Science most preferred stream for PhD students while Social Science & Arts for undergraduate students

New Delhi: There are 760 universities, 38,498 colleges and 12,276 stand alone institutions in India. In these higher educational institutes, total 34.2 million students are enrolled programme levels spanning from Diploma & Certificate courses to PhD programmes. As per All India Survey on Higher Education 2014-15 report of Ministry of HRD, nearly 79.4% of the students are enrolled in undergraduate level programme.

A total of 1.17 lakh students are enrolled in PhD, which is less than 0.34% of the total student enrolment in the higher education system. At PhD level, the most preferred stream is Science followed by Engineering and Technology.


Science stream (Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Zoology, etc) has 30,357 students enrolled for PhD. Among science stream, Chemistry is the most popular subject for PhD students.  Engineering and Technology stream covering 18 sub-streams has total number of 27,467 students enrolled for PhD.

Social Science & Humanities and Arts stream has total number of 14,226 students enrolled for PhD. Among Social Science group subjects, economics is the most preferred subject for PhD students. There are 773 students enrolled in Sanskrit for PhD during 2014-15.

At undergraduate level, preference of subjects among students is quite diverse and different from PhD levels.  The highest number (40%) of students is enrolled in Arts/Humanities/Social Sciences courses followed by Engineering and Technology (16%), Science (15%) and Commerce (14%) at undergraduate level.

On the other hand, at Post Graduate level, MA pass students represent the highest followed by MSc and MBA .

AISHE 2014-15 report mentioned that a total number of 21,830 students were awarded PhD level degree during 2014 with 13,252 males and 8,578 females. The top three states which have awarded highest number of PhD degree are as followed: Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. Tamil Nadu has highest number (3,333) of students who were awarded PhD level degree followed by Uttar Pradesh (2,625) and Maharashtra (2,351).

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