• G. S. Paper 2
  • Recent ASER Report of India 2017
  • About ASER Report and its background


  • The ASER study revealed that India’s learning deficit is worsening.
  • In 14-18 years age group, only 43% are able to do a simple division correctly, while 47% of 14-year-olds could not read a simple sentence in English, revealed the report.
  • The legacy of learning deficit visible so far in elementary school children is now being reflected among young adults too, the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) study revealed.


  • ASER stands for Annual Status of Education Report.
  • Established in 2008, ASER Centre is Pratham’s autonomous research and assessment unit.
  • This is an annual survey that aims to provide reliable estimates of children’s enrolment and basic learning levels for each district and state in India.
  • ASER has been conducted every year since 2005 in all rural districts of India.
  • It is the largest citizen-led survey in India.
  • It is also the only annual source of information on children’s learning outcomes available in India today.

How proficient are Secondary Schools in India?

  • 57% of 14-15 year olds cannot do a simple division
  • 40% of 18 year olds cannot read a simple sentence in English
  • 25% in the 14-18 age group cannot read basic text in their own language
  • Only 5% school students are taking some kind of vocational education
  • 42% of 14-18 age group students are working regardless of their schooling
  • 76% could count money
  • 58% cannot read their state map,14 % could not read India’s map
  • Female dropout rate rises with age
  • 75% youth have their own bank account

The findings are disappointing and pointing to a larger problem since, around 10% of Indian population is in this age group, their productivity has a direct bearing on India’s competitiveness as an economy.

At the same time, it also poses a political challenge to incumbent governments as they cannot be easily absorbed in the workforce—adding to the growing number of unemployed youth.

The ASER findings serve as a warning ahead of India’s participation in the rigorous Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) to be conducted by OECD in 2021.

In 2009, the last time it participated, India was ranked second last among 74 countries and regions, inviting sharp criticism from academics and experts on how Indian education is impacting the country’s competitiveness to become a global powerhouse.

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