Saturday, 22 November 2014

Literacy rate jumps 10% in a decade in India.......

CHENNAI: While India has shown considerable improvement in literacy levels in the last 10 years, one in 10 households still doesn't have even a single literate member, shows the Census 2011 data. On the other hand, more than one-third of the households in the country have at least four literate members above the age of seven.

According to the data on literacy released on Friday, India has 24.88 crore households out of which 9.56 crore (38.42%) have at least four members who know to read and write. But there are also 2.42 crore households (9.74%) which don't have even one literate among its members. In comparison, as per the 2001 census, 35.28% of the households had at least four literate members and 14.4% had none.

India has an effective literacy rate (among people aged 7 years and above) of 74%, a marked improvement from 2001, when the literacy was just 64.84%. In rural areas, the rate is lower at about 68% while in urban areas it is 84%. A 'household' is a group of persons who normally live together and take their meals from a common kitchen, unless the exigencies of work prevent any of them from doing so.

"Overall literacy has gone up due to schemes like Sarva Siksha Abhiyan and higher enrolment in schools in the last 10 years. Prior to this many did not have a chance to enter a school, especially in remote areas," said SASTRA University dean S Vaidhyasubramaniam.

In rural areas, out of the total 16.82 crore households, 5.80 crore (34.51%) have at least four literate members each, but there are also 2.04 crore (12.17%) households which don't have even one literate member. There are 7.30 lakh households with more than seven members and none of them literate. Majority of such households are in rural areas.

"Households without even a single literate member must be in tribal areas and among migrant labourers. In these areas, not many are aware of schools and there are no schools for the younger ones to join," said Unicef child protection specialist R Vidyasagar. "While the rural households without any literate member must be in isolated areas like mountainous regions, in urban areas they consist of migrant labourers working in brick kilns and at construction sites," he said.

Among the big states, Bihar has the maximum number of households which don't have even one literate member. The state has 33.59 lakh (17.79%) households without a literate member. While Kerala, the most literate state in the country, has the least number of such households -- 1.21 lakh or 1.5% of the total household in the state.

Some facts: 

Total no. of households: 24.88 crore

Without a literate member: 2.42 crore

With 1 literate member: 3.09 crore

2 literate members: 5.14 crore

3 literate members: 4.65 crore

4 literate members or more: 9.56 crore