4) Discuss the trends in literacy rates in India and examine if the government initiatives both at central and state level have paid any dividends in improving literacy quality and rates.

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Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Education, Human Resources.

4) Discuss the trends in literacy rates in India and examine if the government initiatives both at central and state level have paid any dividends in improving literacy quality and  rates. (200 Words)

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  • El Magick

    On a broad examination, the pure numbers would indicate a positive trend in literacy rates in India. Per the NSSO data, increases have been noted in female and male literacy rates in both urban and rural areas.

    One may be tempted to the characterisation that central and state expenditure in education is bearing fruits. What RTE, mid-day meals, sponsored girl child education do is the first step: ensure accessibility and interest in attending schools.

    Coupled with our interest in a meaningful demographic dividend, it is not only bodies in school but learning outcomes that are significant. Certificate holders without accompanying skills will be found out in the long run; moreover, education can not be truly transformative for them.

    A study conducted by Pratham indicates that learning levels have decreased in both maths and language skills [many sixth standard students struggle to exhibit skills that a third standard student is meant to do].

    A macro view, therefore, indicates improvement in numbers but a micro view highlights the structural inefficiencies. Our higher education systems are not linked to industry nor are they backwards linked in terms of regional economic profile and prospects. NSSO data suggests that most higher education is “generalist”, defeating the need of the hour: specialised skill.

    Furthermore, a weak educational level also is likely to mean lesser capability to adapt to a potentially shifting work environment. Life-long learners are expected to be more resilient and take hold of opportunities presented.

    Thus, the requirement is now to shift from quantitative measures to qualitative measures. By incentivising qualitative targets, education can be made more meaningful to the students and the parents thereby incentivising enrolment in the process. The lead institutions for this can be the KVs and Navodaya Vidyalayas. In the absence of such structural transformation, we will celebrate numbers but not taste its sweet fruits.

    • Insights-Review

      Hi El-Magick,

      Please do keep the word-limit in check. We are focusing on that because in an exam environment, even though you might have the knowledge, expressing all this within 7 minutes in a tensed scenario is tough.

      So, try to write the answers to-the-point in a concise, compact way, such that you can sure you can write minimum and get maximum marks. 🙂

      Otherwise, the answer is good, and you should have mentioned ASER report instead of the Pratham NGO.

      All the best. 🙂

      • El Magick

        Yes, it is the ASER report!!! The exact word skipped my mind. Haha!

        I hope to get the word limit under control by practice.

        Thanks for the feedback, again. 😀

    • Aj

      That’s a balanced answer. But then u had to mention how the government is tackling the quality issue. The RTE has mechanisms of continuos evaluation, there is emphasis on teacher training, some state governments have tapped into NGOs to evaluate performance etc. The government is doing something is what u should somewhere mentioned.

      • El Magick

        You are right, Aj. I should have mentioned it especially since it won’t have taken that much space! Oh, the problems of balancing things. 😀

        The NCERT has the CCE. However, implementation has been poor to non-existent. Quality of teachers is an issue as is their training. Plus, how do you incentivise skilled teachers to remain in rural settings?

        TFI and such, have contributed to some improvement, yes. the Pratham study i was referring to in the answer is one such NGO evaluating performance that you’ve alluded to. The larger question is how do we translate accountability especially for government institutions that are given to entrenched recalcitrant behaviour.

        Any ideas?

  • Sundaram

    The literacy rate in India is showing a rising trend which is a positive signal for the country. The Census 2011 reveals that the literacy rate has increased from 65% to 74%. The recent NSSO data also reveals the literacy rate up from 64.5% to 69.1% in a span of around 6 years but the major concern is that the government still remains behind their private counterparts in the field of education.

    Education has been one of the main area of importance since independence spice illiteracy impedes cultural growth of people as well as overall growth of a country. The most significant problems in this sector usually cater around rural education and girls education. Various policies and schemes have since been implemented. The Sarv Siksha Abhiyan was a major step in this direction along with the Right to education (86th Amendment Act) as it sought to make elementary education universal and compulsory. Various scholarships have been announced for tribal girls. Mahila samakhya scheme was implemented and Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya were opened up for improving literacy rates among females.

    Besides, various state governments have also taken several initiatives on their part to improve the literacy rate. Among them Kerala stands out with an exceptional literacy rate. H.P’s ‘schooling revolution’ was also a major step in this step. Similarly various states have followed different models for increasing the literacy rate and states like Bihar and UP which lag behind in these parameters need to learn from their past mistakes rectify them.

    For a country like India with such a high demographic dividend, education sector is of immense importance for making its population globally competitive and place India at a strong position globally. The major concern remains that in spite of increasing literacy rates the quality of education remains sluggish as pointed out by the recent ASER report. Thus major steps need to be taken in improving the quality of education rather than just working on its literacy numbers.

    • El Magick

      Hi! You’ve mentioned hte SSA and the girl education program. I was wondering how to integrate these in the context of the question since there is no data which sheds light on the linkage of these programs to literacy/educational out comes. Any thoughts?

      Thanks for sharing.

    • Insights-Review

      Hi Sundaram,

      Do keep a check on your word limit and your essay-ish answer. Never be too verbose in such questions, as it would contain too much data and that would become too technical for the examiner.

      Keep writing and keep improving!

      All the very best. 🙂

  • Subhash Tadala

    Being a merging economy and having more campaign on demographic dividend, Indian literacy rate plays a substantial role to make India as skill India. The recent trends or outcomes in this area are :

    1)Literacy rate increased in both rural and Urban areas thereby overall literacy.
    2)It is not only among males, but also we can see the literacy rate increase in females.
    3)Though overall literacy rate increased, it is varied across different states. It is not giving a uniformn picture.

    With the SSA and RTE in place India placed the above mark, but the increase in the
    rates comes with backlogs too. They are as follows:

    1)Female literacy increased, but not yet reached male literacy level which is very important.
    2)With the increase in the literacy rate, the ability of pupil must increase but it is not happening in most children which was also justified by several reports.
    3)Literacy rate though inmproved, but the quality infrastructure for schooling and to access schools is not upto the required level, which derails the achievement in literacy levels.

    Finally it is the interest of a skill India we have to decide whether we want a quantitative improvement or qualitative improvement.

    • Insights-Review

      Hi Subash,

      Good answer, but could have been a bit more technical, by giving examples of ASER reports, giving some percentages and other data etc., and more measures like Teacher Training Programs, MDM, SSA, BBBP and many more.

      Keep writing and all the best! 🙂

      • Subhash Tadala

        Thank you for your review. Actually I won’t like to memorise the quantitative data. That is my problem.

        regarding the schemes, I follow your review of MDM, SSA, BBBP.
        THank you again.

  • Pushkar Choudhary

    Literacy rate is one of the key parameter to judge the quality of education in a country.Despite holding largest no of illiterate people India has shown persistent rise in literacy rate from 12% to 74.04% since independence.The recent NSSO data reveals the rise in literacy rate from 64.5% to 69.1% in a span of around 6 years in closed conducted survey.

    Government initiatives have affected Indian education in many positive ways:
    1)Initiatives such as Sarva Shiska Abhiyan has universalized elementary education in time bound manner.
    2)Right to Education act which declares free and compulsory education a fundamental right has been instrumental in increasing literacy rates.
    3)Mid day meal:Many families can’t afford two meals square a day,by linking meal with school government has introduced a great initiative to increase enrollment in the schools
    4)Beti Bachao Beti Padhao: Education for girls has been keen one of the keen agenda of government.
    5)PPPs: Involving all major stakeholders like ngos,organization have contributed immensely.

    In spite of the progress made there exists a visible lacunae:
    1)India spends a very small portion of its GDP on education sector,which results in lack of infrastructure and capacities.
    2)Focus has shifted entirely from quality to increasing rates.
    3)SSA and RTE have subsumed Education for All campaign which has neglected the adult and youth adult rates.
    4)Regulation and monitoring of these programs are very centralized in nature.
    5)Literacy rates do not provide adequate assessment,we need a better monitoring authorities.
    Literacy rates are key to socio economic progress,but we should give more thrust the quality of education in order to stop these children becoming false economy and make them contribute in the process of nation building.

    • Pushkar Choudhary

      plzz review!!

    • Nirmal Agarwal

      well structured . keep writing . review mine . and feed back is welcomed

  • Nirmal Agarwal

    Literacy is a key for socio-economic progress indicator , and the Indian literacy rate has grown to 69% over 6 decades of independence both female and male literacy rate showed improvement — from 56.3 per cent to 62 per cent in the former and from 72.1 per cent to 75.7 per cent in the latter .

    Govt in educating the citizens is lagging behind private entities in terms of investment. Govt initiative in both central and state level for education is not as appalling but following points can be noted :-

    1) literacy rate in both urban and rural have increased
    2) male and female have improved
    3) adult education has also improved (15 age above and above )

    set backs :-

    1) people preferring to private institution rather than govt i.e 65% people in rural attended govt while only 38%
    2) less opening of govt schools then needed
    3) no proper facilities at govt schools ( toilet )
    4) under qualified teachers
    5) very less spending on education by govt

    govt steps over years in programmes and schemes have considerably helped improve the number of literates . some of the prog and schemes are :-

    1) National literacy mission programme :- educate 80 million adults in 15-35 age to not only read but also understand why they are being deprived and help them move towards change
    2) TARA AKshar + educating women in 35 days
    3) beti padhao beti bacho
    4) sarva siksha abhayan
    5) right to education (86th amendment )
    6) universalisation of primary eduaction
    7) Mahila samakhya scheme
    8) Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya were opened up for improving literacy rates among females.
    9) total literacy campaign :- eradicate adult literacy in india

    India with a high demographic dividend, education sector is of high importance for making its population globally competitive and place India at a strong position globally. The major concern remains that in spite of increasing literacy rates the quality of education remains under rated .Thus steps need to be taken in improving the quality of education rather than number of literates .

    • Pushkar Choudhary

      good points!!review mine

  • suchak

    India is the youngest Nation in World and Literacy is the basic need to for the Human capital. Since Independence number of Schemes related to Education run by the state and Central govt and Due to that , we reach the 69% of Literacy rate.

    Trend in literacy :-

    1.Gender Equality :- Nearly Same Literacy rate of Male and female. India Fulfill the UNSECO Goal of Gender equality in literacy.

    2.Adult Literacy :- India fail to achieve the target of the 50% and can did only 26% of the adult literacy.

    3.Education Expenditure :- Not increase , still less then the 2% of the GDP.

    4.Gradually decreasing the rural urban gap of literacy.

    Schemes related to the literacy :-

    1. National literacy mission programme :- Educate 8 crore adults in 15-35 age to not only read but also understand why they are being deprived and help them move towards change

    2.TARA akshar :- To Make the women literate . 100 Minutes per day for 30 days and Make the Women enable to read and write in hindi. ( NGO )

    3.Central Govt. flagship :- Beti bachao , Beti padhao with dual objective of Gender Equality in Literacy and Increase sex ratio.

    4.Kasturba GandhiVidhyalaya :-Integrated in the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan program, to provide educational facilities for girls belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, minority communities and families below the poverty line in Educationally Backward Blocks

    5.Other are – SSA , RTE, Mid day meal

  • Annapurna Garg

    Literacy is defined as the total population above the age of seven who can read and write with understanding. India has come a long distance in literacy levels in the country since independence. The trend can be discussed as:
    1. Both urban and rural literacy rates have improved with more growth in urban areas.
    2. Female and male literacy rates both have improved, with female population showing greater growth thn male population as per latest census.
    3. The growth has been highly skewed among the states.

    Governments, both at centre and state levels have undertaken various measures to improve literacy levels. Some of them are Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Right to education, Aanganwadi schools, katurba Vidyalyas etc. these have helped in many ways:
    1. Increased literacy rate
    2. Increasing voter turn out with every subsequent elections also reflects in one wy increased literacy.
    3. Education is now a matter of right than a privilege, consequent of which India has attained near universal primary enrolment.

    However, still a lot is to be done. The rates have improved but quality of education is still a matter of concern. This has been very well shown by ASER reports consistently. This points to the need for various reforms like emphasis on teacher training, fairness in teaching examinations, change in teaching methodology, improved schooling infrastructure. All this would go a long way in improving the quality aspect as well, thus making India truly literate.

    • Pushkar Choudhary

      could hve mentioned some figures,rest fine!! review mine

  • Vikas

    Please review

  • Kumar s

    The term literacy means making people to have read and writing skills. Indian History describe the education atmosphere from ancient to modern like gurukula to highly equipped schools.

    Recent reports have revealed the improving trends in education from 3 decade. however some actions need to dynamic education system.
    Central and state govt’s should make some initiatives such as

    1.Strong education policy: Comprehensive policy could resolve the problems of initiating new structural framework to provide opportunity of learning to poor sections.

    2.Human resource supply: Both central and state govt shall have implement the skill development program for advancing abilities of teachers ensure the quality of education reach out pupils.

    3.Govt’s shall make effort to same of syllabus across the country that solve the problem of inequality access of information among students and also syllabus must enable students for all round development such as morally, ethically, socially, politically, mentally that makes future dynamic resource of country.

    4.Infrastructure: Govt must ensure to provide the physical and financial infrastructure to strengthen the good learning environment .

    However educational inequality trend continue on gender, caste and class based.
    Usually govt provide various incentives to literate poor sections but unless change of social behavior and people sense towards education would fail in govt efforts

  • vinayakumara vijaykumar

    I felt few points could have been added such as rural urabn divide
    North south divide

    Interior vs coastal India apart from a point or two on history of literacy rates as any qn on trends should reflect upon the variations in geography and through time.