World celebrates the International Literacy Day on September 8. UNESCO marks this day with an aim to celebrate the achievements in the field of education and to focus on its future projects.
On this day in 2014, India is one of the countries with the highest adult illiteracy rate, according to the current Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report.
In India there are various factors influencing the literacy/illiteracy rates. From immortality rate to gender inequality all play a vital role in determining the country’s literacy rates. The literacy rate in turn influences the employment rate and the GNP (Gross National Product).
Primary education, though increasing over the years, has improved. According to the EFA report of 2014, as of 2005-2011 the youth literacy rate (81%) in India is higher than the adult literacy rate (63%).
The increase in youth literacy rate from 62% (1985-1994) to 81% (2005-2011) just makes it hopeful for the EFA to achieve its target of 90% literacy among the youth by 2015.
According to the Census 2011, India registered a literacy rate of 72.99%. See the infographic below:
In the Union Budget 2014-15, the Narendra Modi government allocated Rs. 28635 crore and Rs. 4966 crore to Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya madhyamic Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) respectively. The funds would help elevating the education sector and in turn increasing employment and decreasing poverty.
However, the gender disparity in India is proving to be a hindrance in achieving the overall goal of 100% literacy. According to 2011 census the overall male literacy in India was 80.89%, whereas women literacy rate was just 64.64%.