Education Datasets Wiki

Below is a list of datasets that are relevant to programmes in the Indian education sector. These datasets span academic, administrative, and social indicators. Most of these datasets are published by government institutions and are considered official sources by all government departments across the country.

Table of contents


Performance Grading Index (PGI)

Click here to visit the PGI website

The Performance Grading Index (PGI) is published by the Ministry of Education on an annual basis. The Index was first introduced in 2017 and it was envisaged that “the Index will propel States and Union Territories (UTs) towards undertaking multi-pronged interventions that will bring about the much-desired optimal education outcomes.”

The PGI provides insights on the status of school education in States & UTs, including key levers that drive their performance and critical areas of performance. It also motivates States and UTs to adopt best practices followed by the top performing States.

The latest available report for the session 2021-22 was released in July 2023. This report marked the introduction of PGI 2.0 – a revision version of the original index. According to the Ministry, it was felt that several states/UTs had reached a saturation point in many indicators and that some indicators were redundant while other important ones were missing from PGI. In the original PGI index, teachers’ education had little to no representation whereas governance indicators were overly representative (making up 360 points out of 1000).

In PGI 2.0 there are 73 indicators now spread over 6 domains (teacher education being the newly introduced one). The overall maximum score attainable remains 1000. A major difference in the scoring is that now data for 69 out of 73 indicators is taken directly from sources like NAS, UDISE+, PM POSHAN and PRABANDH portal. States/UTs have to fill up data for only 4 indicators. Whereas previously States/UTs would fill all the indicators themselves.

Performance Grading Index – District (PGI-D)

Click here to visit the PGI-D website

PGI-District takes the approach of PGI and applies it to all districts of the country. The ultimate objective of PGI-D is to help the Districts to prioritise areas for intervention in school education and thus improve to reach the highest grade.

As of July 2023, two reports have been released under PGI-D: one for 2018-19 & 2019-20, and another for 2020-21 and 2021-22. Of the 83 indicators in PGI-D, data for 55 indicators is filled by the district offices while the remaining are sourced from UDISE+ and NAS. This data is approved by the state office before it is locked and used by the Ministry.

The PGI-D structure comprises total weightage of 600 points, which are grouped under 6 categories viz., Outcomes, Effective Classroom Transaction, Infrastructure Facilities & Student’s Entitlements, School Safety & Child Protection, Digital Learning and Governance Process.

These categories are further divided into 12 domains, viz., Learning Outcomes and Quality (LO), Access Outcomes (AO), Teacher Availability and Professional Development Outcomes (TAPDO), Learning Management (LM), Learning Enrichment Activities (LEA), Infrastructure, Facilities, Student Entitlements (IF&SE), School Safety and Child Protection (SS&CP), Digital Learning (DL), Funds convergence and utilisation (FCV), Enhancing CRCs Performance (CRCP), Attendance Monitoring Systems (AMS) and School Leadership Development (SLD).

School Education Quality Index (SEQI)

Click here to visit the SEQI website

SEQI was introduced by the NITI Aayog around the same time that PGI was introduced by the Ministry of Education. Like the PGI, SEQI too evaluates “the performance of States and Union Territories (UTs) in the school education sector … (and) aims to bring an outcomes focus to education policy by providing States and UTs with a platform to identify their strengths and weaknesses and undertake requisite course corrections or policy interventions”.

SEQI has the same domains as PGI 1.0, except that there are 30 indicators that total 965 points. Additionally, unlike PGI, SEQI uses three categories: Large States, Small States and Union Territories.

How can this data be useful for educational planning?

Data from PGI, PGI-D and SEQI provide a bird’s eye view of the status of education.

  1. Government departments of education can use these reports to identify areas of improvement and set targets for themselves.
  2. Researchers can use these reports to compare the performance of states and districts, and identify trends over time.
  3. Civil society organisations can use these reports to identify areas of intervention and advocate for policy changes.


Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+)

Click here to visit the UDISE+ website

UDISE+ is a comprehensive data collection system that covers all aspects of school education, from infrastructure to student achievement. From 2018-19, UDISE+ is maintained by the Ministry of Education. Originally, the system was called DISE and was developed and maintained by NIEPA (from 1994-95 to 2017-18).1

UDISE+ has a mandate of collecting information from all recognized schools imparting formal education from pre-primary to class XII. This covers all schools including madrasas, private unaided schools, and government aided or sponsored schools. The Data Capture Formats cover fields in the following categories: Basic School Profile (Location, Management, Medium of Instruction etc.), School Safety, Receipts and Expenditure, Vocational Education, Physical Facilities and Equipment, and details of students, teachers and non-teaching staff.

All state project offices under Samagra Shiksha have MIS units that manage the activities related to UDISE+. Data is entered at the school level and aggregated at the block, district and state MIS offices. The UDISE+ data for each school year is ‘frozen’ on September 30th of that calendar year. For example, the UDISE+ 2021-22 data reports the status as on September 30th, 2021.

Information collected through UDISE+ is utilised for planning, optimising resource allocation and implementing various education-related programs and assessing progress. It is the only comprehensive credible database of school data in India.

While direct access to the UDISE+ raw data is not available to the general public, the UDISE+ Reports Dashboard publishes several useful metrics such as number of schools/teachers/students, enrolment ratios, and availability of infrastructure. Additionally, a request can be made for access to the raw data using the UDISE+ Data Sharing Portal.

State Education Management Information System (EMIS)

Several states operate their own EMIS that collect data on a more regular basis (near real-time) than the annual frequency of UDISE+.

These EMIS often act as both a management information system and a service-delivery system. Services related to the education system are usually provided through the EMIS such as issuing transfer certificates to students, managing transfer requests by teaching and non-teaching staff, recording summative (and sometimes formative) assessment results, managing mid-day meal services, and financial management (employee salary disbursal).

In most cases, there is no public access to the data collected on state EMIS platforms. It is also worth noting that given the difference in frequency of data collection between state EMIS and UDISE+, the two datasets often do not match.

A few examples of State EMIS are listed below:

How can this data be useful for educational planning?

Data from UDISE+ and state EMIS platforms can be used to understand the status of education in a state, district or school. This data can be used to identify gaps in infrastructure, teacher availability, and student enrolment. This information can then be used to set targets for improvement and allocate resources accordingly.

Since this data is collected on an annual basis, it can also be used to track progress over time. This can help identify trends and patterns that can inform future planning.


National Achievement Survey (NAS)

Click here to visit the NAS website

The National Achievement Survey (NAS) is a large-scale assessment conducted by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) for students in classes 3, 5, 8 and 10. The NAS is conducted every three years and is designed to provide information on the learning achievement of students in various subjects. The NAS is conducted in all 36 states and union territories of India on a sample basis.

It is a national representative survey that provides a system level reflection on effectiveness of school education. Most recently, NAS was conducted in November 2021. NAS 2021 covered nearly 3.4 million students studying in approximately 1.18 lakh schools, spanning different categories such as state government, government aided, private unaided and central government.

Historically, NAS was managed by the Education Statistics Division of the NCERT. NAS 2021, however, was conducted through a joint NAS Cell with the efforts of the Ministry of Education, NCERT and CBSE, and other non-governmental bodies such as UNICEF. The NAS Cell is responsible for the overall coordination of the survey, including the development of test items, sampling, training of field functionaries, data collection, data processing, analysis and report writing.

The Survey is conducted in states through the state project offices of Samagra Shiksha. On ground, pre-service teachers, i.e., students enrolled in teacher training programmes such as the Basic Teaching Certificate (BTC) offered by DIETs and PTTIs, are recruited as field investigators. These field investigators are trained by the state project offices and are responsible for administering the test to students in their assigned schools. Spot checks and supervision of the field investigators is done by the state project offices.

The assessment questionnaire under NAS is based on the student learning outcomes developed by the NCERT for each class and subject. The Survey also records a number of background variables that help to accurately discover the students’ performance in different learning outcomes vis-à-vis the contextual variables. For example, NAS makes it possible to know what is the average learning level in Mathematics of class III girl students belonging to the Scheduled Tribes category in Chhattisgarh.

Foundational Learning Study (FLS) 2022

Click here to visit the FLS website

The Ministry of Education launched the National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy (NIPUN) Bharat in July 2021 as a national mission to enable all children at the end of Grade 3 to attain foundational skills by the year 2026-2027. As a crucial step towards this effort, a Foundational Learning Study (FLS) was conducted in March 2022 on a sample basis covering about 86,000 students in 10,000 schools across the country.

The study covered 20 languages that are being used as mediums of instruction. The objective of the study was to assess learning outcomes of Grade 3 students in foundational literacy and numeracy and establish baseline benchmarks for reading and numeracy for NIPUN Bharat. Unlike the NAS, the field investigator administered the test in a one-on-one setting where each child responded to a set of questions administered orally.

The FLS report matches student performance against a Global Minimum Proficiency (GMP) standard for each language and numeracy. The average student performance is then categorised into four categories (in order): Below Partially Meets GMP; Partially Meets GMP; Meets GMP; Exceeds GMP.

The FLS reports can be accesesed on the NCERT website.

Annual Status of Education Report (ASER)

Click here to visit the ASER website

The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) is a unique and influential initiative in the educational landscape of India, focusing on assessing the learning outcomes and educational status of children across the country. ASER is conducted annually by the non-profit organization Pratham, with the aim of providing a detailed and grassroots-level understanding of the quality of education.

ASER stands out for its bottom-up approach, employing a large-scale, citizen-led survey methodology. Trained volunteers, often from local communities, visit households in rural and urban areas to assess the basic reading and arithmetic abilities of children in the age group of 3 to 16. The survey covers a diverse range of educational settings, including formal schools, informal education centers, and homes.

The primary focus of ASER is to gauge foundational skills in reading and arithmetic, providing a comprehensive picture of the learning levels of children. This information is crucial for identifying gaps in the education system and understanding the effectiveness of teaching methodologies.

ASER’s significance for education planning lies in its ability to highlight the ground realities of education at the grassroots level. The report provides valuable insights into the disparities in learning outcomes across regions, socioeconomic backgrounds, and demographic groups. Policymakers and education planners can use this data to tailor interventions that address specific challenges faced by different communities.

In addition to assessing basic skills, ASER also captures information on factors such as school infrastructure, attendance patterns, and the availability of teaching resources. This holistic approach enables a nuanced analysis of the overall education ecosystem, allowing for the identification of systemic issues that may impact learning outcomes.

ASER’s annual nature contributes to its dynamic and responsive character. The regular release of reports provides a longitudinal view of educational trends, helping policymakers track the impact of interventions over time. This cyclical assessment allows for the measurement of progress and the identification of areas that require sustained attention and improvement.

For education planners, ASER serves as a real-time feedback mechanism, offering insights into the effectiveness of policies and programs aimed at enhancing learning outcomes. The citizen-driven methodology ensures that the report reflects the ground-level realities faced by students and educators.

How can this data be useful for educational planning?

Data about student academic levels can be used to identify gaps in learning outcomes and inform targeted interventions. This data can also be used to track progress over time and evaluate the impact of educational policies and programs.

Since different agencies/organisations collect such data, it is important to understand the methodology used to collect the data. For example, the NAS is a large-scale assessment conducted by the NCERT, while ASER is a citizen-led survey conducted by Pratham. The differences in methodology can lead to differences in the data collected. It is therefore important to understand the nuances of each dataset before using it for educational planning.


Project Approval Board (PAB) Minutes

[Click here to visit the PAB Minutes website]

The Project Approval Board (PAB) is the apex body for approving the Annual Work Plan & Budget (AWP&B) of all states, union territories, and national institutions (such as NCERT, TSG) for the next financial year. The PAB meets once a year, usually between February to April, after the Union Budget has been announced. For states and UTs, the PAB reviews the progress of activities under Samagra Shiksha and approves the AWP&B along with certain recommendations.

The PAB Minutes are published every year by the Ministry of Education. These minutes contain details on the proposed programmes and activities by states/UTs and the approved budget for the same, as well as details on spill over funds from the previous year.

Budget Briefs

Click here to visit the Budget Briefs website

Budget Briefs are published by Accountability Initiative (AI) every year. These briefs provide a detailed analysis of the education budget at the state level.

From the website:

Using government reported data, the briefs analyse trends in allocations, public expenditures, outputs and outcomes of key social sector programmes. These briefs are published in the run-up to the Government of India budget in February every year.

How can this data be useful for educational planning?

While the PAB Minutes are not a comprehensive source of data, they do provide a snapshot of the activities planned by states/UTs for the next financial year. This can be used by researchers and civil society organisations to understand the priorities of states/UTs and identify areas of intervention.

Combined with the Budget Briefs, these documents can also be used to track the progress of activities and the utilisation of funds over time.


National Family Health Survey (NFHS)

Click here to visit the NFHS-5 website

The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) is a comprehensive data collection initiative conducted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in India. While primarily focused on health and demographic indicators, NFHS holds significant relevance for education planning as it provides valuable insights into the socio-economic and demographic characteristics of households.

NFHS is conducted periodically, with each survey offering a snapshot of the health and well-being of individuals and families across the country. The survey encompasses a wide range of topics, including maternal health, child health, nutrition, family planning, and various other health-related parameters. The data collected through NFHS serves as a vital resource for policymakers, researchers, and planners involved in shaping public health and education policies.

One of the key aspects that makes NFHS relevant to education planning is its inclusion of educational indicators. The survey gathers information on educational attainment, literacy rates, and school enrolment, shedding light on the educational landscape at both the national and state levels. This data becomes instrumental in understanding the correlation between health and education, allowing for informed decision-making in the development and implementation of educational programs.

For education planners, NFHS provides a nuanced understanding of the demographic characteristics of the population, including factors such as age, gender, and socio-economic status. This information is invaluable for tailoring education initiatives to address specific needs and challenges faced by different segments of the population.

NFHS data can also contribute to the identification of correlations between health outcomes and educational achievements. For instance, it allows for the examination of how maternal education levels influence child health and nutrition. Such insights are crucial for designing holistic and integrated policies that address both health and education outcomes.

While NFHS does not directly focus on education, its comprehensive nature and inclusion of educational indicators make it a valuable tool for education planning. Policymakers and education authorities can leverage NFHS data to create evidence-based policies, allocate resources efficiently, and ensure that educational programs are aligned with the diverse needs of the population.

National Sample Survey (NSS) Reports

Click here to visit the NSSO Reports website

The National Sample Survey (NSS) Reports constitute a cornerstone in the landscape of data collection and analysis in India. Operated by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) conducts large-scale, nation-wide surveys to gather data on various aspects of socio-economic life. While the primary focus of NSSO is not education, the reports encompass a broad spectrum of topics, including employment, income, consumption patterns, and living conditions, providing valuable insights that are integral to education planning.

NSSO conducts periodic surveys that involve a representative sample of households across urban and rural areas. These surveys capture a wealth of information that extends beyond economic parameters to encompass educational indicators. The data collected includes literacy rates, educational attainment levels, school enrolment patterns, and expenditure on education, offering a comprehensive overview of the educational landscape in the country.

For education planners and policymakers, NSSO Reports serve as a crucial resource for understanding the socio-economic context in which education is situated. The reports enable a nuanced analysis of the relationship between economic factors and educational outcomes, helping to identify barriers to education and inform targeted interventions.

One of the key strengths of NSSO data is its granularity, allowing for the examination of educational trends at the state and regional levels. This geographic specificity is invaluable for tailoring education policies to address the unique challenges faced by different regions, fostering a more equitable and inclusive education system.

The NSSO Reports contribute significantly to evidence-based decision-making in education planning. Planners can leverage the data to identify trends in educational access, quality, and outcomes, guiding the formulation of policies that address specific needs and gaps in the education sector. Moreover, the reports enable the tracking of changes over time, facilitating the evaluation of the impact of education policies and interventions.

While NSSO Reports are not exclusively focused on education, their comprehensive coverage of socio-economic indicators, including education-related data, makes them an indispensable tool for shaping effective and targeted education planning. By drawing on NSSO data, education authorities can develop strategies that align with the socio-economic realities of the population, fostering a more responsive and dynamic education system in India.

How can this data be useful for educational planning?

Data from NFHS and NSSO Reports can be used to understand the socio-economic and demographic characteristics of the population. This information can be used to identify gaps in educational access and outcomes, and inform targeted interventions. This data can also be used to track progress over time and evaluate the impact of educational policies and programs.

  1. Learn more about the history of UDISE on Prof. Arun C Mehta’s blog