Education and literacy 

Source- Google scholar

Review of journal

Date of issue

Vol.1, 7October ,2013(IJRSML)ISSN;2321-2853

Author-Dr. Navichandra R. shah Assistant professor Dept. of Economics, Saurashtra university, Gujarat


Literacy Rate in India


Key point

  • Statistics of literacy in India.
  • Importance of literacy at individual and society level.
  • Census from 1991 to 2018.
  • Literacy in British Rule after independence. 
  • Government policies to accelerate literacy.


India’s demographic occupied 2nd rank among the world’s populated countries. 

As census 2011 shows the percentage of population of India, there is a huge percentage of young age. The literacy rate of India was 74.04%. It might look good as the statistics, but the truth is behind the numbers. The numbers vary from state to state.

In this journal a significant relationship shows between literacy and economics.  Development is the main aspect of a nation to progress. Literacy is not only important for individuals, it’s also important at community level. 

At earliest, literacy refers solely to the ability to read and write; but the United Nations Educational scientific and cultural organization (UNESCO) define the literacy as the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate, compute and use printed and written materials associated with varying context. 

 Importance of literacy for an individual

The answer can be found in the following points:

  • Literacy involves a continuum process of learning.
  • To achieve their goal.
  • To interact in society and contribute to society.
  •  To develop their knowledge and potential.
  • Attainment of universal primary education is one of the Millennium development goals of the United Nations to be achieved by the year 2015.
  • Literacy level and educational attainment are vital indicators of development.

The numbers of literate and illiterate persons were 778,454 and 272,950,015 respectively (census 2011). In this census of 2011, children below age 5 are considered illiterates.

Censuses since 1991

The research paper shows the rate of literacy of India from 1901 to 2011. The data is very old, but it is to show the change in literacy rate. According to the research paper, the involvement of women is very less in compare of men. There could be many reasons. But as the time passed, involvement of women in education and literacy increased drastically. Whereas we can see that male education and literacy also increase. 

Literacy during British Rule

In the pre-colonial era, there were Gurukulss where education was  provided to the children. Between 1881-82 and 1946-47, the number of English schools grew from 82,916 to 134866. Literacy rate in accordance to British in India rose from 3.2% in1881 to 7.2% in1931 and 12.2%in 1947.

Literacy after independence

During independence the literacy rate was 12.2%. After independence, the current government had to plan the educational module, there was a huge number of people who were illiterate and the need for a quality education was a must. Since 1947, India has always worked actively in the education sector.

Step taken by the government in accelerating education planning in India

To accelerate the literacy, Indian Government take many initiates;

  • Universal Elementary Education for all.
  • Right to free and compulsory education, 2010
  • Sarav shiksha abhiyan, 2002
  •  Directive principle of state (article 45)
  • National Literacy Mission,1998
  • Manthan sampoorana vikas kender,2008

Key finding

  • The literacy gap between male and females.
  • Difference in the form of number between the after and before independence about literacy.
  • The numbers show that the fewer female participants are female in literacy. 
  • Interrelation between development, literacy and education.
  • Accelerating education by the step taken by the government.


The data is too old and the interrelation between literacy and development is not clear. The Reason behind the low literacy is not given. In The census of 2011, children below age 5 are considered illiterates but children are still learning how we can consider them illiterate, the author should use some different term for children below age 5.


The journal was written in 2013and the data used is old which couldn’t show the current situation of literacy and education. As I can read, in this paper the terms of literacy and education are similar, meanwhile there is a huge difference between the two terms.

The author tries to show the interrelation between literacy and economics. The author doesn’t give any specific term which can justify his statement.

Literacy can help to attain development. I agree, the more literate person can make a smooth environment. Their writing and reading capabilities can help them to save themselves from anti -social elements, but we are living in a web era where everything becomes online. During the pandemic, we are not going outside, that time our life fully depends on the web world.

While reading the article some questions hit me. I want to discuss over that 

  • Is literacy enough to attain the economic goal and development? If yes, why do we need degrees?
  • Can a literate person consider him/herself as educated? If yes, then what term should I use for a degree holder person? If not, then how can we motivate them to gain more knowledge and become educated?
  • What guidelines can help an individual to understand the difference between the literate and educated person?

We need to focus on the overall development of an individual because an individual is a building block of a society and nation.

Categories: Education

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