Annual Status of Education Report (Rural) 2023: Beyond Basics


The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) is a nationwide household survey conducted since 2005 on children’s education and learning outcomes. Conducted across rural India, children aged 3-16 years are surveyed on pre-school and school enrolment levels, and those aged 5-16 years of age are assessed individually on their reading, arithmetic and English skills.

The ‘Beyond Basics’ reports, first published in 2017, surveys 14-18-year-olds on their educational experiences across 28 districts in rural India. This ASER 2023 ‘Beyond Basics’ builds on the 2017 framework and adds new areas of survey such as digital and smartphone usage in rural areas. The survey reached 28 districts across 26 states in India reaching a total of 34,745 individuals. It finds that 86.8 per cent of 14-18-year-old youths are enrolled in an educational institution.

This 248-page report is divided into five sections: Commentary (Section 1); ASER 2023: Background Documents (Section 2); The national picture (Section 3); District pages (Section 4); Annexures (Section 5).


  1. About 90 per cent of the surveyed households have smartphones and out of the surveyed youth 94.7 per cent males and 89.8 per cent females could use the smartphone. Out of the males who knew how to use smartphones, 43.7 per cent owned a smartphone. Only 19.8 per cent of the females who knew how to use a smartphone owned one.

  2. The report states that more and more young people now have completed eight or more years of schooling – 84 per cent in 2023 compared to 81 per cent in 2017.

  3. ASER 2017 found that 16 per cent of females between 14-18 years of age were out of school as compared to 11.9 per cent males.

  4. Among 14–18-year-olds, 55.7 per cent studying in Class XI or higher were enrolled in the Arts/Humanities stream.

  5. About 25 per cent of the youths cannot read a Std II level text fluently in their regional language. About 57.3 per cent can read sentences in English. Of those who can read sentences in English, 73.5 per cent can tell their meanings.

  6. In 2023, 43.3 per cent youth could do a Std III/IV level division problem.

  7. Only 5.6 per cent of the surveyed youth reported taking vocational training or other related courses. Youth studying at the college level are most likely – 16.2 per cent – to be taking vocational training, which they us usually do for short duration (6 months or less).

  8. Of all youth who used social media, only about half are familiar with the online safety settings. Males are more likely to know about these settings than females.

  9. Availability of a computer or a laptop in the households is only nine per cent. Youth who have a computer/laptop at home are much more likely to know how to use it (85 per cent) than those who do not (33.9 per cent).

  10. Among youth who have discontinued their education, males and females tend to cite different reasons for doing so. Nearly 24.2 per cent males report “lack of interest”, while almost 20.3 per cent of females report “family constraints”. Other commonly cited reasons are “financial constraints” and “had failed”.

  11. The report states that among young people in the 14-18 age group, over 60 per cent aspire to continue studying to undergraduate level or higher.

    Focus and Factoids Sneha Bhosale.


ASER Centre, New Delhi


ASER Centre, New Delhi


17 Jan, 2023