Higher education is of vital importance for the country, as it is a powerful tool to build knowledgebased society of the 21st Century. India possesses a highly developed higher education system which offers facility of education and training in almost all aspects of human creative and intellectual endeavors: arts and humanities; natural, mathematical and social sciences, engineering; medicine; dentistry; agriculture; education; law; commerce and management; music and performing arts; national and foreign languages; culture; communications etc.
The official statistical system plays a key role in any society, especially, in a large and diverse democracy. A key principle of the system is that it must be completely independent and transparent.
In view of the above, Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) initiated an All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) in the year 2010-11 with reference date of 30th September, 2010 to build a robust database and to assess the correct picture of higher Education in the country.
A Task Force was constituted with representations from various stake-holders such as Ministry of Human Resource Development, University Grants Commission, All India Council for Technical Education, Medical Council of India, Indian Institute of Agricultural Statistics Research Institute, Central Statistics Office, Distance Education Council, National University of Education Planning & Administration, Universities, State Higher Education Departments to conceptulise the Survey and to provide technical guidance.
Keeping in view the importance of the information gathered through the survey, Task Force recommended making the survey an annual system of data collection on higher education in the country. The recommendation was accepted by the Ministry and the survey is now an annual exercise.