The 12th Annual Status of Education Report (ASER 2017: Beyond Basics)

Released New Delhi | 16th January 2018

ASER 2017: ‘Beyond Basics’ was released in New Delhi on 16th January 2018. This is the twelfth annual report. Every year since 2005, the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) has reported on children’s schooling status and their ability to do basic reading and arithmetic tasks. Year after year, ASER has highlighted the fact that although almost all children are enrolled in school, many are not acquiring foundational skills like reading and basic arithmetic that can help them progress in school and life.

Since 2006, ASER has focused on the age group 5 to 16. In 2017, ASER focused on an older age group, youth who are 14 to 18 years old and have moved just beyond the elementary school age. Near-universal enrollment and automatic promotion through the elementary stage have resulted in more and more children successfully completing elementary schooling. According to official figures from the District Information System for Education (DISE), enrollment in Std VIII almost doubled in the decade between 2004-5 and 2014-15, from 11 million to almost 22 million. According to Census 2011, one out of every ten Indians is currently in the age bracket of 14-18. This amounts to more than 100 million or 10 crore youth in all.

For all of these reasons, we felt it was important to look closely at this age group of 14 – 18 year olds. The 2017 ASER report has made an attempt to look ‘beyond basics’ and explore a wider set of domains beyond foundational reading and arithmetic. Four domains were considered:

  • Activity (What are youth currently doing?)
  • Ability (Are youth well prepared to handle literacy and numeracy tasks in everyday situations?)
  • Awareness (Are youth familiar with common digital and financial instruments and processes?)
  • Aspirations (What are the educational and career goals of youth in India?)

As before, ASER 2017 too is a sample based household survey, with tasks that are simple to administer and easy to understand. Like in previous years, this ASER too has been conducted with the participation of local partner organizations. Since this is the first time that ASER is focusing on this age group, the assessment was carried out in one or two districts in almost all states of our country. ASER 2017 was carried out in a total of 28 districts of 24 states. About 2000 volunteers from 35 partner institutions, visited more than 25,000 households in 1641 villages, surveying more than 30,000 14 to 18 year olds in all.

To learn more about the main findings from the ASER 2017 survey, please watch this video:

To learn more about the stories from youth who participated in the ASER 2017 survey, please watch this video:

To read the full ASER 2017 Beyond Basics Report, please click here 

To download a 4-page document with further information about the ASER 2017 process, please click here

To download a 4-page document with the key findings from all Districts, please click here

To download the ASER 2017 Beyond Basics Tool, please click here

To download a PowerPoint presentation with the key findings from all Districts, please click here

For more information, and to download copies of all previous Annual Status of Education Reports (ASER) and tools since 2005, please visit

You can also contact ASER Centre at and the PAL Network at