Transforming Education through Digital Infrastructure: An Analysis of UDISEPlus 2021-22 Data on Electricity, Computers, & Internet Connectivity in Schools
The usefulness, availability, and impact of electricity, computers, and internet connectivity are significant factors in the modern world, including the education sector. These resources have revolutionized how we learn, communicate, and access information. In the context of schools in India, several programs have been initiated to harness the potential of these technologies and bridge the digital divide. These resources have become an integral part of modern education, and their availability can significantly impact students’ quality of education.
According to a UN Report, about 188 million children attend schools from across the globe that are not connected to any electricity supply. This lack of electricity can significantly impact students’ learning experiences, as it can limit their access to resources and technology. This is also true for many schools which have got no electricity connection in schools.
Sever efforts have been made worldwide to provide electricity connections in schools. In India also, many programs have been introduced to address the issue of electricity in schools. For example, the Digital India initiative of the government of India envisages providing high-speed internet connectivity to every citizen, including those in rural areas. Additionally, the National Digital Literacy Mission aims to provide digital literacy training to 52.5 million people, including students, across the country.
Overall, the availability of electricity, computers, and internet connectivity is crucial for students to access educational resources and succeed in a rapidly changing world. Programs launched in India are important steps toward ensuring that all schools and students have access to these resources.
More about the government’s initiatives are presented below:
- Electricity: Reliable electricity is crucial for schools to function effectively. It powers computers, projectors, and other electronic devices, enabling teachers to use multimedia tools for interactive learning. In rural areas of India, efforts have been made to improve electricity access through the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana: An Initiative of the Government of India emphasizing providing uninterrupted power supply to rural households, including schools.
- Computers: Computers have become essential tools in education, enabling students to access vast amounts of information, enhance their digital literacy, and develop crucial skills for the future job market. The Government of India has implemented various programs to promote computer education in schools, such as the National Digital Literacy Mission and the Digital India Initiative. These initiatives aim to equip schools with computer labs, train teachers, and integrate digital learning resources into the curriculum.
- Internet Connectivity: Internet connectivity is one of the =game-changers that opens up a world of possibilities for students & teachers. It enables access to online educational resources, e-learning platforms, virtual classrooms, and global knowledge sharing. The Government of India’s BharatNet project aims to connect all rural areas with high-speed broadband, facilitating internet access in schools located in remote areas. Various private and non-profit organizations have also launched initiatives to provide internet connectivity to schools, particularly in underserved regions.
- Programs in Schools: Several educational programs in India focus on leveraging electricity, computers, and internet connectivity in schools. For example, the Digital India for Rural Education program emphasizes digital literacy, computer-aided learning, and internet access in rural schools. The Atal Innovation Mission promotes innovation and entrepreneurship among students, encouraging the use of technology for problem-solving. The e-Pathshala initiative provides digital textbooks, multimedia content, and interactive learning modules to enhance the quality of education.
While impressive progress has been made, challenges remain in ensuring equitable access to electricity, computers, and internet connectivity across all schools in India. Efforts must continue bridging the digital divide and providing equal opportunities for students in rural and urban areas.
Given the importance of the electricity connection, digital devices, and internet connectivity in schools, an effort has been made to analyze the available UDISEPlus 2021-22 data (as of 30th September 2021), both at the all-India and State level to take a view of the same.
Percentage of schools having functional electricity by Management, 2021-22
|India/ State/ UT||All
|Andaman and Nicobar Islands||92.8||91.2||100||100||0.0||91.1||100||100||0.0|
|Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu||100||100||100||100||0.0||100||100||100||100|
|Jammu and Kashmir||72.9||69.7||100||100||0.0||69.6||100.0||86.4||80.0|
Source: UDISE+ 2021-22
Electricity Connection in Schools: UDISEPlus 2021-22
The data shows that 86.6% of schools in India have available electricity. While this is a significant improvement, it also indicates that a considerable percentage of schools still lack access to electricity. Government-aided and private unaided schools have a higher percentage of functional electricity compared to government-managed schools. This suggests the need for focused efforts to improve electricity access in government-managed schools.
The availability of functional electricity further reveals that the same varies across states and union territories. States like Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Kerala, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana have achieved 100% usable electricity in all management types. On the other hand, states like Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Tripura have lower percentages, indicating the need for targeted interventions in these regions.
- Among government-managed schools, Meghalaya has the lowest percentage of functional electricity at 16.2%. This indicates a significant challenge in providing electricity access to schools in the state.
- Government-aided schools: Among government-aided schools, Nagaland has the lowest percentage of functional electricity at 57.8%. This indicates the need for focused efforts to improve electricity access in government-aided schools in Nagaland.
- Other Central Government-managed schools: Among other central government-managed schools, there is a 100% availability of functional electricity in all states/UTs. This indicates that the challenges in providing electricity access are relatively lower in this management category.
Regional disparity, irrespective of school management, has been seen nationwide. On the one hand, the highest percentage of schools having available electricity was observed in Karnataka, with a remarkable 98.6 percent availability. This indicates that most schools in Karnataka have access to electricity, which is crucial for various educational activities, including using computers, projectors, and other electronic devices. However, on the other hand a in a few states, the same is yet to be provided to the majority of schools.
These states require targeted efforts and resources to improve electricity infrastructure and ensure a conducive learning environment for students, as many schools have yet to be provided with electricity.
Functional Computers: UDISEPlus 2021-22
The number of schools by management and availability of functional computer facilities in India for the year 2021-22, we can draw the following observations:
- The total number of schools in India covered under UDISEPlus 2021-22 is 1,489,115, out of which 1,022,386 schools have a functional computer facility, which accounts for approximately 68.6% of all schools in India.
- Among government schools, 82.8% have a functional computer facility, indicating a significant effort to provide computer resources in these schools.
- Only 35.8% of government-aided schools have a functional computer facility, suggesting a need for more support in this sector.
- Most private unaided schools (67.5%) have a functional computer facility, showcasing the higher availability of technology in these institutions.
Schools in the “Others” category have varying percentages of functional computer facilities. This category includes Unrecognized schools, Madrasa (recognized by madrasa/wakf board), and unrecognized Madrasa.
The availability of functional computers has also been analyzed state-wise, which reveals that:
- There is substantial variation in the availability of functional computer facilities across different states and union territories in India.
- Chandigarh, Goa, Gujarat, Delhi, and Kerala have a high percentage of schools with functional computer facilities, ranging from 91.1% to 100%.
- States like Assam, Jharkhand, Odisha, Rajasthan, and West Bengal have relatively lower percentages, ranging from 18.1% to 54.5%.
- Across various states, government schools generally have a lower percentage of functional computer facilities compared to private unaided schools.
- The data does not explicitly mention the rural-urban distribution. However, it can be inferred that rural areas might face challenges regarding computer facility availability, as government schools and schools in economically disadvantaged areas tend to have lower percentages of functional computer facilities.
The data highlights the progress made in providing functional computer facilities in schools across India. However, areas still require attention and improvement, particularly in government-aided schools and in certain states with lower percentages. Efforts should be made to bridge this gap and ensure equitable access to technology in all types of schools. Continued efforts to enhance access to technology and bridge the digital divide are essential for the overall development of education in the country.
Number of Schools by Management and Availability of Functional Computer Facility, 2021-22
|India/ State/ UT||Total Schools||Schools with functional computer facility||Percentage of Schools with functional computer facility|
|Andaman and Nicobar Islands||416||342||2||72||0||275||203||2||70||0||66.1||59.4||100||97.2||0|
|Dadra and Nagar Haveli and
Daman and Diu
|Jammu and Kashmir||28805||23173||1||5526||105||9395||5067||1||4259||68||32.6||21.9||100||77.1||64.8|
Source: UDISEPlus 2021-22
Analysis of a few significant states concerning the availability of functional computers is highlighted below:
Bihar has a total of 93,165 schools. Schools with Functional Computer Facility: Among these schools, only 18.3% have a functional computer facility. Bihar lags in providing computer facilities in schools, with a relatively low percentage compared to the national average. Efforts must be made in Bihar to improve access to technology in schools across the state. However, the states have adopted different routes and higher private agencies’ man with the machine’ to make available resources at the block level.
Kerala has a total of 16,240 schools. Schools with Functional Computer Facility: A significant percentage of schools in Kerala (98.2%) have a functional computer facility. Kerala stands out with a high percentage of schools equipped with computer facilities. This indicates the state’s commitment to integrating technology into education.
Tamil Nadu has a total of 58,801 schools. Schools with Functional Computer Facility: Approximately 77% of schools in Tamil Nadu have a functional computer facility. Tamil Nadu demonstrates a relatively high percentage of schools with computer facilities, but there is room for improvement to increase the availability of technology in more schools.
Gujarat has a total of 53,851 schools. Schools with Functional Computer Facility: Most schools in Gujarat (97.8%) have a functional computer facility. Gujarat has made significant progress in providing school computer facilities, with a high percentage compared to the national average.
Uttar Pradesh has a significant number of schools, with 258,054 in total. Schools with Functional Computer Facility: However, only 25.8% of schools in Uttar Pradesh have a functional computer facility. Uttar Pradesh faces challenges in terms of providing computer facilities in schools. Concerted efforts should be made to improve access to technology, especially in government schools.
West Bengal has a total of 94,744 schools. Schools with Functional Computer Facility: A relatively low percentage of schools in West Bengal (18.1%) have a functional computer facility. West Bengal struggles with providing computer facilities in schools, with a significantly lower percentage than the national average. Steps should be taken to bridge this gap and enhance access to technology in schools.
Karnataka has a total of 76,450 schools.
Schools with Functional Computer Facility: Approximately 54.1% of schools in Karnataka have a functional computer facility. Karnataka’s percentage of schools with computer facilities is slightly below the national average.
Himachal Pradesh has a total of 18,028 schools. Schools with Functional Computer Facility: Only 39.5% of schools in Himachal Pradesh have a functional computer facility. Himachal Pradesh needs to focus on improving school access to technology to enhance digital literacy and keep pace with technological advancements.
Andhra Pradesh and Telangana
Andhra Pradesh has 61,948 schools, while Telangana has 43,083 schools.
Schools with Functional Computer Facility: The percentage of schools with functional computer facilities in Andhra Pradesh is 47.9%, and in Telangana, it is 42.2%. Both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have relatively lower percentages of schools with computer facilities. Efforts should be made to increase the availability of technology in schools in these states.
These analyses provide an overview of the availability of functional computer facilities in schools in specific states. While some states have made significant progress, others lag. It highlights variations and disparities, emphasizing the need for targeted efforts to bridge the digital divide and ensure equitable access to technology in education across India.
The Imperative of Internet Connectivity in Schools
Internet connectivity plays a crucial role in schools, complementing the availability of electricity and functional computers. Internet connectivity in schools has become increasingly essential in today’s digital age. In schools, it serves as a gateway to a vast repository of knowledge, resources, and educational tools that enhance the learning experience for students. Here are some key reasons why internet connectivity is crucial in schools:
- Access to Information: The Internet provides students access to a wealth of information beyond the confines of textbooks. It opens up a world of knowledge, enabling students to conduct research, explore diverse perspectives, and keep updated with the latest developments in the education world.
- Enriched Learning Resources: With internet connectivity, schools can leverage online learning platforms, educational websites, and digital libraries that offer interactive lessons, videos, simulations, and other multimedia resources. These resources make learning more engaging, interactive, and tailored to individual student needs.
- Collaboration and Communication: Internet connectivity facilitates collaboration and communication among students, teachers, and experts worldwide. It enables students to work on group projects, participate in online discussions, seek guidance from subject matter experts, and connect with students from different cultural backgrounds, fostering global awareness and cultural exchange.
- Skill Development: The Internet offers a plethora of opportunities for skill development. Students can enhance their digital literacy, critical thinking, problem-solving, and information evaluation skills by navigating online resources, analyzing data, and engaging in online activities and projects. These skills are crucial for their academic and professional success in the 21st century.
- Educational Innovation: Internet connectivity opens up avenues for educational innovation. It allows for integrating technology tools like educational apps, online assessments, virtual reality, and augmented reality experiences, enabling immersive and interactive learning. It empowers teachers to adopt innovative teaching methodologies that cater to diverse learning styles and promote student engagement.
- Global Learning and Exposure: Internet connectivity has the potential to break down geographical barriers and allows students to connect with students and educators worldwide. Students can broaden their perspectives, gain cross-cultural understanding, and develop a global mindset through virtual exchanges, video conferences, and online collaborations.
- Career Readiness: In today’s digital economy, proficiency in utilizing internet resources and technology is vital for future career prospects. Internet connectivity equips students with the digital skills and familiarity with online tools necessary for their academic and professional journeys.
Without a doubt, internet connectivity in schools is indispensable for modern education. It enables access to vast information, enriches learning resources, promotes collaboration and communication, fosters skill development, facilitates educational innovation, broadens global exposure, and prepares students for the digital world and future careers. Schools must prioritize and invest in robust internet connectivity to unlock the full potential of technology in education.
Number of Schools by Management & Availability of Internet Facility, 2021-22
|India/ State/ UT||Total Schools||Schools with internet facility available||Percentage of Schools with internet facility available|
|Andaman and Nicobar Islands||416||342||2||72||0||187||133||2||52||0||45||38.9||100||72.2||0|
|Dadra and Nagar Haveli and
Daman and Diu
|Jammu and Kashmir||28805||23173||1||5526||105||8566||5169||1||3345||51||29.7||22.3||100||60.5||48.6|
Internet Connectivity in Schools: UDISEPlus 2021-22 Data
Across India, out of 1,489,115 schools, only 33.9% have internet connectivity. Many schools have yet to reap the benefits of digital resources and online learning tools. While government-managed schools exhibit a lower percentage of internet connectivity at 24.2%, the numbers improve for government-aided (53.1%) and private unaided schools (59.6%). These statistics indicate the need for concerted efforts in bridging the digital divide and ensuring equitable access to internet connectivity in all schools on a pan-India basis.
Here is the state-specific analsysis in the case of a few states:
- Bihar: Out of 93,165 schools, only 11.1% have internet connectivity. While government-managed schools show a meager 5.9% connectivity, private unaided schools lead with 43.1%. These figures highlight the urgent need to prioritize internet connectivity in Bihar’s schools, especially those managed by the government.
- Kerala: With 16,240 schools, Kerala stands out, with an impressive 95.2% of schools having internet connectivity. Notably, government-aided and private unaided schools in the state showcase high connectivity rates of 96.6% and 95.1%, respectively. Kerala’s emphasis on digital infrastructure has paved the way for enriched learning experiences and access to various online resources.
- Tamil Nadu: In Tamil Nadu, 37.6% of the 58,801 schools have internet connectivity. While government-managed schools have a relatively lower connectivity rate of 24.7%, private unaided schools lead at 75.2%. These figures suggest a need for more significant efforts to ensure internet access for schools managed by the government in Tamil Nadu.
- Gujarat: Of 53,851 schools, Gujarat demonstrates a 92% connectivity rate. Notably, government-managed schools in the state show a high connectivity rate of 94.2%, indicating the successful implementation of digital initiatives. Efforts must continue to bridge the connectivity gap in private unaided schools and further strengthen the digital infrastructure across all schools.
- Uttar Pradesh: With a staggering 258,054 schools, Uttar Pradesh’s overall internet connectivity rate stands at 21.1%. The connectivity rate for government-managed schools is notably low at 8.8%, while private unaided schools exhibit a relatively higher rate of 36.5%. Addressing the digital divide and improving internet connectivity in government-managed schools should be a priority in Uttar Pradesh.
Internet connectivity in schools is pivotal for transforming education in the digital era. The data analysis highlights the need for concerted efforts to ensure internet access in schools, especially those managed by the government. Bridging the digital divide and prioritizing internet connectivity may significantly empower students with the tools and resources they need to excel in the 21st century. It is also crucial for policymakers, educational institutions, and stakeholders to chalk out their plans because of the availability of digital opportunities in schools.
Challenges: Bridging the Digital Divide
Despite significant improvement in the availability of digital infrastructure in schools, still, there are a few challenges that must be looked into on a priority basis>
- Infrastructure gaps: Many schools in remote and rural areas still lack proper electrical connections and face challenges accessing reliable power. Ensuring electricity infrastructure reaches every school remains a significant challenge.
- Budget constraints: Adequate funding is crucial for providing computers, internet connectivity, and school infrastructure improvements. Limited financial resources can hinder the implementation and scaling of these initiatives.
- Internet connectivity in rural areas: While efforts have been made to improve internet connectivity in schools, ensuring high-speed and reliable internet access in rural and remote areas remains a challenge. The availability and affordability of internet services need to be addressed.
- Digital divide: The digital divide between urban and rural areas and among different socioeconomic groups poses a challenge. Bridging this gap and ensuring equal access to computers and the Internet for all students is essential for equitable education.
- Teacher training and capacity building: Effective integration computers and technology in classrooms requires skilled teachers who can utilize these tools for enhanced teaching and learning. Ensuring adequate training and professional development opportunities for teachers is crucial.
- Maintenance and sustainability: Maintaining computers, infrastructure, and internet connectivity in schools requires regular upkeep and support. Ensuring sustainability and long-term maintenance of these resources pose ongoing challenges.
Addressing these challenges requires sustained efforts, the collaboration between government, educational institutions, and stakeholders, and a comprehensive approach focusing on infrastructure development, teacher training, and bridging the digital divide.
Programs launched in India to improve computers, electricity, and the Internet in schools.
- Digital India Initiative: Launched in 2015, this program has the potential to transform India into a digitally empowered society. It includes initiatives like the National Digital Literacy Mission, which focuses on digital literacy and awareness among citizens, including students.
- Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA): This program, launched in 2009, focuses on improving secondary education in India. It includes provisions for computer education, infrastructure development, and ICT-enabled teaching-learning processes in schools.
- Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA): Launched in 2017, this program aims to digitally literate rural households. It includes training on using computers, accessing the Internet, and using digital resources effectively.
- Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan: This centrally sponsored scheme, launched in 2018, integrates various educational initiatives, including providing computers, computer-aided learning, and digital resources in schools.