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Maharashtra: PhD enrolment up by 36%, PG by 25%, shows AISHE 2019-20 report

Higher education is becoming more accessible to students with every passing year, shows recently released All Indian Survey of Higher Education (AISHE) report 2019-20
By Shreya Bhandary, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON JUN 12, 2021 12:09 AM IST

Higher education is becoming more accessible to students with every passing year, shows recently released All Indian Survey of Higher Education (AISHE) report 2019-20. Once again Maharashtra has reported to have attracted the one of the highest number of students by enrolling over 3 million students across higher education institutes in the state, second only to Uttar Pradesh with 4.7 million enrolments.

According to the report, admissions to postgraduate (PG) and PhD courses witnessed a 19.7% rise across the country, from around 169,000 enrolments in 2018-19. PhD figures in Maharashtra rose by over 36% in one year, from 8,796 to 11,983 in 2019-20.

“In the last few years, several public and private universities in the state have been attracting the brightest of minds in the field of research. Even public universities are giving out post-doctoral degrees to more and more students with every passing year. This could be due to more research and PhD fellowships being given out by state and central bodies as well as availability of more guides across universities,” said a senior official from the University of Mumbai.

Overall, the Bachelor in Arts (BA) course remained the most popular among students across the country once again this year. From 9.3 million students who enrolled for the course in 2018-19, the number stood at a staggering 9.65 million in 2019-20.

After witnessing a decline in the overall enrolment in professional courses, especially engineering and technology, the figures seem better in 2019-20. As per the latest AISHE report, BTech and MTech programmes witnessed a marginal rise after almost hitting a four-year low in 2018-19.

The enrolment for MTech stood at 135,500 in 2018-19 and 137,051 in 2019-20. Similarly, enrolment for BTech programmes stood at 2,125,043 in 2018-19 which rose to 2,147,962 in 2019-20. Many felt the decision of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to encourage introduction of new age courses like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Data Science and Robotics in technical colleges could be the main reason for this push.

“In 2020-21 year as well, Electronics and Communication sector managed to swoop in the best of minds and many also opted for BTech in AI and Data Science fields. Since jobs in electronics as well as AI sectors are gaining more popularity, students are very clear about their ambition and aiming for seats in specific departments,” said Gopakumaran Thampi, principal of Thadomal Shahani Engineering College, Bandra.

Other professional courses, including undergraduate degrees in medical, dental and law courses too witnessed a rise in enrolment this year. MBBS enrolment in the country went up by over 7% from around 267,000 to 287,000 in 2019-20. Similarly, law aspirants’ enrolment went up by 9% from 364,000 to 398,000 in 2019-20. MBA applicants too increased from 588,000 in 2018-19 to 609,000 in 2019-20, a 3.5% rise.

More students opting for higher studies


Total universities—65

Total colleges—4,494

Total stand-alone institutions—2,393

Top five states with highest student (18-23 years) enrolment in colleges—

State ----- 2018-19 ----- 2019-20

Uttar Pradesh ----- 47,91,749 ----- 47,66,439

Maharashtra ----- 29,57,491 ----- 30,09,419

Tamil Nadu ----- 22,74,639 ----- 22,75,290

Rajasthan ----- 14,97,385 ----- 16,03,931

Madhya Pradesh ----- 13,90,781 ----- 15,01,236

Maharashtra level-wise student enrolment— (M-Male, F-Female)


PhD-------------------8,796 (M-4,923 F-3,873)---------------------11,983 (M-7,122 F-4,861)

Postgraduate--------4,61,243 (M-2.18Lac F-2.42Lac)---------,78,502 (M-2.25Lac F-2.53Lac)

Under graduate------33,51,689------------------------------------33,92,975


Foreign students enrolling in Maharashtra

PG/PhD level—1,187

UG level—3,403

Certificate/integrated courses—9


*Source-AISHE 2019-20

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