27th August 2023
Launching of UDISEPlus 2023-24
Even though UDISEPlus 2022-23 data is still being finalized (Last date 31st August 2023) by the states, the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education has launched the UDISEPlus 2023-24 data collection and has planned to open its online portal on 1st September 2023 which is much earlier than the official date of reference of data collection which in the education sector used to be 30th September of a year during which data is collected.
In this regard, the Ministry issued a letter on 25th August 2023 to Additional Chief Secretaries, Secretaries, and Principal Secretaries of all the States and UTs informing them of the opening of the next round of UDISE+ data entry for 2023-24 and Data Capture Format for 2023-24 data collection has also been shared with the states (D.O. No. 23-412023-Stats). States have also been informed that they must finalize UDISEPlus 2022-23 data by 31st August 2023.
As a next step, it is mentioned that the UDISE+ 2023-24 needs to be started immediately, and it is said that “since student-wise data has already been filled for 2022-23, in 2023-24 fresh data is to be entered only at entry level (Class 1) or in case of a school recognized during the year and for remaining levels (Class2 onwards), it is just validation or any addition or subtraction. Hence, data entry for 2023-24 will drastically lessen the burden of states.” Because most states have already finished the data collection process of UDISEPlus 2022-23 data long back, it is a good idea to launch 2023-24 data collection to save time; this welcome step must drastically reduce the time lag in 2023-24 data and after that.
(Please visit the Official Website of UDISEPLus for Updates and DCF Guidelines 2023-24)
However, the critical question is when the states will use the UDISEPlus 2022-23 data and in which year the Annual Plan and Budget. It may be observed that states and districts annually formulate an Annual Work Plan and Budget under the flagship Samagra Shiksha, which used to be exclusively based on UDISEPlus data. If 2022-23 data will be used in the 2024-25 Annual Work Plan, when shall UDISE 2023-24 data be used, and in which year annual plan? Alternatively, a mute question is whether the UDISEPlus 2022-23 data will be skipped and 2023-24 data will be used in formulating the 2024-25 Annual Plan. It may also be possible that a few states might have already used UDISE 2022-23 data in its 2023-24 Annual Work Plan as they have long back finished the 2022-23 data collection process, but the same is yet to be frozen at the national level.
More than the finalized process of data collection, adequate dissemination and utilization of the data is the need of the day, which at present is the gross underutilized. Given the student-wise data that is now available from 2022-23 onwards, it is hoped the Department of School Education & Literacy will come out with a series of new publications not confined to UDISEPlus Booklet, which it used to bring ever since it assumed the responsibility of UDISE from NIEPA from the year 2018-19 onwards. It is also hoped that student-specific variables will be added to the list of variables that can be downloaded from the UDISEPlus portal.
At one point, it was said that “It was mandatory from 2006-07 for all states and UTs to carry out sample checking of U-DISE Data. However, largely due to the lack of proper guidelines, the UDISE data was hardly being verified. Bulky paper reports were never analyzed, and feedback was not available to States and UTs”. However, instead of engaging a third party to sample check data, officers who are part of the system at different levels, such as cluster, block, and district levels, are made to engage in online checking of UDSIEPlus data. Because of the decline in the number of schools covered under UDISEPlus from 2017-18 to 2021-22 and the erratic pattern observed in enrolment, it has become essential to launch sample checking of data by an independent agency on a pan-India basis without any further delay which is also required because of extending data collection to individual student details (about 265 million students) during 2022-23 UDISEPlus data collection.