Data show that the proportion of these children is higher in rural areas and among SCs, STs and Muslims
The official numbers of out-of-school children in India are either out of date or contradictory. According to the 2011 Census, the number of out-of-school children in the 5-17 age group was 8.4 crore. However, according to a survey commissioned in 2014 by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, the number of out-of-school children in the 6-13 age group was only 60.64 lakh. This is a gross underestimation. It is quite unlikely that the number of out-of-school children came down so drastically from 2011 to 2014, especially given that there were no significant changes in objective conditions, warranting such a miraculous reduction.
A matter of serious concern
We recently calculated the number of out-of-school children in India on the basis of the 71st round of the National Sample Survey (NSS) carried out in 2014. We took into account the 6-18 age group, which we consider to be the most appropriate for estimating out-of-school children, even though…