34,035 Students Dropped Out of Higher Edu Institutes; OBCs Top List at 25%: Edu Ministry in RS
According to information provided by the Union education ministry to the Rajya Sabha, a significant number of students have dropped out from various top-ranking higher education institutions in the country. The dropout figures, which amount to 34,035 students, were reported to be highest among the Other Backward Classes (OBC) at 25%, followed by Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST). Minister of State (MoS) Subhas Sarkar shared this data in response to a parliamentary question, revealing that the majority of dropouts occurred in Postgraduate and PhD programs.
The reasons for these dropouts were attributed to two main factors. First, many students opted to leave their academic pursuits in favor of career placements in public sector enterprises. Second, others chose to discontinue their studies due to personal preferences, seeking better opportunities elsewhere. In the case of undergraduate programs, reasons for dropping out included selecting the wrong courses, poor academic performance, as well as personal and medical issues.
To address this concerning trend, educational institutions have taken several corrective measures. These initiatives include the appointment of advisors to monitor students' academic progress, the provision of additional classes for academically weak students, peer-assisted learning, counseling services to alleviate stress, psychological motivation, and encouraging participation in extracurricular activities.
Specifically, the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) experienced a total of 8,139 students dropping out between 2019 and 2023. The highest number of dropouts occurred in 2020-21, during the Covid-19 pandemic when institutions were compelled to switch to online learning. The figures for subsequent years were 2,411 in 2021, 2,152 in 2020, 1,746 in 2022, and 320 until June of the current year. In contrast, the pre-pandemic year, 2019, saw 1,510 students dropping out. The issue of high dropout rates at IITs was discussed during the IIT-Council meeting in Bhubaneswar, leading IIT-Kharagpur to compile dropout data across 23 IITs and submit a report.
The situation was not isolated to IITs; other prestigious institutions were also affected. For example, the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) witnessed 858 students dropping out during the same period.
The National Institutes of Technology (NITs) had 5,623 students dropping out, while central universities accounted for 17,454 dropouts, the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER) had 1,046, and the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIIT) had 803 dropouts. Notably, NITs recorded consistently high dropout numbers among minority students since 2019.
In conclusion, the high dropout rates at various top-ranking higher education institutions in India have prompted corrective measures to retain students and provide them with the necessary support to complete their studies successfully.