Illiteracy in India Educating India

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A survey by UNESCO’s Global Education Digest 2011, estimated number of adult illiterates in India (283 million) forms about 35.7 per cent of the total adult illiterates of the world (793 million). However, as per provisional data of Census 2011, the literacy rate in the country is 74.04 per cent. The Government of India is implementing the Saakshar Bharat Programme since 2009-10 to provide literacy and continuing education to persons in the 15+ age group. The Saakshar Bharat Programme has been sanctioned for 167 districts in 2009-10, 115 districts in 2010-11 and 90 districts in 2011-12. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), launched in 2001-02 for universalisation of elementary education for children in the 6-14 age group, has seen the country’s literacy rate rise from 64.84 to 74.04 per cent between 2001 and 2011. With the enforcement of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 with effect from 1st April, 2010, all children in this age group have a fundamental right to free and compulsory education, and the SSA norms have been revised to correspond with the provisions of the RTE Act.

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