The school dropout scenario in the country is "extremely high" as over 80 million children are not completing the full cycle of elementary education, while eight million are out of school over a period of years, according to UNICEF.
"The dropout is much higher with girls," UNICEF representative to India, Louis-Georges Arsenault, said on the sidelines of a national seminar on India Human Development Report 2011 - Revisiting Polices/Programmes for Women and Children here.
He further underlined that the dropout in schools were relatively higher in rural areas when compared to urban pockets.
He, however, said that though the issue of school dropouts in India was "significant", it was not worse, while attributing quality of pedagogy as one of the reasons for dropouts in the country.
According to him, students, who are dropping out from schools before completing eighth standard, fall under the category of those not completing the full cycle of elementary education.
Arsenault also noted that the issue of malnutrition among children could not be addressed only with food.
"Half of the children in the country are still malnourished... Malnutrition will only be addressed by looking at a more comprehensive approach towards nutrition and not only food," the UNICEF official underscored.
In his address, Santosh Mehrotra, Director General, Institute of Applied Manpower Research, Planning Commission stressed the need for estimating the nutrition rates among children and adults once in every two years.
The Human Development Report in Hindi was also launched on the occasion.