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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