India’s student population in the 5-19 years age group has increased by 30% between 2001 and 2011 but the increases are unevenly distributed across religious communities, with lagging sections catching up.
Among Muslims, the number of students zoomed by 44%, and within that, among girls by a staggering 53%. As a result, students now constitute 63% of this age group among Muslims. This is still behind the 73% among Hindus. Jains with 88% have the highest student ratio in the 5-19 age bracket, followed by Christians.
In the 20-29 years age group, the share of persons seeking work was 20% for the country as a whole.
Among Christian youth, unemployment was strikingly higher at 26%. This is worrying because Christians were the highest educated community in the last census, with 71% of the 5-19 years age group studying. In the latest census, their student population reached 80% of the age group.
Details of student populations and employment among various religious communities are available in the freshly-released census data.
Religious communities that had embraced education more widely in the past, like the Christians, Sikhs, and Jains, understandably show much smaller changes since the last census in 2001. In fact, among Jains, there is a 10% decline in the number of students.