National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO): Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MoSPI), Government of India

Different agencies used to collect information on school education in India either on regular basis through the administrative survey or occasionally through the household survey apart from which Census & Registrar General of India also collect information on educational variables through its decennial Census. In addition, information on a few educational variables is also being collected through the National Family Health Survey, the latest of which NFHS-5 is available for the year 2019-20.

Over a period of time, administrative surveys in education in India have improved significantly and most of the limitations of the 1980s are addressed and data on most of the requisite variables are now available at disaggregated levels with a reduced time-lag more comprehensive information is now available than in the past.  Despite significant improvement in educational statistics in India still, information on all the requisite variables needed to assess the status of participation of children in educational programmes is not available. Information on such variables is either not required annually but the same, even if made available once in 4 to 5 years will serve the purpose.

Because of the requirements, educational surveys have been conducting both on the census and also on a sample basis. On the one hand, the All India School Education Survey was being conducted by the NCERT, New Delhi on a quinquennial basis the lasted of which is the Eight Survey with 30th September 2008 as its date of reference, on the other hand, NSSO used to collect information on a few educational variables through its different rounds which are considered the most reliable source of information in India.

It may be recalled that the unit of data collection in case of the administrative survey is school and that of the household surveys, it is the head of the household. It has been a practice to conduct surveys on social (including education sector) consumption the first of which through the 35th Round was conducted between July 1980 to June 1981.  The subsequent NSSO rounds and period of each survey conducted are as follows: