Comments on UDISE+ 2020-21 Data: Samagra Shiksha

Report on UNIFIED DISTRICT INFORMATION SYSTEM FOR EDUCATION PLUS (UDISE+) 2020-21, Government of India, Ministry of Education,  Department of School Education and Literacy, Pages 149, Released on 02 May 2022

Note: The press release of UDISE+ 2020-21 Booklet (Report) was appeared in media on 10th March 2022 and report of the same was also appeared on the website of Department of School Education and Literacy but was later withdrawn from the website which could finally be published in the first week of May 2022.

UDISE+ 2020-21 Observations by Arun C Mehta, Formerly Professor & Head of the EMIS Department, NIEPA, New Delhi

The UDISE+ 2020-21 Report briefly presents analysis at the all-India level and state-specific statements for all the States and Union Territories, including Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh data which was collected as of 30th September 2020.

The time-lag in educational statistics at one point of time was a year at the national level, which is now surely on increase. However, the 2020-21 data has taken a little less time to release than the same in the case of the UDISE+ 2019-20 data. Still, more than 18 months have taken to release the 2020-21 data. Since UDISE+ is now claimed to be a completely online system, it should have taken much lesser time than it took in the view of which the original planning of providing real-time data has forfeited. It was also claimed that since the UDISE+ data is planned to be real-time, there is no need to have a date of reference. The UDISE+ 2020-21, as well as 2019-20+ Reports both brought out by the Ministry of Education, clearly mention that the data provided is as of 30th September of the concerned year.

School Going Child Population

UDISE+ 2020-21 enrolment indicators are also based on child population provided by the Report of the Technical Group on Population Projections, National Commission on Population, Ministry of Health, and Family Welfare (July 2020). The projected child population presented below reveals that the 6 to 13 years child population has declined to 189.59 million in 2020-21 from 190.79 million in 2019-20; thus showing a decline of 1.20 million in absolute terms or 0.63 in percentage form. Improvement in GER, if any is also partially because of the decline in the corresponding child population.

Age-specific Projected Child Population



6 to 10 Years 11 to 13 years
Boys Girls Total Boys Girls Total
2019-20 62093000 56354000 118446400 37587800 34760400 72346800
2020-21 62147000 55998000 118144200 37063400 34386200 71448400

Source: UDISE+ 2019-20 & 2020-21, DoSE&L, Ministry of Education

UDISE+ Statistical Statements
  1. The brief analysis undertaken at the all-India level fails to discuss coverage of UDISE+ in terms of number of schools covered under it in 2020-21 as well as in the previous year 2019-20. It has failed to present reasons of decline in number of schools covered in general and government schools in particular. Is decline in number of schools is because of the increase in the private unaided schools?
  2. Like the Flash Statistics in the previous years (up to 2017-18), none of the UDISE+ 2020-21 tables have time-series information in the absence of which, one has to refer to individual year’s data which is to be downloaded from the portal.
  3. At the national level, while UDISE+ 2019-20 rightly compared indicators with 2012-13 UDISE data, the first year of the unification of DISE and SEMIS, but UDISE+ 2020-21, indicators have only been compared with 2018-19 and 2019-20 or the year from which UDISE is managed by the Ministry of Education.
  4. Only a little analysis is presented in UDISE+ 2020-21 Report and that too at the all-India level only.
  5. In addition to the indicators presented, a few indicators such as the source of drinking water, percentage of contractual teachers, Gross Enrolment Ratio of Muslim enrolment, etc., should have found a place in the report. Similarly, SC and ST age-specific, net enrolment ratios, and adjusted net enrolment ratios have not been presented.
  6. 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.
  7. Since comprehensive information about enrolment in Grade I is now available along with the corresponding age-6 child population, it was expected that apart from enrolment ratios, entry/intake rate would find a place in UDISE+ 2020-21 Report. No meaningful planning can be undertaken without analyzing the entry rate bringing all children of age-6 under the umbrella of educationis the necessary condition to move towards universal school education as envisaged in the NEP 2020.
UDISE+ 2020-21: Coverage of Schools

The UDISE+ 2020-21 is silent on the number of schools covered and starts its analysis directly on enrolment. It may be recalled that the number of schools covered under UDISE+ 2019-20 had declined by 43,292 and the same in the case of schools under the Department of Education management declined by more than 50 thousand schools but no explanation was ever presented on reasons behind the drastic decline in coverage of schools under UDISE+ 2019-20. Contrary to the decline in Government schools, private unrecognized schools were increased by 11,271 schools (3.75 percent). However, a total of 1,428 more schools have been covered under UDISE+ 2020-21 which is 0.09 percent of the total schools in 2019-20. In 2020-21, a total of 3,254 more private unaided schools (0.96 percent) were covered under UDISE+. If we compare the number of schools covered under UDISE 2017-18, the last year of UDISE that was managed by the premiere government institution, NIEPA, the same is declined by a total of 49,767 schools (3.19 percent). The ministry must furnish reasons for the decline, is the decline due to closer or merging of schools? If yes, what were the criteria used?

Number of Schools (All Schools)

Year Total Number of Schools Increase/Decrease %age


Total Government/DoE Schools Total Private Schools
2017-18 15,58,903    
2018-19 15,51,000 – 7,903 – 0.5 326228
2019-20 15,07,708 – 43,292 – 2.8 1032570 337499
2020-21 15,09,136 +1,428 +0.09 1032049 340753
2017-18 to 2020-21   – 49,767 – 3.19    

Source: UDISE & UDISE+, different years.


Total Grades I to XII enrolment in UDISE+ 2020-21 show an increase of 2.83 million which is still lower than total enrolment in 2012-13; the first year of unification. The UDISE+ 2020-21 data was recorded on 30th September 2020 because of which the complete impact of COVID1 started in March 2020 may not be reflected in UDISE+ 2020-21. More shift of students to government schools is expected to be reflected in 2021-22 data.

It is mentioned that a total of 39.7 lakh students shifted from aided and unaided schools to government schools which may not be fully true. Enrolment in aided, unaided, and other schools in 2020-21 was declined by only 14.50 lakhs all of which might have not been shifted to government schools. The balance students of 28.33 lakhs might be termed as fresh admission to the government schools? Because of the shift of students to government schools, its share of total enrolment has slightly increased to 52.18 percent contrary to which enrolment under private unaided schools declined to 34.71 percent in 2020-21 from 35.43 percent in the previous year. In the coming year i.e. 2021-22 the government share to total enrolment is expected to further improve. Since the COVID is now almost over, the government must make all efforts to ensure that students do not shift back to private schools. It is also fact that it is not a general practice to delete names o will come out more f the students once enrolled in schools. Most probably, the names of students migrated to government schools still continue in the private schools? All which need thorough analysis; it is hoped that next year UDISE+ Report will come out with the detailed analysis of migration of students from one private to government schools.

Number of Schools
Change over Previous Year
Aided Managements
Private Unaided
Total I to XII

Source: UDISE+ It may be recalled that total enrolment in UDISE 2012-13 was 25,42,75,128 which is 471 thousand more than enrolment in 2020-21. The highest ever total enrolment was 26,05,96,960 in the year 2015-16.

The increase in total enrolment under government management in 2020-21 is also reflected in the elementary enrolment which has seen a decline by 14.95 lakhs under aided and unaided managements. Surprisingly, a large chunk of the decline in enrolment is due to a decline in enrolment in aided schools. Despite the decline, the share of elementary enrolment in unaided schools stands at 34.12 percent.

Total I to VIII Enrolment
  Management 2017-18 %age 2019-20 %age 2020-21 Change over Previous Year %age
Government 105828898 56.34 101682222 54.50 104492647 2810425 55.62
Aided Managements 13978909 7.44 13366824 7.16 12828918 -537906 6.83
Private Unaided 60860037 32.40 64999102 34.84 64098229 -900873 34.12
Others 7158778 3.81 6511942 3.49 6455696 -56246 3.44
Total I to VIII 187826622 100.00 186560090 100.00 187875490 1315400 100.00

Source: UDISE+

School Enrolment Ratio: 2019-20 & 2020-21

UDISE+ 2020-21 also presents a variety of enrolment ratios all of which suggests that the goal of universal school enrolment is still a far distant dream, except at the primary level of education, at other levels of school education, the unfinished task is challenging to achieve by 2030 as envisaged in the NEP 2020 which is also reflected in India’s commitment towards sustainable development goals for education. For example, UDISE+ 2020-21 indicates that about 54 percent of children of 16 to 17 years are not enrolled in the corresponding level of education as compared to about 26 percent of 14-15 years children not enrolled in the secondary level of education. Further, about 4 percent of children of age 6-13 years are found not to be enrolled which need immediate attention.

Enrolment Ratios



2019-20 2020-21 2019-20 2020-21 2019-20 2020-21 2019-20 2020-21
Primary 102.7  103.3 91.4  92.7 97.3  98.6 97.3  98.6 (6-10 years)
Upper Primary 89.7  92.2 71.1  74.1 81.6  84.4 89.6  91.6 (11-13 years)
Elementary 97.8  99.1 83.7  92.1 94.4  96.0 94.4  96.0 (6-13 years)
Secondary 77.9  79.8 50.2  52.5 60.2  61.8 72.4  73.4 (14-15 years)
Higher Secondary 51.4  53.8 32.3  34.7  – 44.2  46.3 (16-17 years)

Source: UDISE+ 2019-20 & 2020-21

It is hoped that enrolment indices will be computed at the disaggregated levels, such as block and district levels and due attention will be given while formulating school education annual work plan and budget under the ongoing Samagra Shiksha of the Department of School Education and Literacy. The improvement visible in the enrolment ratio, especially at secondary and higher secondary levels is termed marginal.

It may also be important to observe that because of changes made in the school structure, not only the existing set of indicators will be required to be re-looked into but a set of new indicators would be required to be worked out for each of the phases of education, such as,

  • Foundational Stage of School Education (3 years of Pre-primary education including Grades 1 and 2 with corresponding age-group 3 to 8 years)
  • (ii) Preparatory phase consisting of 3 years i.e. Grades 3, 4 and 5
  • (iii) Middle School Education of 3 years (Grades 6, 7 and 8) and
  • (iv) Secondary Education phase of 4 years consisting Grades 9, 10, 11 and 12. It is hoped that UDISE+ 2021-22 Report would present the revised set of enrolment-based indicators corresponding to changes recommended in the NEP 2020.

Like UDISE+ 2019-20, UDISE+ 2020-21 also claims that “changes in GER are usually not much on a year-to-year basis” is factually wrong and misleading. This is reflected in the GER at the primary level during 2017-18 and 2018-19 based on UDISE presented below.

Enrolment Ratio at Primary & Elementary Level



Type of Enrolment Ratio
GER NER Adjusted-NER
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
Efficiency Indicators

Indicators through which one can judge the efficiency of the education system have been presented both at the all-India and state levels. Attaining 100 percent NER is a necessary condition but the sufficient condition to achieve universal enrolment is to ensure that whosoever has entered into the system is retained. Good to observe a steep decline in the average annual dropout rate in recent years. At the primary level of education, the dropout rate is declined from 4.5 percent for cohort 2017-18 to 1.5 percent in cohort 2018-19 and further to 0.8 percent for cohort 2019-20 which needs further analysis, especially the repetition rate at this level which is reported to be 0.1 percent.

The dropout rate is computed based on all schools instead of common schools which had been a practice during 2005-06 to 2017-18 which may produce an underestimate of the dropout rate. Therefore, the dropout rates for the year 2018-19 onwards are not comparable with the same during the years 2005-06 to 2017-18.

The dropout is also low at 1.9 percent per annum at the upper primary level which is encouraging but the same at the secondary level is reported to be 14.6 percent per annum. Further, the transition rate reveals that about 27 percent of students dropped out from the system between secondary to higher 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 81 percent thus indicating about 19 percent of children drop out in between the system from one level of education to another.

If India has to attain the status of universal school education, there is no option but to improve the efficiency of the education system. Hope while formulating annual work plan, adequate strategies will be adopted to check the dropout rate.

Efficiency Indicators

Indicator 2020-21 Boys Girls Total 2019-20
Dropout Rate
Primary 0.8 0.7 0.8 1.5
Upper Primary 1.6 2.3 1.9 2.6
Secondary 14.9 14.2 14.6 16.1
Transition Rate
Primary to Upper Primary 92.0 92.3 92.1 92.8
Upper Primary to Secondary 92.4 90.1 91.3 91.4
Secondary to Higher Secondary 72.5 74.1 73.3 71.6
Retention Rate

Primary (1 to 5) 94.7 95.9 95.3 87.0
Elementary (1 to 8) 79.9 82.1 80.9 74.6
Secondary (1 to 10) 61.9 61.1 61.5 59.6
Higher Secondary (1 to12) 42.1 43.6 42.8 40.2

IT in Schools

UDISE data over a period of time suggests that most of the facilities in schools are improving. However, the availability of computers and internet connectivity in schools is far than satisfactory. Only 40 percent of schools have a computer and 24.5 percent have internet connectivity. This is also crucial for UDISE+ which is said to be an online paperless real-time system. It is easy to imagine how schools manage an online information system without the internet and computer in the schools. School officials or teachers rush to block-level offices or nearest cyber cafés to upload and update data online. In one of the larger states, namely Bihar about 86 percent of schools do not have computers compared to 94 percent of schools that do not have got access to internet facilities in school; percentages in the case of Uttar Pradesh is 79 and 94 percent respectively.

Facility All Schools
2019-20 2020-21
Electricity 80.2 83.9
Internet 22.3 24.5
Computer 39.0 39.9

It is hoped that time-lag will come down and more comprehensive analysis both at the state as well as the national level will be presented in the UDISE+ 2021-22 Report.

Download UDISE+ 2020-21 Booklet/Report