Short-listed Candidates for NCERT Director

Panel meets with some shortlisted candidates for next NCERT chief
Indian Express, January 15, 2022

The committee to select the next director of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) held interactions with a few shortlisted candidates on Thursday, sources said. The autonomous body, which assists and advises the government on policies for improvement in school education, has not had a full-time director for more than a year now.

The five-year term of the previous full-time director of the autonomous body, Prof Hrushikesh Senapaty’s, ended in November, 2020. Since then, Prof Sridhar Srivastava has been holding the position as director in-charge.

Sources said Prof Srivastava was among the candidates with whom the search-cum-selection committee held interactions on Thursday. The other candidates include head of the NCERT’s Department of Education in Social Sciences, Dr Gouri Srivastava, and the principal of the Bhubaneswar Regional Institute of Education (RIE), Prof PC Agarwal. The RIE is a constituent unit of the NCERT.

Latest Educational News from Centre Square Foundation Weekly Newsletter

 August 13, 2021

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NAS successfully conducted by NCERT (12th November 2021)


NEW DELHI: The National Achievement Survey 2021 was successfully conducted on Thursday. Nearly 96% of the sampled schools and 92% of the targeted sampled children of Classes 3, 5, 8 and 10 from 24 states/UTs participated in the survey.

The results of NAS 2021 will be prepared in the form of district report cards, state/UT reports and national reports. “These NAS report cards will enable states and the Union Territories to identify gaps in learning outcomes and take remedial steps,” as per the ministry of education.

The government conducts the survey every three years. Last NAS was held on November 13, 2017, for assessing the competencies developed by the children of Classes 3, 5 and 8.

This year, NAS 2021 was conducted in 22 mediumsof instruction as available in the sampled schools. There are 3 phases of NAS exercise, namely instrument development, sampling design and actual administration of the test.

NAS 2021 is the first achievement survey after the release of National Education Policy 2020 (NEP). NAS 2021 will infuse the competency-based assessment system over the content and memory-based assessment as envisaged by NEP 2020, as per the official statement.

The Covid-19 pandemic forced closure of schools has interrupted the learning in different levels and “there is an urgent need to evaluate children’s progress and learning competencies to analyze and examine the health of the education sector for taking necessary action at the district, state and national level.”

“The assessment focuses not only on cognitive learning but also other skills that children may have picked up, while being at home during the pandemic such as painting, cooking, photography, reading, gardening etc.” it added.

“NCERT, being the nodal academic body, has done the instrument development, testing, finalization of the test items.”

To maintain impartiality, actual administration of the test in the sampled schools was conducted by CBSE in collaboration with states and UTs.

Besides student achievement tests, pupil questionnaires, teachers questionnaires and school questionnaires were also obtained to understand the various settings and perspectives of students, teachers and schools.

These questionnaires were conducted to understand the background, teacher training, rural-urban, effectiveness of online education etc to comprehend the education system.

“It will also help in the capacity building for teachers and officials involved in the delivery of education in the country. The result from the assessment would also provide a rich repository of evidence and data points furthering the scope of research and development,” the official statement read.

Source: News.Careers360

NAS to be Launched Soon by NCERT

Education For All in India wholeheartedly welcome statement of Union Education Minister informing Parliament that National Council of Educational Research and Training will soon conduct the next NATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT SUVRVEY (NAS).

Unlike 2017 NAS, the next NAS will cover both the Private as well as Government schools which is a step in the right direction.

We have been demanding the same for long time to extend the coverage to Private schools.

Most likely the next NAS will be conducted by NCERT in November 2021, the last such survey was conducted  on 13th November 2018 for classes III, V and VIII and for Class X in 2018. It is expected that NAS 2021 will be based on a sample of about 4 million students from across the Country.

Is 50% GER @Higher Education Level in 2035 Achievable?

Unlike school education level at which enrolment based indicators such as Gross & Net enrolment ratio as well as Age-specific and Adjusted-NER are frequently computed and use in plan formulation, at the higher education level only Gross Enrolment Ratio is being used to examine the participation of a relevant age-specific population i.e. 18 to 23 years in the higher education programmes. For calculating GER at any level of education, information on total enrolment in a year and the corresponding age-specific population in that year is required. While total enrolment and its male and female bifurcation, as well as enrolment by the social category i.e. Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes, is available from the All-India Survey on Higher Education (AISHS, latest for 2019-20) but the same is not true for the corresponding age-specific population the main source of which is the Census & Registrar General of India, the latest Census figures being available for the year 2011. In the absence of an official projected population based on the 2011 Census, earlier projections based on population up to 2001 are being used by the Ministry of Education to estimate the age-specific population in a year which is adjusted given the total 2011 Census population (details can be seen under the Statistics Section of the Official Website of Department of School Education & Literacy). Because of the limitations in the projected population, GER and other enrolment-based indicators have been seen off the mark in the past decade which is true for all levels of education. Therefore, the latest GER for 2019-20 and also in the past years, the same must be analyzed in light of these limitations. With 50 percent GER at the higher education level, the quantum increase of enrolment in absolute terms cannot be known unless the reliable estimate of the population between the age-group  18 to 23 years is known in the year 2035. The GER for the year 2021 based on the actual Census 2021 population when available may reveal the real situation concerning the participation of 18 to 23 years population in higher education programmes; it is likely to show a declining trend because of the ongoing pandemic across the country.

Is 50% GER at Higher Education in 2035 Possible (Detailed Analysis by Prof. Arun C Mehta)

Observations on UDISE+ Report 2019-20

Unified District Information System for Education Plus 2019-20 Report

Department of School Education & Literacy
Ministry of Education. Government of India
(Released on 1st July 2021)


Arun C Mehta
Formerly Professor & Head of EMIS Department
NIEPA, New Delhi

The Department of School Education & Literacy of the Ministry of Education, Government of India on July 1st released its first-ever report based on UDISE-Plus data for the year 2019-20 which presents a brief analysis of school education at the all-India level and state-specific statements for all the States & UTs of India including Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh Union Territories. The Report was formally released by Education Minister on 30th June 2021 through a press release.

Unified District Information System for Education Plus 2019-20 Report

Here are the quick observations:

Age-specific Child Population

UDISE+ 2019-20 enrolment indicators are based on child population provided by the Report of the Technical Group on Population Projections, National Commission on Population, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, July 2020 which is a welcome development. It may be recalled that AISHE 2019-20 also brought out by the Ministry of Education in June 2021 was not based on the Official projections.

New Variables Additions

The following new variables have been added to UDISE+ 2019-20 Report, perhaps for the first time.

  • Number of schools by Affiliation Board
  • Percentage of all minority groups enrolment in addition to Muslim enrolment
  • Coverage of vocational education under National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF)
  • Number of Admission of students in Grade I who have a pre-school experience; and
  • Distribution of enrolment by below age 6, 6-10, 11-13, 9-10, 14-15, 16-17, and greater than 17 years

 Statistical Tables

  • In addition to indicators, most of the tables present absolute numbers which are of limited use and should have been avoided. To the extent possible, all the numbers should have been presented in the percentage form wherever possible.
  • None of the tables have time-series information like three years in the previously published UDISE Flash Statistics in the absence of which one has to refer to previous year’s data which like UDISE+2019-20 is not available in the Report Form, one has to download from the portal. Better would be to bring out UDISE+ 2018-19 Report in a similar format which may be found useful by the users. However, one can download individual year reports from https://udiseplus.
  • At the national level, most of the indicators are compared with 2012-13 UDISE data, the first year of the unification of DISE & SEMIS but the same for other years between 2012-13 to 2018-19 have not been presented except for 2018-19 in case of few variables, like teachers.
  • In addition to the indicators presented a few indicators such as the source of drinking water, percentage of contractual teachers, GER of Muslim enrolment, etc should have found a place in the report.

Status of Universal Enrolment: All-India, 2019-20

Like previous years, UDISE+ 2019-20 also presents a variety of enrolment ratios all of which indicate that the goal of universal primary enrolment is very much in the sight and may be achieved in the years that follow. The justification that GER during the period 2012-13 to 2019-20 is declined because children started entering the system at the appropriate age is not fully correct. The reason for the decline in GER is the steep decline in enrolment in absolute form during the years 2016-17 to 2017-18 and 2017-18 to 2018-19. Deliberately most of the indicators are not compared with the 2017-18 data which must be considered a benchmark year because this was the last year of U-DISE which was managed by NIEPA, New Delhi, and also because UDISE+ 2018-19 data was based on the incomplete number of schools. See a detailed study on these aspects:

Enrolement Ratios: 2019-20



Primary 102.7 91.4 97.3 97.3
Upper Primary 89.7 71.1 81.6 89.6
Elementary 97.8 83.7 94.4 94.4
Secondary 77.9 50.2 60.2 72.4
Higher Secondary 51.4 32.3 44.2

Source: UDISE+ 2019-20, DoSE&L, Ministry of Education.

The UDISE+ 2019-20 mentioned that “Since changes in GER are usually not much on a year-to-year basis” is factually wrong and misleading which are reflected in the GER at Primary level during 2017-18 and 2018-19 based on UDISE itself. UDISE+ 2019-20 further indicates that other levels of education (other than primary level) are still far away towards attaining a 100 percent enrolment ratio.

Enrolment Ratio: All India Level: 2017-18 & 2018-19

  Type of Enrolment Ratio
  GER NER Adjusted-NER
State/UT 2017-18 2018-19 2017-18 2018-19 2017-18 2018-19
Primary 102.79 92.56 90.05 89.14 95.56 93.6
Elementary 97.22 91.64 89.02 81.46 92.73 87.26

Source: UDISE (NIEPA, New Delhi) & UDISE+ (Department of School Education & Literacy, Ministry

of Education

Efficiency Indicators

 Good to observe a steep decline in the average annual dropout rate at the primary level of education from 4.5 percent for Cohort 2017-18 to 1.5 percent in Cohort 2018-19 which needs further analysis especially the repetition rate at this level which is reported to be 0.63 percent. The same is also low at 1.8 percent per annum at the upper primary level which is encouraging but the same at the secondary level is reported to be 17.3 percent per annum. Further, the transition rate reveals that about 28 percent of students dropped out from the system between elementary to secondary level of education and the retention rate at this level of education is only 62 percent indicating a high dropout of 38 percent in between the system. Even retention rate at the elementary level of education is reported to be 77 percent thus indicating 23 percent dropout in between the system from one level of education to another. Hope while formulating annual work plan it will be looked into it.

Computer & Internet Facility

UDISE data over a period of time suggest that most of the facilities in schools are on improvement. However, the same in case of availability of Computer and Internet Connectivity in school is far than satisfactory as only 39 percent schools have a computer and another 22 percent have internet connectivity which has become more important because of COVID19 and ongoing pandemic classes are being held online. This is also crucial for UDISE+ which is said to be an online paperless system in the absence of which one can easily think how schools manage an online system. Schools rush to block level and cyber café for online uploading and updating of data.

 Facility Primary Only School All Schools
Electricty 72.6 80.2
Internet 7.9 22.3
Computr 20.6 39.0

Because of the online learning classes across the country, it is more important to have the devices/computer/laptop and internet connectivity/data package at home which the NSSO 75th  Round data reveals that only 10.7 percent of the total households in India have got a computer and another 23.8 percent have got access to internet facilities. But the same in the rural areas is as low as 4.4 and 14.9 percent respectively as against 23.4 and 42 percent in the urban areas; thus showing a wide gap in the availability of computers and access to internet facilities between rural and urban areas. One could easily understand the fate of students during a pandemic, One can expect enrolment to decline but at the same time, Government schools can expect migration from private schools to its fold which is expected to be reflected in 2020-21 and 2021-22 data.

Readers are advised to refer to the source of information and give full reference to the material used.

Download UDISE+ 2019-20 Report
Unified District Information System for Education Plus 2019-20 Report
UDISE+ Portal

Planning under Samagra Shiksha

Since the inception of the District Primary Education Programme in 1994, there is a provision of developing district plans initially for the primary level of education which was later extended to the entire elementary level of education when Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan programme was launched in 2000-01. At the end of DPEP in 2000, the development of district primary education plans could reach 272 districts across 18 States of the Country but still confined to DPEP states and districts only. Special planning modules developed were extensively been used in developing district plans and the whole exercise is termed as rigorous.

Intensive capacity building programmes were conducted by the apex institutions, such as NIEPA, New Delhi on planning methodology with a focus on hands-on training and data analysis, and use of indicators. There was also a provision of pre-plan activities each of the districts covered under DPEP was supposed to carry out each of the activities proposed in the DPEP framework most of which were followed rigorously. District, as well as State planning teams with representations from all the main streams departments, were constituted both of which used to have intensive discussions on each of the plan components.

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Releasing Soon!!


Professor Arun C. Mehta
Professor & Head (Formerly)
Department of Educational Management Information System
NIEPA, New Delhi

Ph.D. (Demographic Projections) from the University of Rajasthan, Jaipur; specialist in EMIS, Quantitative Techniques and Projections and Forecasting of Educational Data; authored books on Education for All in India, Enrolment Projections, Population Projections and Upper Primary Education and contributed a number of research articles in journals and in NUEPA Occasional Paper Series; published a number of reports annually based on DISE data; presented papers both at the Oxford and Cambridge Universities, Consulted by World Bank, UNICEF, UNESCO and ACCU (Japan), Trained at UNESCO Regional Office at Bangkok and Harvard Institute of International Development, USA. Was actively engaged in strengthening of Educational Management Information System in India during 2001 to 2017 (January) at the national level and managed one of the World’s largest information systems i.e. District Information System for Education (DISE/U-DISE). & developed under the guidance of Prof. Mehta is the recipient of e-Governance 2010 & eINDIA 2010 National Awards & Manthan Award South Asia 2010 & EMPI Indian Express Indian Innovation Award 2012.

Review of EMIS in Ghana, Cambodia, Iraq, Nepal & Southern-Sudan

In view of progress made in India towards strengthening Educational Management Information System in India, a number of countries including Ghana, Sothern Sudan and Cambodia invited Prof. Arun C Mehta, Formally Professor & Head of the Department of EMIS, NIEPA, New Delhi to review their EMIS. Prof. Mehta while at NIEPA, New Delhi visited these countries, had intensive discussions on different aspects of EMIS and presented Mission Report to authorities many  recommendations of which were implemented.

Read  Complete Mission Report here

Under the leadership of Prof. Mehta, DISE-UDISE were developed in India which significantly addressed limitations in the EMIS which later awarded numerous national and regional awards including  e-Governance, eINDIA, Manthan Shttp://www.udise.inouth Asia and EMPI Indian Express Innovation Awards.

Strengthening Educational Management Information System in India through U-DISE(A Story of its Evolution)