Open Defecation in Karnataka

Open defecation is the practice of people defecating outside and not into a designated toilet. Open defecation causes public health problems including diarrhea, intestinal worm infections, typhoid, cholera, hepatitis, polio and trachoma.

Elimination of open defecation is widely regarded as one of the key goals of sustained development all over the world. To this end the government of Karnataka has proposed, and is working towards, the objective of eradicating open defecation in Karnataka by 2nd October 2018. With this goal in mind, IndiaGoverns has conducted a study using the 2011 census data to identify the key areas in Karnataka with high rates of open defecation.

There were a total of 132 lakh households in Karnataka in 2011. Out of these, 59 lakh households (about 44% of all households) resort to open defection. There are a total of 224 constituencies in Karnataka. The graph below gives the distribution of open defecation across constituencies:  ka_od_dist_3

The graph shows that 57% of all constituencies had more than 50% of households (HH) where there were no latrine facilities and the alternative was open defecation.

Below table shows the 10 constituencies who had the highest % of households which resorted to open defecation:

MLA constituency % HH resorting to open defecation
Gurmitkal 89
Chincholi (SC) 89
Devar Hippargi 88
Babaleshwar 88
Aurad (SC) 88
Jevargi 87
Raichur Rural (ST) 87
Afzalpur 87
Indi 86
Shorapur (ST) 86

Below graph shows the open defecation prevalence across the top 10 districts with the highest % of households which resorted to open defecation:Box plot_ka_OD

We see that there are constituencies within these districts that have maintained a relatively low % households which resort to open defecation.

An interesting finding was a high correlation between % SC/ST population and % household resorting to open defecation (a correlation co-efficient of 0.58). While this does raise some questions, it must be noted that correlation does not imply causation.


Thus far, the government is focused on the building of toilet facilities such that an individual toilet is available in each home. While this is the best course of action for the time being, the government will need to take measures to change the mindset of people who prefer open defecation to using toilets. Availability of water and maintenance of built toilets will also be concerns that the government will need to address once the goal of 100% toilet availability is achieved.

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The Girl child of Karnataka

Since 2012, 11th October has been marked as the International Day of the Girl. The day aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.

The world’s 1.1 billion girls are a source of power, energy, and creativity – and the thousands of girls in Karnataka are no exception. IndiaGoverns Research Institute has accessed schools’ data from DISE for Karnataka state for the academic-years of 2012-13, 2014-15 and 2015-16 and has tried to understand how the girl child of Karnataka fares in the education system.

The gender breakup for the 2015-16 year across classes 1 to 8 in Karnataka was 52% boys to 48% girls. This trend has been constant for the past four years. But, year on year, the % of boys enrolled in private schools has been higher than the % of girls enrolled in private schools.

Table below gives a breakup of boy and girl enrolment across private and government schools in Karnataka across years:

% Boys

% Girls





















A steady increase in girl enrolment to private schools is seen over the years analysed.

A telling indicator of progress is the dropout rate in elementary schools. Elementary education up to class 8 is free and compulsory in India. Dropouts are calculated by subtracting the previous years, previous class enrolment. For example, the class 1 enrolment for 2014-15 is subtracted from 2015-16 Class 2 enrolment to give the dropout rate of class 1 children in 2014-15.

Classes 1 – 4 of the 2012-13 batch in Karnataka state consisted of 43,20,359 children. Classes 4 – 7 of the 2015-16 batch consisted of 40,59,421 children. The cohort of classes 1 – 4 in the 2012-13 batch would be in the classes 4-7 by the year 2015-16. However, it can be observed that there were a total of 2.6 lakh dropouts in the classes 1- 4 of the 2012-13 batch, by 2015-16. 44% of the dropouts were girls.  Considering that the girl break-up in total enrolment is 48%, girls seem to dropout lesser than boys.

Graph below shows the comparison of drop outs from class 1 to class 7 across boys and girls. Drop outs are from 2014-15 to 2015-16:Boy vs girl dropouts

While the overall trend seems similar for both boys and girls, there are a few interesting differences:

  • Boy drop-outs peak after class 1 accounting for 25% of all boy drop-outs. Girls mostly drop out after class 7 (23%)
  • Boys tend to drop-out more at the lower primary level (Class 1 to 3), with about 48% of boy drop outs occurring during these years
  • Conversely, 52% of girl drop-outs are seen between class 5 and class 7

At a constituency level, drop-outs and add-ons have been calculated by subtracting the total enrolment across all schools in the constituency for 2015-16 from the enrolment in previous classes for 2014-15. Where the enrolment has decreased, we consider as dropouts and where they have increased, as add-ons. When observed across all classes 1-7 we can broadly classify constituencies into four categories:

  • Only add-ons: Enrolment has increased from 2014-15 to 2015-16 across all classes
  • Only dropouts: Enrolment has decreased from 2014-15 to 2015-16 across all classes
  • More add-ons: Net add-ons are more than dropouts across all classes
  • More dropouts: Net dropouts are more than add-ons across all classes

A common trend seen at the constituency level is the migration of students from one part of the state to another over time. Below map shows how this trend played out for girl students between 2014-15 and 2015-16:

Karnataka:                                                                                 Bangalore:

Addone and sdropdoutBangalore_girl_child

It is observed that most of the constituencies in North Karnataka show a higher number of drop-outs than add-ons for 2015-16. Mudhol (SC), Moodabidri, Hukkeri, Bethangady, Chamaraja and Bellary City are the only constituencies outside of Bengaluru that see an increase in girl students across all classes.

Out of 224 constituencies, only 16 constituencies have seen an increase in all classes (1 to 7) without any drop outs. A total of 79 (35% of all constituencies) have seen a decrease across all classes between 2014-15 and 2015-16.

The following table shows the top 5 constituencies with highest number of girl dropouts across all classes from 2014-15 to 2015-16:


Total girl drop-outs

Bangalore South


Bidar South


Rajaji Nagar






The following table show the top 5 constituencies with highest number of girl add-ons across all classes from 2014-15 to 2015-16:


Total girl add-ons











4 of the 5 constituencies with highest girl dropouts are in Bangalore. All 5 of the constituencies with highest girls adding on are also in Bangalore indicating a trend of students shifting to Bangalore from outside and from other areas within Bangalore.

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Pupil Teacher Ratio

At IndiaGoverns Research Institute, we have accessed and analysed Karnataka Education data from DISE (District Information System for Education), National University of Education, Planning and Administration, New Delhi for the year 2015-16.

One of the important indicators in the education system is the Pupil-teacher ratio. A lower pupil teacher ratio is considered better for students.

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 in its Schedule lays down Pupil Teacher Ratio (PTR) for both primary and upper primary schools. At primary level the PTR should be 30:1 and at the upper primary level it should be 35:1.

IndiaGoverns Research Institute has accessed 75,489 schools’ data from DISE for Karnataka state for the year 2015-16.  From this set, we have only considered schools which satisfy the following conditions:

  • There are 61,713 Elementary schools which are either government or private. This does not include unrecognised or madrasas.
  • Out of the above 61,713 schools, 993 Schools have reported number of teachers in the school as zero, 533 schools have reported number of students enrolled as zero and 267 schools have reported both teachers and students as 0. These schools are not included in the analysis.
  • One school was not considered due to incomplete collection of data.

There are totally 59,919 schools which satisfy all the above condition. On analysing these schools, the following observations were made:

  • 9,430 elementary schools out of a total 59,919 schools analysed have pupil-teacher ratio greater than 35:1. These 9,430 schools will constitute 7 % of all elementary schools analysed.
  • Table below shows the breakup of schools where PTR > 35 across urban, rural, government and private schools
Urban / Rural Prvt / Govt Total elementary schools Elementary schools with PTR>35 % Ele schools with PTR>35 Enrolment in schools where PTR > 35
Rural Govt 38,856 4,632 12% 9,52,616
Urban Govt 5,147 386 7% 1,17,232
Rural Prvt 6,968 1,752 25% 5,87,275
Urban Prvt 8,948 2,660 30% 12,38,881
  • From the above table, it is observed that in both the rural and urban areas, the % schools with PTR greater than 35 is higher in private elementary schools compared to government elementary schools.

Approximately 28 lakh out of 77 lakh students are enrolled in these elementary schools where the pupil teacher ratio is greater than 35. These 28 lakh students constitute 37% of all elementary students in the state.                                         pie_comparison

  • Of all the children enrolled in schools with PTR > 35 in rural, we observe that 62 % of them are in government schools, where as in urban areas, 91% of them are from private schools

The table below lists the 5 MLA constituencies with the highest number of schools which have PTR greater than 35:       

MLA Constituency Total number of elementary schools Number of schools with      PTR > 35
Shorapur (ST) 364 190
Arabhavi 314 164
Jevargi 340 136
Devadurga (ST) 368 129
Shahapur 314 124

The table below lists the 5 MLA constituencies with the highest enrolment in schools where PTR greater than 35:

  • MLA constituency Enrolment in schools where PTR>35
    Shorapur (ST) 41,744
    Bangalore South 40,178
    Arabhavi 38,167
    Jevargi 35,722
    Sandur (ST) 35,279
  • While Shorapur (ST), Arabhavi and Jevargi feature on both lists, Bangalore south has a high number of students concentrated in fewer schools where PTR is greater than 35 indicating a very high PTR in this constituency
  • Average PTR across schools where PTR > 35 in Bangalore south is 72 (Average across all schools in the state where PTR > 35 is 55)
  • The following graph shows the distribution of schools with PTR>35 across pupil teacher ratio:PTR across schools
  • We can observe that 10% of schools where PTR > 35, have a pupil-teacher ratio of greater than 80
  • 33% of schools where PTR > 35 have a pupil teacher ratio between 41 and 50
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Article on NREGA in The Business Standard in March 2015

On 17th March 2015, IndiaGoverns Research Institute released a report on NREGA in Karnataka for 20013-14, organised along MLA Constituency boundaries. The report was produced using the gram panchayat level data accessed from the government.


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Release of MLA Constituency-wise reports on Education in December 2014

On 4th December 2014, IndiaGoverns Research Institute released a report on Education in Karnataka for 20013-14, organised along MLA Constituency boundaries. The report was produced using the school level data accessed from the government.

Dr. Ashwin Mahesh, public policy expert and leader of Loksatta Party, Bangalore and Prof. Chandan Gowda of Azim Premji University will jointly released the report and addressed the media.

Various media houses (both print and digital) publshihed articles based on the data. Some of the articles which got published are made available on the IndiaGoverns blog for easy reference.

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Article on Education in the Deccan Chronicle in December 2014


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Article on Education in The Economic Times in December 2014


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