Government is aiming at expansion of gross enrolment ratio in higher education to 30% with 40-45 million students in the next 10 years, HRD minister Kapil Sibal said on Saturday.
Addressing the IGNOU convocation through videoconferencing, the minister said the government's endeavour is to raise the GER in the country to the global average of 30%.
"I am setting sights to raise it to the global average by 2020, which by then will be around 30%. It will mean that the enrolment should expand to 40-45 million from the mere 13 million today," he said.
IGNOU Vice Chancellor V N Rajasekharan Pillai said the University has set a target of enrolling seven million students with the majority from disadvantaged section in the next five years.
He said there was growing demand for higher education from a rising lower-middle class and from the women due to which distance education is increasingly becoming popular.
"We are targeting an enrolment of at least seven million students with a majority from the disadvantaged sections and locations, during the next five years," Pillai said, adding IGNOU has identified 120 districts with gross enrolment ratio (GER) ranging between 3 to and 7 per cent to tap the prospective learners in the age group of 18-23 years.
As many as 78 students received gold medals this year. In all, 44,926 bachelor's degree, 20,775 Master's degree, 59,042 diplomas, 90,618 certificates and 3 Ph.Ds were awarded to students during the ceremony with 10 gold medallists from Delhi and four cash award recipients.