Downloading UDISE+ Data on School Education (Samagra Shiksha) in India
NIEPA & Department of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of Education
Arun C Mehta
Formerly Professor & Head of the EMIS Department, NIEPA, New Delhi
As we know that Unified District Information System for Education or Unified-DISE/U-DISE is the main source of information on educational statistics and is currently being managed by the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education, Government of India with effect from the year 2018-19 onwards before which it was initiated and managed by one of the apex educational planning institutions and technical arm of the Ministry of Education, namely the National Institute (University) of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA/NUEPA), New Delhi for the period from 1994-95 to 2017-18.
In this note, details of data available, how to download a publication or a set of data, and the level at which the same is available are explained which the young researchers/scholars would find useful. Apart from the UDISE+, there is no other source of information on school education on regular basis. However, the Census of India, NSSO, NFHS, and All India School Education Survey (AISES) are also used to disseminate information on educational variables occasionally. The latest AISES as a part of its Eight Survey was conducted in the year 2008-09. NCERT is also used to conduct the National Achievement Survey (NAS), the first of which was conducted in 2017, and the latest, second NAS was conducted recently in November 2021 details of which are now disseminated on its official website.
DISE at NIEPA was initiated by Late Prof. Yashpal Aggarwal which later took it to new heights and nurtured by Prof. Arun C Mehta from 2002 to 2017 (January) and the same was located in the Department of Educational Management Information System (EMIS) of NIEPA, New Delhi. Professor Mehta was the founder Head of the Department and incidentally, the last HoD of the EMIS Department. During his tenure, DISE scaled new heights and got recognized as the Official Statistics by the Government of India, and received several prestigious awards.
The Real Hero of UDISE
However, the real hero of the whole exercise towards strengthening educational statistics was the district, block, and state MIS Coordinators from across the Country as well as the Cluster and Block Resource Coordinators and the respondents, the School Head Masters, teachers, and principals all who contributed significantly towards strengthening educational statistics in the Country; their contribution is immense and must be recognized and rewarded. Many of the programmers, data entry operators, and state and district In-charge of EMIS/DISE/UDISE+ have got vast experience managing EMIS at their level are contractual and low salaried, and must be acquired in the state services as and when such opportunities are there; they are the state assets and their services must be adequately used at all levels. While strengthening UDISE, many of them have now become age-bar and has no opportunity elsewhere. Needless to say that the school education plans across the Country under the umbrella of SSA, RMSA, and now under the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan are formulated based on the UDISE data to which our friends had immensely contributed.
Downloading UDISE Data from NIEPA Websites: 2005-06 to 2017-18
For the year 2005-06 to 2017-18, all the publications based on UDISE as well as raw data is available at
Raw data downloading school report cards niepa
From the NIEPA website, various publications can be downloaded which are mostly available from the years 2005-06 onwards, a few of the publications before 2005-06 have also been made available which are in PDF format. Readers can download the following publications from its website for various years:
UDISE NIEPA Publications
- Elementary Education in India: Where do we stand, District Report Cards
- Elementary Education in India: Where do we stand, State Report Cards
- Elementary Education in India: Where do we stand, Flash Statistics
- Elementary Education in Rural India: Where do we stand
- Elementary Education in Urban India: Where do we stand
- Secondary Education in India: Where do we stand, State Report Cards
- Secondary Education in India: Where do we stand, District Report Cards
- School Education in India: Flash Statistics
- Elementary Education in India: Trends
- Elementary Education in India: Where do we stand, Analytical Report
- Elementary Education in India: Where do we stand, Analytical Tables
- Elementary Education in India: Where do we stand, Graphic Presentation
- Elementary Education in India: Where do we stand, Thematic Maps
As has already been mentioned that apart from the documents in the PDF format, raw data can also be downloaded in the user-friendly format from the NIEPA website (http://schoolreportcards.in) for which the user needs to be registered by giving his/her email ID along with the purpose of downloading data and also how the downloaded data would be utilized; users get the approval within the 24 hours and access is initially given for 15 days which can be extended for another period.
NIEPA’s Online Reporter Module
From this website, one gets the impression that the interface to download the data provided is user-friendly and practically all sorts of tables can be downloaded either at the national or state, district, and block levels. One can download the raw data as per specific needs and thousands of variables have been added to download the same between the years 2005-06 to 2017-18; the last year during which the UDISE was managed by the NIEPA, New Delhi.
Users can filter the data by Classes 1 to12, 1 to 8, 9 to 10, and 11 & 12. Depending upon the requirements, the raw data can be downloaded separately for the rural and urban areas as well as all the areas together both in the percentage and absolute form at any desired level of education, such as from the national level down to the block level. The school report cards can further be filtered to the level of cluster. A few variables can be downloaded by age group and a few others by gender.
Most of the variables/tables can be downloaded by the level of education as well as by the management or all managements clubbed together. Even a few variables can be downloaded especially in the case of unrecognized schools as well as schools managed by the state and or by the Central government.
A set of seven types of variables, such as comparative reports, school-specific reports, enrolment, and teachers-related reports, flow rates, population projections, time-series, thematic maps, RTE reports, and basic reports can be downloaded under each of which reports on hundreds of parameters can be downloaded. Overall the Reporter Module provided in School Report Cards by NIEPA is found to be comprehensive and covers all the necessary parameters which are required in formulating district and state annual plans.
It may be recalled that the year 2005-06 during which the raw data was first time made available to users is considered the year of liberalization of educational data in India which was picked up by a large number of users as thousands of users from across the World registered and download the data. Before 2005-06, data was made available in the form of printed documents or PDF formats even though the same used to have a time lag of seven to eight years. Efforts made by NIEPA resulted in much-desired improvement in educational statistics in India and district plans started formulated based on the UDISE data. UDISE remain with NIEPA till the year 2017-18 and thereafter the same was taken over by the Department of School Education of the Ministry of Education technical aspects of which is now being looked after by the NIC who incidentally lack academic expertise and experience dealing with school education in the Country.
Downloading Data from UDISE+ Portal: 2018-19 to 2020-21
As has been described above that from the year 2018-19, the UDISE-plus data is made available on https://udise-plus.gov.in It may be recalled that 2020-21 is the year for which the UDISE+ data is the latest available. UDISE data is recorded on 30th September each year and is known as its date of reference. The official website of UDISE+ presents data from the year 2012-13 onwards but only on selected parameters both in printed and electronic forms. Unlike previously, the data sharing policy has now been evolved by the Ministry which discourages then encourages the use of data. In addition, raw data on a few selcted vaibles is also being shared for which the user needs to register by giving basic information. Data from the UDISE+ portal can be downloaded and filtered at different levels. UDISE+ reports for 2019-2020 and 2020-21 have been presented in Hindi and English but no document is made available to the user for the year 2018-19; the year in which UDISE was shifted to the Ministry from NIEPA.
The online downloading of data from the UDISE+ portal has two parts, downloading of static reports and downloading of the microdata; the portal is named as data sharing portal. The static reports are detailed in nature and spread over data concerning schools. enrolment and teachers most of which are part of the UDISE+ 2020-21 and previous years starting from 2012-13; the first year of the unification of DISE and SEMIS, DISE since then been known as Unified-DISE or U-DISE. For downloading the micro-data one has to register by giving a mobile number and email ID and a few other basic information and get access through an OTP received both on email and mobile number provided. Users are advised to take a view of the Data Sharing Policy which can be obtained from the portal. However, this set of raw data is made available to users only for three years starting 2018-19 to 2020-21, while submitting the data one has to provide the purpose of downloading the data in about 250 characters.
UDISE+ Data Sharing Policy
Users downloading data have to adhere to the following conditions of download and use of data in any form and certify that:
I have read and agreed to the Terms written below :
- The data user undertakes to have read and understood the Data Sharing Policy and agrees to abide by all its existing content and intent, as amended from time to time.
- Data obtained herewith will be solely used for lawful purposes and the confidentiality and secrecy of the anonymized data will be maintained by the user.
- The data would be used after understanding the concepts, purpose, and applicability of data along with a proper appreciation of the limitations and nature of the data and for obtaining meaningful estimates and legitimate results.
- The data obtained as above will not be passed on either wholly or partially with or without profit to any other data user or disseminator of data with or without commercial purpose.
- The data user shall acknowledge the data source for all intents and purposes.
- The data user shall not undertake re-identification or processing of de-identified/anonymized personal data.
(Source: Data sharing policy of UDISE+ downloaded on 3rd August 2022)
After successfully logging in, the user gets a set of the following six files in (CSV data):
|Profile-1:||School Basic Profile and Location Related Data.|
|Profile-2:||RTE and School Management Information.|
|Facility:||Infrastructure and Facility Related Data.|
|Teacher:||Teacher Related Data.|
|Enrolment-1:||Social Category and Minority Wise Data.|
|Enrolment-2:||Age Wise Enrolment Data.|
Source: Data sharing policy of UDISE+ downloaded on 3rd August 2022
There is no restriction on downloading the raw data; the user can log in multiple times but information only on a few selected variables has been made available to users. Apart from the personal information such as mobile and email IDs of teachers and schools, it is not known why the complete information collected through the UDISE Data Capture Format has not been provided in the public domain. While using the portal and downloading the data, one felt that the system of downloading the data previously was more user-friendly than the same after the data sharing policy is evolved.
Since UDISE+ is now almost four years old, one may like to study how it has progressed concerning issues that it has raised at the time of takeover from NIEPA w.e.f 2018-19 data collection.
UDISE The Unfinished Task
It may be recalled that most of the issues which were raised at the time of taking over the UDISE from the NIEPA in 2018-19 are yet to be met. It was said that there would not be a date of reference as the UDISE+ data under the Ministry of Education would be real-time in nature which has now been forfeited. As per the UDISE+ 2020-21, only 39.9 and 24.5 percent of schools respectively had computer and internet facilities in school as on 30th September 2020 because of which the respondents i.e. School Head Masters, Principals, and Teachers run from pillar to post to upload their school data from the nearest Office of the Block Resource Center or Cyber-cafe given which the idea to have a paperless system under UDISE+ has also been forfeited. Still, there is no alternative but to have a paper Data Capture Format as the same is expected to improve the quality and consistency of data. Does the respondent takes all the school records to BRC and then upload the information on the portal or do they takes filled-in DCF? Converting UDISE from a manual to an online system is a welcome step but it seems that without strengthening schools in terms of computers, electricity, and internet facility, the same was launched without adequate preparations as a result of which the respondents face a Hercules task to get their school data uploaded on to the UDISE+ portal.
It was said that the earlier UDISE under NIEPA has more than one Data Capture Format (in fact, it was only one for schools having classes 1 to 12) instead now under the banner of UDISE+ during the period 2018-19 to 2020-21, there was a set of 12 DCFs which has now been rightly corrected during the 2021-22 data collection which is again based on schools having the lowest and the highest classes and is exactly same as was in use previously before 2018-19.
Above all, one of the significant achievements of the earlier UDISE under NIEPA was that it has drastically reduced the time lag in the availability of educational statistics from earlier 7 to 8 years to less than a year at the national and only a few months at the state and district levels. The time lag under UDISE+ has now been on the increase and the practice of formulating annual plans based on the same year’s data has become history. Fast we are losing achievements of UDISE for the period 1994-95 to 2017-18 one by one. No one is raising the alarm, neither planners & policymakers nor the think tank NITI Aayog, as if every activity is carried out as envisaged at the time of the takeover. Because of the increasing time lag, indices launched recently by the NITI Aayog, such as SEQI, PGI, and SDG4 (Education) all of which are based on an outdated set of data and are of limited use. One fails to understand how 2017-18 PGI is used while formulating the 2022-23 annual work plan; in most states, even district-specific PGIs are not available.
Not only this but most of the 15 publications which used to be brought out by NIEPA based on one-year data have all now been discontinued. As of now, no publication based on the UDISE+ 2018-19 data has been brought out which is the only case all through the years 2005-6 to 2017-18. It was also said that states used to maintain more than one system for data collection because of which there is always more than one data set which now under the UDISE+ not only continued but a few states those who didn’t have a separate system, have also now developed the same for their requirement and use API to provide data onto the UDISE portal.
The impressive dissemination policy is discontinued because which data is now not reaching all data users. Perhaps, one of the important disappointments is the discontinuation of uploading of the latest data to the award-winning School Report Cards, it has been stuck at 2005-06 to 2017-18 as data from the years 2018-9 to 2020-21 is still to be uploaded on School Report Cards portal. Efforts are being made under UDISE+ to separately develop School Report Cards.
Not only this but the rich Reporter Module made available under School Report Cards has also been stuck at 2017-18. Ministry must give access to raw data to NIEPA so that both of these important channels get updated. Has NIEPA approached Ministry for the same is not known. If given access, NIEPA may like to make an attempt and come out with the publications that it used to bring out during the period 2005-06 to 2017-18 based on the data generated under UDISE+ for the period 2018-19 to 2020-21. If that happens it would be a great service to those who are interested in school education with which the users would have an uninterrupted time series from the year 2005-06 to 2020-21, fairy a long time series to undertake an empirical study of any kind.