
  • Teachers in rural and urban areas and
  • Female teachers in rural and urban areas.

(vi) Dissemination Plan

Apart from the provisional statistics, a number of other publications based on Sixth survey has also been planned to release both at the State and All India level. It is expected that all the states would publish their own State Survey Report which would also include district-wise information. The second phase of the publication would be undertaken after completion of data entry and validation in case of all the States & Union Territories.

The main report of the survey which was planned to release in early 1996 (not released till December, 1996) would contain detailed information aggregated from the Village and School schedules (Box 3). Analysis on some aspects relating to teachers and women education is also expected to be released separately.

Thus a time-series at four points of time commencing from Third survey to present Sixth survey is expected to be available to data users for detailed analysis. However, it may be noted that information relating to earlier surveys at the district level is not readily available to users as the same was not properly disseminated (Mehta, 1993) and available at a single place.

(vii) Limitations

Despite few gaps, the information generated through different All India Educational Surveys is of significant nature in the sense that the same is not available from any other agency. Also, it provides an important clue to know intricacies of Education for All in the country in terms of its coverage and infrastructural facilities available in schools. Some of these limitations are highlighted below.

(a) It is of general practice that survey collects data from institutions, aggregate them at the block and district levels but disseminate information only at the State and National level which means a lot of information is lost in the process of aggregation.

The information at the district is left to the states for its dissemination. But the past experience shows that the same is not uniformly disseminated and also the date of dissemination vary from state to state. Thus, there is need to properly develop district level dissemination plan so that the same is made available in a single document may be on selected items and should also be available on NIC terminals installed at the district headquarters.

While disseminating information, user should not be forgotten as was the practice for the last many years. The information generation is for users and of the users. The Dessmination plan should be in accordance to data needs of educational planners, policy makers, researchers and other data users and for that purpose a periodical urvey should be conducted to collect their needs. The, sound

Items Covered in Sixth All-India Educational Survey

  • Enumeration of every distinct habitation
  • Enumeration of every recognised primary,upper primary secondary and higher secondary school
  • Habitations with and without schooling facilities primary, upper primary and secondary stage
  • Schooling facilities at various school stages habitations predominantly populated by SC/ST population
  • Unrecognised schools in rural areas
  • Availability of physical facilities in schools
  • Minority community schools
  • Languages and medium of instructions
  • Gradeiwse enrolment and repeaters (Total, SC, ST)
  • Teachers (stagewise) working in schools, their academicand professional qualification with
  • special reference toscience and mathematics teachers
  • Attrition of teachers
  • Academic inputs like, laboratories, library etc. available in the schools relevant to various stages
  • Integrated educational programmes for disabled children
  • Availability of resendential accommodation for teachers
  • Pre-primary schools
  • Non-formal education centres
  • Health/Physical facilities in schools and
  • Educational finance.

Source: NCERT (1993), New Delhi.

dissemination plan would ensure that a user get both hard and soft copies of information so that he/she can manipulate data according to his/her own requirements.

(b) It has also been observed that training imparted to those involved in the survey work is inadequate and generally it takes place only at the time of survey and also no training is ensured on regular basis. Since the gap between the two surveys is very long, it may not be possible to involve the same Survey Officers again in the next survey which otherwise can immensely help in conducting the survey.

It has been observed that the State Survey Officers in a majority of states also manage Educational Management Information System (EMIS) which may adversely affect the quality of information so generated. Even though, the deviation noticed between the survey and official enrolment statistics at the elementary level is of the tune of about 16.3 million (Mehta, 1996). In fact, the responsibility of survey work at the state level should be entrusted to some other agency other than the State Officers who manage EMIS.

(c) May be due to corresponding plan periods, the time period between the two surveys is not uniform but that has certainly affected the quality of the time-series produced. One of the other limitations of the survey statistics is that the same is not disseminated in time and on an average a time-lag of about five to six years has been noticed between its date of reference and date of release which makes the statistics less utilised. The corresponding Five Year Plan for which the survey was initially planned even couldn’t use the statistics which is otherwise collected for it.

(d) During the two surveys, a lot of progress takes place in a country like ours but the next set of the statistics would be generated only after a gap of about seven to eight years which means use of out-dated statistics for next many years. Thus, the time period between the two surveys needs to be reduced to at least five years as planned and should strictly in confirmation with the corresponding five year plans and should be ready well in advance before the pre-plan activities are initiated.

(e) So far as the availability of educational facilities are concerned a good amount of information is now available over a period of time but hardly any data is available on their utilisation which should be incorporated in any future survey of this nature, as its significance cannot be overlooked any further especially when the focus at present is on quality of education and learners achievement and indicators of classroom interventions and school effectiveness.

(f) A number of indicators can be computed, if grade-wise enrolment is available for at least two consecutive years. The computation of these indicators is based on the Student Cohort Analysis and are useful to know the internal efficiency of the education system. Input/output and wastage ratio, cohort survival and drop-out rates and amount of wastage on account of drop-out and repetition are some of the efficiency related indicators which should be computed separately for boys/girls, rural/urban, SC/ST and general population and can be used in planning exercises at different levels. In the absence of two years data from survey sources, the indicators mentioned above cannot be computed which are otherwise very important to know the efficiency level of an educational system.

Similarly, in the absence of grade-wise enrolment for two consecutive years, it is not possible to know future course of enrolment which is otherwise must for reliable planning at any level. Since, the official data on grade-wise enrolment is available at a time-lag of about five to six years, the same along with survey data cannot be used in enrolment projection exercises. Better, it would be to collect and disseminate enrolment (grade-wise) statistics at least for two consecutive years. Even, if the official grade-wise enrolment is available for the adjacent year, the same cannot be utilised in projection exercises, as a significant deviation has been noticed in both set of the statistics (Mehta, 1996).

(g) So far as the retention (or drop-out) rate is concerned, the user is relied upon the official source because of the non- availability of the indicator from the All India Educational Surveys. Due to frequent changes in time period between the two surveys, it is not possible to compute the indicator in any meaningful form. The indicator has its own significance and the progress of any programme/project relating to UPE/UEE/EFA cannot be judged efficiently, unless drop-out rate at different levels is available. In-built procedures would have been developed to produce retention rate at the elementary level as the last survey was conducted in the year 1986-87 and the present one in 1993-94 which means those who have taken admission in Grade I in year 1986-87 would have reached to Grade VIII after a period of eight years in 1993-94.

(B) All India Educational Administration Survey: NIEPA

Ever since the country got independence in 1947, a lot progress is made in all spheres of education field but the system of educational administration and supervision remained more or less unchanged. A large number of committees and commissions including the Kothari Commission (1966) recommended that educational administration in India should be modernised and strengthened. In the light of these recommendations, the Ministry of Education decided to conduct a survey of educational administration in all the States and UTs and the responsibility to conduct survey was entrusted to then National Staff College for Educational Planners and Administrators which is now renamed as NIEPA.

The First Survey on Educational Administration in India was conducted in year 1973-74 as a part of Third All India Educational Survey conducted by the NCERT. The survey was first of its kind which yielded comprehensive information about the administrative structure of Indian education with a focus on set-up and functioning of governmental machinery at different levels. The other objective of the survey was to analyse the data, generated mainly through a set of questionnaires, with the intention of bridging the gap between planning and implementation.

The survey covered formal and non-formal, full-time and part-time and governmental and non-governmental activities covering from pre-primary up to post-graduate and research levels. The all-India volume of the survey was also published but its date of reference was September 1, 1975 (December 31, 1973 being the corresponding date of reference of NCERT survey).

A compact volume of educational organograms was also brought out which covered educational structures of all the States/UTs at different levels. The survey report of the last state could be published in the late seventies which shows time-lag in information collected and information disseminated.

For about twenty years (1973 to 1991), no survey on educational administration was conducted though a number of innovative programmes, practices and policies including NPE (1986) and its revised Policy Formulations (1992) and Programme of Action were initiated which improved the inspection and supervision procedure of the educational programmes to a great extent. Between the intervening period, NCERT conducted its educational surveys in years 1978 and 1986.

The Second All India Educational Administration Survey could be conducted only in the year 1990-91 but reports of only few states are made available. However, the scope of survey was enlarged and the structures, systems, processes, functions, challenges and innovative tasks which have been carried-out in educational administration in general and school education in particular have been thoroughly studied in the survey.


More specifically, the main objectives of the Second All India Educational Administration Survey were:

  • to understand the present status of educational administration in terms of structures, systems and processes at various levels;
  • to study the experiments, innovations and changes; and
  • to identify major issues and future tasks of educational planning and management.

In order to conduct survey, information was collected at different levels, such as, Secretariat, Directorate and Inspectorate level. In addition, educational institutions under different managements and departments including those of the Education Department were gathered and analysed mainly at the school level. However, technical, professional and higher education have not included in the survey. On the basis of sample survey, information was gathered at different levels and institutions mentioned above for which three structured questionnaires, namely, state level, area level and institutional level were developed and canvassed in the field.

A framework was designed to select a sample by the Multistage Purposive Sampling Technique, covering at least 10 per cent of the total number of districts adequately representing each State/UT of the country. However, considering the time and feasibility aspects, only one out of every fifteen districts in each State/UT was selected on the basis of it being the most representative and from each district thus selected two representative blocks, that is, one rural and the other urban, were taken for the study (State Survey Reports, NIEPA). Similarly, a representative sample of schools of different types was selected from each of the sampled district/block.

In addition, information from secondary sources was also utilised and discussions on related issues and problems in meetings, workshops and seminars also helped to understand educational administration at different levels. Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Goa, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim and Tripura are some of the states of which the Second survey published reports are available. Reports of Assam, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh and Meghalaya are expected to be released soon.

Information and Communication System was one of the eleven chapters presented in the First srvey report. The other chapters were on: general background of a state, educational legislation, educational organisation and administration, institutional administration, personnel administration, educational planning, administration of physical resources, supervision and inspection, financial administration and problems and issues which were supported by a number of appendices.

More or less, the majority of chapters are retained in the Second survey report but few chapters such as on, educational policies and programmes, role of local bodies, educational programmes for disadvantaged groups, academic support system, institutional planning and management and prospects for the future are added to previous version. A variety of indicators of educational development and a select bibliography is also added which is of a significant nature and provides useful information to user at a single place.

In the present article, administration of educational information system in three states, namely, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Kerala is critically analysed for which survey reports mentioned above have been extensively utilised.

(I) Madhya Pradesh

The department concerned with the over-all planning in the state was responsible for collection of information on all sectors of economy including those of the Education Department and hence, there was no seperate machinery for data collection work at the secretariat level. But at the directorate level, elaborate set-up was created for data collection and dissemination which was headed by a Deputy Director of Education who was assisted by one Assistant Director, five Statistical Assistants and Statistical Clerks. In each of the ten divisions, the work of data collection was being handled by one Assistant Statistician-cum-Planning Officer which was assisted by one Statistical Clerk for the purpose of collection and compilation of the data. Provision of one Statistical Clerk was also made in each of the then 45 districts which was considered inadequate.

The collection work was mainly based on the forms received from the Ministry but the State Directorate also added some items for its own use which is still collected under the All India Educational Survey conducted by the NCERT. The periodicity of the collection was annual and it was collected through Divisional Superintendents of Education and the DEOs. It was realised at that time that the statistical machinery in the state, especially at the district and divisional levels were not adequate and needs to be further strengthened as it was unable to handle the large amount of data that has to be collected. Hence, it was recommended that more responsible posts should be created both at the district and divisional levels.

The information collected was disseminated by the Directorate of Education through its publication, namely, Educational Statistics which contained important statistics of educational institutions in the state. The state did not have any feedback system so that it can receive problems and experiences from the field to the headquarters of the education department.

It seems from the Second survey report that statistical machinery both at the divisional and district level has been adequately strengthened in the intermediary period (Box 4). In place of Deputy Director, the statistical work at the directorate level is now being looked after by a Joint Director of Statistics who is assisted by one Deputy Director, one Assistant Director, Seven Assistant Statistical Officers, two UDC and one LDC. Similarly a post of Planning Officer was also created who is assisted by Assistant Statistical Officer and one each UDC and LDC. At the divisional level, the data is being collected through the Joint Director and through Deputy Director at the district level.

The directorate of Public Instructions brings outs publication from time to time, Educational Statistics remained the main publication on education. In addition, the DPI also brought out publication based on the Fifth All India Educational Survey in 1989 which contained district level information for all the districts of the state. The main collection is based on the following four type of forms; (a) schedule of returns (b) prescribed forms (c) census records and (d) periodical return.

At the time of the first survey in 1979, the tabulation and compilation work was carried out either manually or with the help of calculators. But the state has now adopted computerised system of data tabulation and analysis for which they adopted a software, namely, COPE developed jointly by the MHRD and NIEPA to collect data on primary education.

The computers are installed and being utilised in the directorate as well as in case of some districts. But still, the state is facing the problem of time-lag in dissemination of educational statistics for one or the other reason for which computers need to be installed in all the remaining districts of the state. Under the DPEP programme, the state is separately developing computerised EMIS in all the nineteen districts covered under the programme for which grants are received from the Government of India through the donor agencies.

(ii) Punjab

Compared to Madhya Pradesh, information relating to statistical system presented in the First Survey report of Punjab was not elaborate. The Directorate of Education was responsible for data collection work where a Statistical Branch, headed by a Statistical Officer, was created for the purpose. The Statistical Officer was being assisted by one General Assistant, three Statistical Assistants, four Computers, one Draftsman and one Clerk. The forms supplied by the Ministry of

Strength of Statistical Machinery in Madhya Pradesh

First Survey (1976) Second Survey (1991)
Directorate Level
Deputy Director(1) Joint Director(1)
Assistant Director(1) Deputy Director(1)
Statistical Assistant(5) Assistant Director(1)
Statistical Clerks(10) Assistant Statistical Officer(7), UDC(2), LDC(1)
Divisional Level

Source NSCEPA (1976)

NIEPA (1994)

(Education were in use for collecting information. The DPI used to publish annual reports of the progress and activities of the department. At the time of Second survey in Punjab, the statistical machinery at the Directorate level was still under the charge of a Statistical Officer. In the Office of DEO, there was one Officer in charge of statistics. At the block level, no seperate staff had been provided but the BEO was given the responsibility of data collection work.

The present machinery for collection and dissemination of information, as it seems is inadequate which often delays dissemination of information. The schools did not have enough stationery and storage facilities. Most of the schools were understaffed and often, even without any non-teaching staff.

The Department started use of computers in 1990 when it installed computers in Directorate of Colleges and Secondary Education for compilation and supply of all type of information. Due to lack of adequate contingency funds/traveling allowances and shortage of ministerial staff, it was not possible to transmit the compiled data on time to higher authorities.

A study conducted by NIEPA (1984) on modernisation of educational administration in the state recommended that the state should develop an Integrated Educational Management Information System but till recently no such steps have been initiated in this direction. There is substantial gap found between the collection and publication of data, as the data collection which was prompted in 1973-74 and was printed well in time became somewhat slow in 1989-90 and its printing was also delayed.

(Iiv) Kerala

Like other states, Kerala too did not have seperate machinery for data collection on education at the Secretariat level. The work relating to data collection, processing and dissemination was being looked after by the Statistical Unit of the Directorate of Public Instructions.

The unit was headed by the Statistical Officer who was assisted by two Research Officers and some of the Assistants drawn from the Statistics Department of the State Government. The Deputy Director incharge of Planning and the Survey Officer of the DPI were also concerned with the collection and dissemination of educational statistics. Proposal for the establishment of Statistical Cell in each of the eleven administrative districts was under consideration of the State Government. The formats provided by the Ministry of Education and Welfare were being utilised for data collection and the DPI used to disseminate some of the information it collected through its periodicals. In the intermediary periods between the two surveys, the post of Incharge Statistical Unit was upgraded to the level of a Joint Director (Box 5) who was assisted by two Research Officers. The office of the DEO collects data and information through nine annual statements of which three related to statistical information on institutions.

On an average, the DEO has to submit about 95 statements as compared to 73 forms, a secondary school has to submit to next higher level. The Statistics Cell started regular dissemination through its annual publications, namely, Educational Statistics and Administration Report of General Education. Computer was not been used as the same was not available in the DPI. Keeping in view the time-lag in the data which is mainly due to inadequate staff both at the directorate and district levels, the existing machinery needs to be further strengthened. Since, four districts of the state are presently covered under the DPEP programme, the process of developing an EMIS has already been started.

From the above discussion, it emerges that in most of the states, the work relating to data collection is being looked after by the Directorate of Education and no seperate set-up has been created at the Secretariat level. Over time, though information machinery has been strengthened at all levels, namely, Directorate, Divisional and the District level but the situation is still far from the satisfactory. More specifically, the staffing pattern at the district level is inadequate which perhaps is the main reason of delay in collection and dissemination of information.

Though, all the three states studied disseminate some educational statistics but their coverage and frequency is not readily available so as the utilisation. Computerisation of the information system, as it looks today, is the major challenge before the states and different initiatives taken in order to develop an EMIS are still at the initial stage.

(C) Technical Manpower Information System: IAMR

During 1960’s, it was realised that the country has a surplus manpower which was in shortage in 1950’s. It was as early as in the year 1966, when it was first felt to develop a technical manpower information system. Under the Sixth Plan (year 1984), the Government of India set-up a National Technical Manpower Information System (NTMIS) with following as its main objectives (Dasgupta, 1988):

  • to estimate short and long term requirement of different categories of engineering and technical manpower in different fields with branches of specialisation;
  • to estimate supply of different categories of engineering and technical manpower on the basis of existing intake and out-turn figures;
  • to estimate and anticipate gaps in demand and supply position in the present and the future years;
  • to collect and analyse data to match job requirements with facilities for education and training;
  • to provide forecasts about adequacy of manpower equirements in the future years and consequently about the adequacy of the current enrolment rate and
  • to undertake studies for assessment of future needs for giving indications about the specialised areas and fields requirement urgent attention for expansion of facilities for education and training.

The responsibility of collection of data was entrusted to Institute of Applied Manpower Research (IAMR). Though, the headquarters of NTMIS is located in national capital but it has twenty one nodal centers which are set up in different parts of the country. Further, there are four zonal centers located in four regions of the country i.e. Eastern, Western, Northern and Southern regions. Every nodal centre is provided with a computer of its own and these centers collect all relevant information regarding technical manpower in their area and thus form a complete data base.

The data generated by the nodal centers regarding various states is supplied to the central body of NTMIS in the form of computer disks. The central body on the basis of data supplied by the state centers generates data at the national level. The lead centre of NTMIS, on the basis of the data supplied by the nodal centers generates data base at the national level. All the nodal centers of NTMIS are well connected to the lead centre but the networking of nodal centers in communication is rather weak. All the relevant data regarding the technical manpower of the states is also kept in the nodal centers in various states and it can be used by the state as well as by any other organisation.

The POA (1992) envisaged that All India Council for Technical Education will take over the scheme of NTMIS during 1992-93 and take urgent steps, with the help of Government and non-Government institutions, organisations and professional societies for developing and maintaining a current data base for the planning and development of technical education in the most effective manner.

It will also launch schemes for coordination between the Technology Information Forecasting and Assessment Council and NTMIS and also prepare a national directory of occupations and fixing intake level with the help of higher technical institutions, professional bodies and industry. `Manpower Profile-India Year Book’ is the main publication of IAMR which is latest available for year 1995.


The discussion presented above reveals that as envisaged, the process of collecting information on all the three identified areas, namely, school education, educational administration and technical manpower was started but the date of reference and periodicity vary from survey to survey. On the one hand, six all-India educational surveys were conducted since 1957 but only two surveys on educational administration are conducted that too a gap of more than twenty years.

Despite time-lag and un-even gap between the two surveys, no doubt the All India Educational Surveys conducted by the NCERT has thrown enormous amount of vital information which is otherwise not available from any other agency. If available on time, the survey data can be of immense use to both planners and policy makers so that reliable educational plans can be formulated at different levles. Despite certain limitations in terms of its coverage and dissemination, information relating to infrastructure and ancillary facilities available in schools,

National Technical Manpower Information System
Flow Items

  • Annual Out-turn
  • Return from other states of graduates after completing education
  • Return to other states after completing education in the state under consideration
  • Migration to other states for job or education
  • Flow into academic sector for job
  • Flow into academic sector for further studies
  • Flow into economic sectors
  • Graduate drop-out from advanced programme
  • Flow of graduates after completing education in the home state and other states
  • Flow of graduates after completing education in their respective home states into the state

Stock Items

  • Enrolment for education in a course yielding the graduates under consideration
  • Number of graduates working as teachers
  • Number of graduates studying for higher qualifications
  • Number of graduates working in the academic sector, not as teacher
  • Number of graduates in the pool of unemployed
  • Number of graduates employed in different economic sectors
  • Number of Technical persons employed in different economic sectors
  • Total employment, output and capital in different economic sectors


Desired output in different economic sectors

Desired Programmes in the Colleges Regarding

  • Research/Consultancy
  • Continuing Educational Programmes

Other Desired Changes Like

  • Changes in Teacher/Pupil Ratio
  • Changes in Degree/Diploma Ratio
  • R/D activities within establishments

Programmes under Strategic Thrust Areas Like

  • Space Programmes,Communication/Computerisation/Electronics/Special Energy-atomic, bio and other Non-onventional Programmes

Source: A.K.Dasgupta (1988).

access, age-grade matrix, teachers attrition rate etc. are some of the important variables on which information has been generated through surveys. The limitations identified above in no way undermined the importance of the statistics so generated over a period of time. However, if information collected is disseminated on time and block is identified as a basic unit of dissemination, the same would be more meaningful in the context of disaggregated target setting which at present is in the focus.

So far as the All India Educational Administration Survey conducted by the NIEPA is concerned, for a majority of states the survey reports are still pouring in. The reference year of the survey was 1990-91 which means initiatives to conduct next survey should have been started by now but keeping in view the existing backlog, it is not expected that the same would be conducted in the near future.

Further, it has been observed that a seperate unit has been established in the Institute of Applied Manpower Research with the sole objective of collecting information on technical manpower in the country. Keeping in view the type of information generated through NTMIS, it can be concluded that the same is useful for manpower planning which can be further utilised in more meaningful manner when NTMIS would come under the All India Council of Technical Education as was envisaged in the National Policy of Education (1992).


· Dasgupta, A.K (1988), `India’s Educational Statistics’, paper presented in the Second Seminar on Social Statistics, CSO, New Delhi, February 4-6.

· Mehta, Arun C. (1993), `A Note on Educational Statistics in India’, Journal of Educational Planning and Administration, VII(1), pp 105-17, January, New Delhi.

· Mehta, Arun C. (1995), `Education For All in India- Myth and Reality’, Kanishka Publishers and Distributors, Delhi.

· Mehta, Arun C. (1996), `Reliability of Educational Data in theContext of NCERT Survey’, Journal of Educational Planning and Administration, NIEPA, New Delhi, July.

· MHRD (1986 & 1992), National Policy on Education, New Delhi, Government of India.

· MHRD (1986 & 1992), NPE : Programme of Action (Revised), New Delhi, Government of India.

· NCERT (1993), Sixth All India Educational Survey (Guidelines for Survey Officers), New Delhi..

· NIEPA, Educational Administration in Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Punjab : Structure, Processes and Prospects for the Future, Vikash Publishing House, New Delhi (different volumes & years).

· Singh, L.S.U.P.B, (1988), `Role of Household Surveys in Collection and Compilation of Social Statistics’, paper presented in the Second Seminar on Social Statistics, C.S.O, February 4-6, New Delhi.

· Srivastava, A.B.L.,(1988), `Coverage and Quality of Data from All India Survey’, paper presented in the Second seminar on Social Statistics, CSO, February 4-6, New Delhi.

UDISE Publications

Data on Higher Education

Official Website of AIHES,

Department of Higher Education, MoE

Forty Years of Arun C Mehta at NIEPA: 1980 to 2019 (e-Book)

Forty years of Arun C Mehta at NIEPA: 1980 to 2019

Times of India, New Delhi, 21st September 2021

UDISE, Interview of Prof. Arun C Mehta in Times of India, New Delhi, 21st September 2021