Indian Scenario

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Literacy scenario in India

The Census figures in India (2001) have shown drastic changes in the area of literacy. In 1991 it was 52.21% and in 2001 it rose to 65.38%.

The estimates of population and literates for 2005 are given below (source NLM)

Estimates of population & literates for 2005

Year Age Group Population (in millions) Literates (in millions) Literacy Rates
1991 7+ 688.16 359.28 52.21%
2001 7+ 866.89 566.70 65.38%
2005 Estimates 7+ 936.00 665.00 71.00%
2005 Target 7+ 936.00 702.00 75.00%

It is expected that by 2005 India will achieve 75% literacy. When compared with the Northern part of the country, South has made drastic improvement in the field. Accordingly necessary steps are to be taken to find out the learning needs of the literate population and others through effective Continuing Education programmes.

Some of the salient features of the Census (2001) related to literacy are given below:

The literacy rate in the country has increased to 65.38%, which reflects an overall increase of 13.17%, the fastest decadal growth ever. This is the highest rate since independence.

The male literacy rate has increased to 75.85%, (increase of 11.72) and the female literacy of 54.16% has increased at a much faster rate of 14.87%.

The male-female literacy gap reduced from 24.84% in 1991 to 21.70% in 2001. Mizoram has the smallest gap (4.56%) followed by Kerala (7.45%) and Meghalaya (8.27%)

All states and Union Territories without exception have shown increase in literacy rates during 1991-2001.

In the previous decades, there has been a continuous increase in the number of illiterates, despite the increase in the literacy rates, but now for the first time the total number of illiterates, despite the increase in the literacy rates, but now for the first time the total number of illiterates has come down by 31 million. The number of literate persons has increased to 562.01 million in 2001 thus adding an additional 203.61 million literates in the country.

On the basis of literacy rate, State/UTs can be grouped as under:

States/UTs with high profile

High Literacy Rate (80% and above) - Kerala (90.92%), Mizoram (88.49%), Lakshadweep (87.52%), Goa (82.32%), Delhi (81.82%), Chandigarh (81.76%), Pondichetty (81.49%), A&N Islands (81.18%) and Daman & Diu (81.09%).

States/UTs with medium level

Literacy rate above national average (65.4%) and below 80% - Maharashtra (77.27%), Himachal Pradesh (77.13%), Tripura (73.66%), Tamilnadu (73.47%), Uttaranchal (72.28%), Gujarath (89.97%), Punjab (69.75%), Sikkim (69.68%), West Bengal (69.22%), Manipur (68.87%), Haryana (68.59%, Nagaland (67.11%) and Karnataka (67.04%)

States/UTs of low profile

Literacy rate below national average (65.4%) - Chattisgarh (65.18%), Assam (64.28%), Madhya Pradesh (64.11%), Orissa (63.61%), Meghalaya (63.31%), Andra Pradesh (31.11%), Rajasthan (61.03%), DadraNagar Haveli (60.03%), Uttar Pradesh (57.36%), Arunachal Pradesh (54.74%), Jammu & Kashmir (54.4%), Jharkhand (54.13%), and Bihar (47.53%).

Situation in the south

When compared with other parts of India the literacy situation in South India is comparatively better.

States/UTs in South India (2001)

States/UTs Persons Male Female Difference Rural Urban Difference (R&U)
Kerala 90.92 94.20 87.86 6.34 90.05 93.38 3.33
Tamil Nadu 73.47 82.33 64.55 17.78 66.66 82.07 15.41
Andhra Pradesh 61.11 70.85 51.17 19.68 55.33 76.39 21.06
Karnataka 67.04 76.29 57.45 18.84 59.68 81.05 21.37
Goa 82.32 88.88 75.51 13.37 79.65 85.03 5.38
Lakshadweep 87.52 93.15 81.56 11.59 79.65 85.03 5.38
Pondicherry 81.49 88.89 74.13 14.76 74.28 85.05 10.77
Andaman & Nicobar Islands 81.18 86.07 75.29 10.78 78.55 86.48 7.93
India 65.38 75.85 54.16 21.69 59.34 80.33 20.99

Andra Pradesh is the only State where the literacy figures are below national average. Involvement of NGOs, participation of Local Self Government, Infra Structure facilities for the programme, favourable Govt. policies and programmes, support of the media (print & electronic), conductive environment and political will are some of the basic factors which strengthen the literacy and CE programmes in the country. The urban-rural difference of achievement in the programme is also an important factor.

The urban-rural difference in Kerala (3.33%) is the lowest, whereas in Andra Pradesh & Karnataka it is more than 21 %. Appropriate programmes are to be planned in future to reduce the difference.

The present status of programmes in India is given below (source DAE, Govt. of India)

Total number of Districts : 599

Districts covered by NLM : 563 (94%)

Districts under TLC : 174 (29.05%)

Districts under PLP : 188 (31.39%)

Districts under CEP : 201 (33.56%)

Only 33% of the districts are covered under the Continuing Education Programmes visualised by National Literacy Mission, and they are at different phases.

CONTACT US

Kerala State Literacy Mission Authority,
TC 27/1461
Convent Road, Kammattom Lane
Vanchiyoor, Tvpm- 695035
Phone : 0471 - 2472253, 2472254
Fax      : 0471 - 2462252
 
E-mail : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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