IndiaMinistry of Education

Initiatives taken by the Government to promote girls and women across the country

As per All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE), the overall enrolment of female students in higher education has been consistently increasing over the years. Table below gives female, male and total enrolment in higher education between 2015-16 and 2019-20. The enrolment of females has increased by about 18% from 1.60 crore in 2015-16 to 1.89 crore in 2019-20.

Enrolment in Higher Education from 2015-16 to 2019-20


Enrolment Growth (%) in enrolment over the previous year % Female enrolment
Female Male Total Female Male Total
2015-16 15990058 18594723 34584781 46.2
2016-17 16725310 18980595 35705905 4.6 2.1 3.3 46.8
2017-18 17437703 19204675 36642378 4.3 1.2 2.5 47.6
2018-19 18189500 19209888 37399388 4.3 0.0 2.2 48.6
2019-20 18892612 19643747 38536359 3.9 2.3 3.0 49.0
Growth (%) in enrolment during 2015-16 to 2019-20 18.2 5.6 11.3  
(source: Compiled from  AISHE reports of different years)


The steps taken/being taken by the Government to promote education among girls and women are as follows:

      1. Issuing of new UGC regulation for Open and Distance Learning that allows entry of reputed institutions to offer education on the distance mode.
      2. Use of ICT technology- SWAYAM portal to take the best teaching resources to all, including the most disadvantaged.
      3. Opening of more centrally funded institutions.
      4. Encouraging opening of institutions by State Governments through the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) which aims to achieve equity, access and excellence in higher education. The scheme supports components such as upgrading autonomous colleges to universities, clustering colleges to establish a university, setting up of new professional colleges in un-served and underserved areas as well as providing infrastructure grants to universities and colleges to scale up capacity.
      5.  More scholarship programmes to supplement the cost of education.
      6. Additionally, as per the recommendations of National Education Policy (NEP), 2020, the following steps are being initiated by the Government to ensure equitable access to the highest quality of education for all learners, especially women, regardless of social or economic background:
        1. A Gender Inclusion Fund will be constituted by Government of India to provide quality and equitable education to all girls. The fund will focus on ensuring 100% enrolment of girls in Schooling and a record participation rate in higher education.
        2. Free hostel facilities will be made available for all women.
        3. New multi-disciplinary HEIs (including those specially for women) will be opened in or near every district.
        4. Special scholarships for women/transgender/ divyang will be introduced.
        5. Guidelines and advisories will be issued and monitoring mechanism will be put in place to ensure basic facilities amenities and safe, secure environment in all HEIs for women.

The information was given by the Union Minister of Education, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.

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