As per reports of the University Grant
Commission (UGC), the past 11 years have seen a gradual increase in the number
of degree colleges for girls. In the last decade, the number of women colleges
has doubled from 1,977 to 4,506. The commendable increase in the number of
girls enrolled in colleges can be held responsible for the sprouting of women’s
In 30 per cent of the colleges only
vocational courses are being offered.
"This is an important change, because
degree colleges give women a toehold to pursue a career of their choice even if
they come from a conservative atmosphere," commented Shweta Prasad, who is
a lecturer at the Banaras Hindu University.
The All India Survey on Higher Education
report 2014-2015 has revealed that 46 per cent of students in the country are
"Overall, the increase in the number
of women's colleges indicates the growing demand for higher education for women
among communities that lack access and among communities where women aren't
traditionally expected to pursue higher education," added Prasad.
"The demand for higher education for
girls on the margins of society -- in comparatively remote rural areas and in
economically weaker regions -- indicates that they are now looking for a social
change," said sociologist Prasad, as told to a popular news daily.
When the Uttar Pradesh government set up Pt
Deen Dayal Upadhyay Rajkiya Balika Mahavidyalaya, many girls in the Sevapuri
village enrolled in it for degree programme. "Had it not been for this
college, we wouldn't have taken admission to graduate at all. Our parents
wouldn't let us study with boys," proclaimed Baya Bhutia, who recently
graduated from the college.
Indu Agnihotri , Director of the Centre for
Women's Development Studies of New Delhi, highlighted the fact that many women
from the Muslim community and SCs/STs have enrolled in higher education.
"There is growing aspiration driving this increased representation in
single-sex colleges," said Agnihotri.