Over 10 years, women outnumbered men in MD; number of medical graduates dropped

10 years of AISHE reports show women have outnumbered men practically throughout and the number of PhDs has risen dramatically in pharmacy.

Over 10 years, women outnumbered men in MD; number of medical graduates dropped AISHE report on Medical and allied sciences
Nidhi Agarwal | Aug 22, 2021 - 11:21 a.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: Over the past decade, women have consistently outnumbered men in undergraduate programmes in medicine and allied sciences. But in the case of postgraduate courses, the male-female ratio has changed. Ten years ago, more than half the roll-strength was male. But government data shows that over the past three years, women have outnumbered men at this level as well.

Started in the academic year 2010-11, the annual All India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE) is a web-based survey conducted by the Ministry of Education to portray the status of higher education in the country. It includes enrolment and graduation data for undergraduate, postgraduate and research levels by gender as well as branches within the sector that go with general medicine, including pharmacy, nursing, Ayurveda, dentistry and more.

For the postgraduate level, the report showed a gradual increase (on an average by 10 percent of the total enrolled) in the number of students enrolled from 2013-14. But 2019-20 alone saw a sharp increase of almost 28%. Similarly, in 2011-12 the number of students enrolled was more than double that of the previous year.

Careers360 analysed the data on medicine and allied sciences in the AISHE reports of the past decade. The number of medical graduates dropped from 3,76,873 in 2010-11 to 2,38,631 in 2019-20.

Also Read| Enrolment ratio in higher education grows to 27.1%: AISHE 2019-20 Report

Universities for medical studies

Over the 10 years, the number of medical universities has more than doubled. Six new universities were added from the 2017-18 academic session taking the total number to 58 which remained static the next year, 2018-19. But in an even bigger spurt, eight new medical universities were added by 2019-20.


Enrolment: Medical sciences

The percentage of undergraduate enrolment in medical science hovered between 3% and 4% for most of the decade, crossing 4.5% only in 2019-20. This has been calculated using the absolute number of enrolments in medical science and the total undergraduate enrolment in AISHE reports. Undergraduate enrolment has been distributed stream-wise, which includes arts, engineering and technology, science, commerce, education, medical science and 10 more such streams. Medical science alone has 48 sub-streams.


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Over the past decade, India produced over 21 lakh medical science professionals, including doctors, dentists and Ayurveda practitioners.

Medicine, pharmacy research

Pharmacy has the highest enrolment at all levels. The maximum enrolment in PhD is in pharmacy with the stream accounting for 37.9% of the total research enrolment in medical sciences 2019-20. In 10 years, although the number of pharmacy students has multiplied, their percentage out of the total has increased just by a few points, from 32.12% to 37.9%.

Dentistry shows a one percent increase in 10 years for PhD. For general medicine, the numbers tripled in absolute terms but dropped by 1.62 percent compared to other programmes. The numbers were small to begin with. Nursing showed a jump of six points over the same period, from 1.24 percent in 2010-11 to 7.13 percent in 2019-20.


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Postgraduate programmes

Till 2013-14, there were fewer women than men at the postgraduate level. But since 2014-15, the trend has changed. Since then, women have dominated at the postgraduate level as well in every year except in 2016-17.

The numbers increased each year for pharmacy and general medicine, but their proportion fluctuated.


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