Foreword th The highlights of the Eighth All India School Education Survey (8 AlSES) present salient features of the report with the reference date of 30 September 2009. th th Compared to the data of the previous surveys such as 6 and 7 , which were with th reference date of 30 September, 1993 and 2002 respectively, the 8 Survey data have many new features. Some of these new features are ! OBC enrolment figures ! separate stage-wise enrolment in unrecognised schools ! enrolment of children with their degree of disability in recognised schools ! course-wise enrolment in vocational courses at higher secondary stage and teachers in vocational courses ! availability of drinking water facility in school premises ! availability of usable number of units of urinal and lavatory in school premises ! separate urinal and lavatory facilities for girls and teachers ! usable playground facility within school premises ! teachers in different age-groups ! availability of ICT facility in schools including number of usable computers/ printers for teaching and office purposes ! Internet connections ! trained teachers ! availability of Science, Mathematics, Social Science and Pre-vocational laboratory facilities, etc. Information on availability of schooling facilities of different stages within a convenient walking distance and at a specified distance from the habitation is unique to the AISESs. Inclusion of new categories of data in the present study will enable scholars and policy-makers to widen the scope of their deliberations on the problems and challenges faced in educational planning in India. The preliminary data based on the present Survey were uploaded on NCERT's website in January 2013 under the title, ‘Provisional (Flash) Statistics’ which received wide-ranging attention. Ever since the series of educational surveys started in 1957, the statistics collected under these have been a matter of great interest, and so has been the methodology used for the collection of data.