According to a recent survey, although the Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) for Maharashtra is better than the national average, it is limited only to specific regions.
GER is the percentage of the official population in the eligible age group of 18-23 years in a given school year. While the GER for Maharashtra alone is 31.1, the same for India is only 25.8.
The sharp contrast amongst the regions can be established between regions like Kolhapur, Pune, Aurangabad, Amravati, and Nagpur with GER above 40 and Gadchiroli, Yavatmal, Washim, Buldhana, Parbhani and Latur regions with GER below 15. Mumbai has the highest GER (52.7), whereas, districts like Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri, and Singhudurg have GER less than half of Mumbai. Scheduled Tribes in Thane and Palghar (6.37) and Raigad (5.9) are the regions with the worst GER.
A book named, “Re-engineering Status of Higher Education in Maharashtra”, has said that GER viewed from a separate perspective means that the spread of higher education becomes interconnected with the economic situation of a district under consideration as well. In that situation, positive interference by a university and the government is required to uplift educationally backward districts or regions in the fold of higher education.
The survey helps universities to combine skills in degree courses as the universities cannot remain alienated from the society for which they have to innovate themes like process optimization for processing of jackfruit, jaggery industry for Shivaji University, Kolhapur (SUK), tribal art and handicrafts for Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University (BAMU), career improvement of disabled soldiers for Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) and Mumbai University (MU).
The survey adds that the percentage of colleges Graded A among the accredited colleges can act as another benchmark to gauge the quality of higher education.
News piece written by Subhashri Roy