This article is neither to judge quality of education nor to conclude on any plans or steps that have been taken by Government of India(GOI) to improve the literacy rate in the country.
The purpose of this article is just to provide certain facts and I would like to leave analysis of these facts to reader. Report on your analysis is welcomed through comments; do share your thoughts related to this article. All the data is collected from the reports which have been published by Government of India for public domain.
India is struggling with many issues, issues with respect to caste, religion, politics, languages , the mindset of people across the country varies a lot with respect to all the above factors. Despite of being such a diverse society, I would say India has achieved and reached many milestones in every sector. Considering education sector for this article, let us see what the report says.
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Achievements during 11th Five-year plan period
The result of 2011 census reveals that despite an impressive decadal increase of 9.2 percent points in literacy, national literacy levels have risen to no more than 74.0 percent (from 64.8 percent in 2001) Only 15 States/Union Territories, namely Kerala, Lakshadweep, Mizoram, Tripura, Goa, Daman & Diu, Puducherry, Chandigarh, Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu and Nagaland could achieve 80 percent or above literacy rate.
The 2011 Census has shown that female literacy has increased much more than male literacy. While male literacy rate increased by 6.86 percent 279 points from 75.26 percent in 2001 to 82.14 in 2011, the female literacy increased by 11.79 percent points from 53.67 to 65.46 percent during the same period. Thus, by the end of the 11th Five Year Plan in 2012, the three Plan Targets would not have been achieved: overall literacy rate being short by five percent points.
Increase in literacy between 2001-2011 at National level:
There has been a substantial progress in literacy with the planned intervention and sustained effort from 64.83 per cent in 2001 to 74.04 per cent in 2011, an increase of 9.21 percentage points.
The Prime Minister launched Saakshar Bharat, a centrally sponsored scheme of Department of School Education and Literacy (DSEL), Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India (GOI), on the International Literacy Day, 8th September, 2009.
Despite significant accomplishments of the Mission, illiteracy continues to be an area of national concern. 2001 census had revealed that there were still 259.52 million illiterate adults (in the age group of15 +) in the country.
Fund utilization and capacity building to achieve the milestone in education
During the financial year 2011-12, a total amount of Rs.488.50 crores was provided for Sakshar Bharat programme as Central share. An amount of Rs.429 crores was released till December 2011 to State Level Mission Authorities (SLMAs). A total of 1098.33 crores was released by NLMA to SLMAs during the last three years.
Government is keep trying and funding to increase the literacy rate within the country, in this process government has moved from SSA(Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan) Program to RTE ( Right to Education ).
RTE-SSA Financial Allocation
The Governmentn of India approved an outlay of Rs 71,000 crore for SSA in the 11th Five year plan. Considering the increased requirements, ,the Government of India approved an outlay Rs 2,31,233 crore for the combined RTE-SSA programme. This increased outlay was for a five year period from 2010-11 to 2014-15 to be shared between the Center and the State on a 65:35 ratio (90:10 for North Eastern States). The Finance Ministry allotted Rs 25,555 crore for the RTE-SSA programme for 2012-13. Just check the report chart below, government has spent 19,103,22cr upto January 2012.
Considering all the facts, percentile of literacy between 2001 – 20011, a 10 year period, the amount of money spent on it, the results may not be satisfactory, the reason is that focusing only on spending and opening schools doesn’t give the expected result, but focusing and executing the program towards quality education does bring the change. The path towards achieving really quality education is not an easy, more and more educated people has to come front to bring the change, it is not just the effort of government.
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Sources of data
An yearly report