Higher education is of vital importance for the country, as it is a powerful tool to build knowledge-based society of the 21st Century. India possesses a highly developed higher education system which offers facility of education and training in almost all aspects of human creative and intellectual endeavors arts and humanities, natural, mathematical and social sciences, engineering, medicine, dentistry; agriculture, education, law, commerce and management, music and performing arts, national and foreign languages, culture, communications etc. The expansion in institutional capacity in terms of number of universities/colleges and teachers has provided greater access to the students to post higher secondary education. The official statistical system plays a key role in any society, especially, in a large and diverse democracy. Production and management of statistics must be independent of and distinct from the Government in order to be credible and acceptable to all sections in the society. In fact, the system must act as one of the bedrocks of society, and seek to continuously enlarge its application in the public sphere. It must play host to informed debate and give substance to open democracy and participatory governance. A key principle of the system is that it must be completely independent and transparent. In view of the above, Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) initiated an All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) in the year 2011 with reference date of 30th September, 2010 to build a robust database and to assess the correct picture of higher Education in the country.
The main objectives of the survey was to identify & capture all the institutions of higher learning in the country, Collect the data from all the higher education institutions on various aspects of higher education.
To portray the status of higher education in the country, Ministry of Human Resource Development has endeavoured to conduct an annual web-based this All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) since 2010-11. The survey covers all the Institutions in the country engaged in imparting of higher education. Data is being collected on several parameters such as teachers, student enrolment, programmes, examination results, education finance, and infrastructure. Indicators of educational development such as Institution Density, Gross Enrolment Ratio, Pupil-teacher ratio, Gender Parity Index, Per Student Expenditure will also be calculated from the data collected through AISHE. These are useful in making informed policy decisions and research for development of education sector.