School-age Population by Education Level1









Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in Secondary Education
for the school year ending 20181









Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in Tertiary Education
for the school year ending 20181









Percentage of female teachers in 1




Secondary (2018)


Tertiary (2018)



1. UNESCO Institute for Statistics Data Centre, retrieved in March 2020


Literacy rate (2006)1




Adult (15+) literacy rate


Adult (15+) literacy rate



Economic Activity (2010)1




Adult (15+) economic activity


Adult (15+) economic activity



Political Decision Making (2014)1


Proportion of seats held by women in national parliament



Life expectancy (2012)1









1. COL gender country profile April 2015 


1.6 86.9
Fixed-telephone subscriptions per 100 inhabitants1 Mobile-cellular subscriptions per 100 inhabitants1



1.3 37.5
Fixed-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants1 Mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants1



16.6 34.5
Households with a computer (%)1 Individuals using the internet (%)1



1. International Telecommunication Union (ITU) ICT Eye Country profile, retrieved in March 2020


COL’s work in India is primarily in the areas of higher education, teacher education, technical and vocational skills development, technology-enabled learning, Lifelong Learning for Farmers (L3F), open schooling and girls’ education, as well as knowledge management. 

GIRLS Inspire

GIRLS Inspire partnered with the Mann Deshi Foundation.

  • 41 gender-sensitive courses were developed on life skills and vocational skills, and were delivered face-to-face and via community radio. In total, 6,033 girls across 150 villages were trained in at least three subjects each.
  • 14 modules were produced on various topics, such as income and expenditure, savings, banking, the importance of education, loan repayment, HIV/AIDS and child marriage and communicated by radio.

Learn more about GIRLS Inspire

Lifelong Learning for Farmers

L3F in India is working in partnership with multiple organisations to build capacity among farmers (mostly women) in skills and financial literacy. To date, a total of 29,628 new learners have been reached. The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development also partnered with COL and encouraged cooperative banks to adopt the L3F model.

  • 1,114 L3F participants, of whom 80 per cent were women, received credit amounting to USD 800,000 after undergoing financial literacy training.
  • COL helped connect more than 4,900 farmers and enabled them to share their experiences through social media.
  • A weekly average of 1,719 women vendors use Aptus to transact over USD 525,000 in credit.
  • 15 new organisations adopted L3F in India.
  • The Farmers’ Producer Company, formed by L3F women, established a meat shop utilising an equity grant received from the Small Farmers’ Agri Business Consortium.
  • L3F continues to strengthen women’s capacity via voicemail messages, supporting the continuous training they receive in goat rearing, business management and corporate literacy.
  • 25 students enroll in new Certificate Course on Multimedia for Lifelong Learning and ODL.
  • An L3F community in Chennai converted text, video, images and voice messages to OER to add to L3fpedia, a central repository for farming information.
  • 150 OER-based learning objects were developed in Tamil language using multimedia techniques which helps illiterate farmers to follow content easily.

A study in India found that the profit efficiency of L3F farmers is nine times higher than that of non-L3F farmers. Learn more about Lifelong Learning for Farmers

Open/Innovative Schooling

A recent study commissioned by COL shows that open schools offer a good return on investment. In India, COL continues to work closely with the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS). Mid-term highlights include:

  • NIOS with Bangladesh Open University’s Open School developing quality criteria and plan for peer-to-peer quality audits between the two institutions.

Learn more about Open/Innovative Schooling.  

Teacher Education

COL continues to work with several partners in India to "equip more teacher education institutions (TEIs) to deliver effective learning opportunities for sustainable development." The first MOOC for teachers and teacher educators was launched in India.

  • IT For Change, Bangalore completed Creating and Repurposing OER Using FOSS: A How-To Guide for Teachers and Learners.
  • COL continues to work with the Centre for Environmental Education (CEE) in India on the use and development of OER materials for the Green Teacher Programme.

Learn more about Teacher Education.

Technology-Enabled Learning

COL’s emphasis on technology-enabled learning (TEL) in India is highlighted:

Learn more about Technology-Enabled Learning.

Technical and Vocational Skills Development

COL works with several institutions in India focusing on skills training for women in order to integrate them into the workforce.

  • COL supported the State Resource Centre (SRC) in Kerala, India, to develop a Certificate in Community Development by distance learning which saw more than 350 preraks enrolled in the programme.
  • In 2017, COL conducted training on OER and Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning, with the SRC, in preparation for a tracer study. The SRC team has continued to develop new programmes with the distance learning model and has more than 2,600 learners.

Learn more about Technical and Vocational Skills Development

Knowledge Management

  • 18 offerings of agMOOC courses have been delivered attracting 20,100 unique registrants with a certification rate of 23%, via the mooKIT platform, designed by the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.


Partnerships are fundamental to COL’s work. Strategic partnerships allow COL to broaden its reach and engage at global, regional and national levels, while implementation partners support COL’s work in communities and institutions across Commonwealth Member States. Partners include multilateral organisations, regional bodies, national governments, government agencies, foundations, civil society organisations, public and private (not-for-profit) institutions and the private sector.

COL's partners in India include: 

  • AAMC Training India Pvt. Ltd
  • Apeejay Stya University
  • Arul Anandar College
  • Australian Skill Development Education Pvt. Ltd
  • Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University (BBAU), Lucknow
  • Bilaspur University
  • BOSCH Limited
  • Central Institute of Educational Technology, NCERT
  • Central University of Himachal Pradesh
  • Centurion University of Technology and Management
  • Chetana Institute for the Mentally Handicapped
  • Department of School Education, Telangana
  • Department of Science and Technology, Government of India
  • Digital Empowerment Foundation
  • First Impressions Resources Pvt Ltd
  • Focal Skills Pvt. Ltd.
  • Foundation for MSME Clusters
  • Gopalganj-Debiana Fisherman Cooperative Society Limited
  • Graphic Era Hill University
  • Indian Institute of Skill Development
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
  • Indira Gandhi National Open University
  • International College, Kolkata
  • iPRIMED Education Solutions Pvt Ltd
  • IT for Change, Bangalore
  • Jharkhand Skill Development  Mission Society
  • Karnataka State Open University
  • Krishna Kanta Handiqui State Open University
  • M.S Swaminathan Research Foundation
  • Educational Technology and Management Academy
  • Manav Mandir Mission Trust
  • Mann Deshi Foundation
  • Ministry of Human Resource Development
  • National Institute of Open Schooling
  • Netaji Subhas Open University
  • Odisha Rural Development and Marketing Society
  • Odisha State Open University
  • Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies
  • Reddiar Chatram Seed Growers Association
  • Save the Children
  • Shikhar Educational and Cultural Development Society
  • Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Women’s University
  • Siliguri Global Engineering Institute
  • Skill Council for Green Jobs
  • Sri Sankara College of Arts and Science
  • State Resource Center, Kerala
  • Tata Institute of Social Sciences
  • Telecom Sector Skill Council of India
  • The Energy and Resources Institute
  • United Nations Development Programme
  • University of Hyderabad
  • University of Kashmir
  • Uttarakhand Open University
  • Vidiyal