Literacy in India – An Assessment

We are going to have a largest Youth population in 2012-2015. Major hindrance to our path of growth is unskilled labour which is also uneducated too. The National Literacy Mission (NLM) was set up in May 1987 that aimed to attain 75% literacy by 2007 and had run several schemes to ensure that this target is achieved. But we were able to attain only 65% literacy (as per Census of India 2001) or 61% literacy (as per Plan Australia). 65% is a significant change in literacy rate that have been achieved considering the ground situation and realities of our country. However, we cannot make this excuse as when we had set the target in 1988 we must have thought everything before setting the target.

Nearly 70 percent of the country’s illiterate population belong to the eight states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. These states have not shown any major improvement in the government’s flagship programmes, the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (Education for All), for universalisation of elementary education in a time bound manner, and the National Literacy Mission.

The failure of states to implement the NLM has forced the government to set another target – to attain 80 percent literacy rate by the end of 2012, and complete literacy three years later – by 2015. The government has earmarked a whopping Rs.850 billion ($21 billion) – five times the budget allocated earlier – for the education sector in the 11th Five Year Plan, which ends in 2012. The main reason for all this is to have a large number of people under the umbrella of skilled labour as set by UN so as to target greater opportunities for Indian market in the world economy

Also, if you might have noticed the standard of education in school have certainly gone down. See the NCERT books. It is not like government doesn’t knows it, but it is a deliberate step so as large amount of people pass the exam and come under the category of educated and skilled labour.

Government is working. Also, the people who are educated should come forward and help in achieving this target. This means, that not only GOI, but also, the people of India need to work on this. There are many NGOs that are working on NLM and are getting grants for their work. But they lack support of masses. In India, we have Reservation in education for socially backward people and many people from these groups have achieved a good education and attained a good status in society. These people should come forward to help government in attaining the targets of NLM.

Until and unless the government gets support of states, bureaucracy, and its people, the targets will remain the distant dream. So, we should realize this and come forward and help government in achieving the 100% literacy by 2015. It is difficult but not impossible.


6 thoughts on “Literacy in India – An Assessment”

  1. Everyone is Responsible for every problem. Public and government. People says, “This politician is corrupt and immoral.” Let me tell you a story of my life. Once I wet to one of my friends house. His father was telling about the others . He told me about many persons who are corrupt and then told me his son is blind, his son is dumb, his son has died. I thought Uncle is a very nice person. Then after some days I went to their shop. His son was sitting there. Then a customer came to his shop. He bought a Ghee Packet. After a few minute his son means my friend told me that this Ghee ( Melted Butter) comes in only 45 Rupees and the Mrp is 120. Then I reaslised every one is corrupt!!! A poor man buy ghee once a year. He doesn,t know what he is buying. I felt so much… kuchh sikho . kabhi garibi dekhoge to sikhoge (Learn something! Or else will you learn when you will face poverty). What is poverty? What did you bring with you and what will you carry with you after dying? Nothing so don’t do this kind of activity!!
    sali 66 sal ki jindagi nahi h usme bhi tension dhokha….. Aise na garibi mitegi na ……….. nahi apke man ka mail…. jane kya pana chahte hooo
    (Bloody!! The life is of few days and is full of tensions and to add to the injury there is deception too. This will neither eradicate poverty nor will clean your conscience. What do you want?)

    Deepak Gupta
    Jaipur , Rajasthan

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