Monday, November 01, 2004

Bihar's Dalit percentage in higher education good: NGO

The literacy rate among Dalits in Bihar is the lowest in India but the number of Dalits availing of higher education in the state is much higher than that in many developed states.

Unlike school education, the overall picture of Dalits in higher education in Bihar is different and encouraging, says a study by New Delhi based NGO Deshkal Society.

Literacy among Dalits in Bihar is the lowest in the country, standing at just 19 per cent, and the dropout rate for the community is 61.64 per cent -- only marginally better than that for Sikkim (61.76 per cent) and Rajasthan (63.20 per cent).

But Bihar is ranked 14th in terms of the total number of Scheduled Caste students enrolled at the graduate level, and 15th at the postgraduate level.

At the PhD level, Bihar climbs higher to the 10th place. In terms of overall higher education including PhD, MA, M Com, BA, BSc, MBBS and B Ed among Dalits, Bihar is ranked 11th in the country.

"The picture of higher education in Bihar reflects a much better resilience among Dalits against dropping out of education," said Sanjay Kumar of Deshkal Society.

Source: Indo-Asian News Service, November 1, 2004

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