International Literacy Day 2016: Facts about India’s literacy rate

International Literacy Day

The 50th anniversary of International Literacy Day will be observed on Thursday. The theme of this year  International Literacy Day is “Reading the Past, Writing the Future.” It was officially celebrated for the first time in 1966 by UNESCO. The main idea behind is to create awareness among people on the significance of literacy that enables one to read and write.

The main global celebration will be held at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris in the form of a two-day conference on September 8-9 . The highlight of the event is literacy prizes.

Facts about India’s literacy rate

    • The Indian literacy rate has grown to 74.04% (2011 figure) from 12% at the end of British rule in 1947.
    • The 2011 census, however, indicated a 2001–2011 decadal literacy growth of 9.2%, which is slower than the growth seen during the previous decade.
    • There is a wide gender disparity in the literacy rate in India: effective literacy rates (age 7 and above) in 2011 were 82.14% for men and 65.46% for women.
    • Based on religion, Jains have the highest percentage of literates above 7 years of age among India’s religious communities, with Census India 2011 finding 86.73% of them as literate and only 13.57% as illiterate. Muslims, on the other hand, have the highest percentage of illiterates aged beyond 7 years at 42.72%, as compared to 36.40% among Hindus, 32.49% among Sikhs, 28.17% among Buddhists and 25.66% among Christians.
    • The table below shows the adult and youth literacy rates for India and some neighbouring countries in 2002.Adult literacy rate is based on the 15+ years age group, while Youth literacy rate is for the 15–24 years age group (i.e. youth is a subset of adults).
      Country Adult Literacy Rate Youth Literacy Rate
      15-24 age
      China 95.1% (2010) 99.7% (2015)
      Sri Lanka 92.6% (2015) 98.8% (2015)
      Myanmar 89.9% (2007) 96.3% (2015)
      World Average 84% (2010) 89.6% (2010)
      India 74.04% (2011) 90.2% (2015)
      Nepal 55.5% (2007) 86.9%(2015)
      Pakistan 50.2% (2007) 74.8% (2015)
      Bangladesh 53.5% (2007) 83.2% (2015)

List of Steps taken by Government of India to improve Literacy Rate in India:

  • Free education programs to poor people living in villages and towns.
  • Setting up of new schools and colleges at district and state levels.
  • Several committees have been formed to ensure proper utilization of funds allotted to improve literacy rate.
  • Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao is the latest initiative taken by Government of India to save and educate the girl child in India.Literacy Rate in India – To know development in a society, Literacy is another proper indicator of economic development. For purpose of census, a person in age limit of seven and above, who can both write and read with understanding in any of the language is considered as a literate in India.

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