India is heading towards a two-digit GDP growth rate and it is estimated that by the year 2050 it would get ahead of US economy. For a country with such advancement, the literacy situation is still not satisfactory. There are a number of issues facing the Indian economy, which includes poverty, unemployment, illiteracy etc. Poverty, illiteracy and unemployment are interrelated and if there is a positive change in any one of the three factors, a positive change may result in the other two as well. Education as a tool can be used to address all these three problems
The literacy rate for 2001, according to the census survey, came out to 65.38 % of the population for the age above seven years. Total percentage of educated males and females in India accounts for 75.85% and 54.16% respectively. To compare with 1991, literacy rates has grown by 13.17% from 52.21% and the growth for males and females by 11.72% and 14.87% respectively.
Table 1.1. Number of Literates and Literacy Rate
Persons Males Females
Total No. of Literates 560,687,797 336,533,716 224,154,081
Literacy Rate 64.8 % 75.3 % 53.7 %
Rural No. of Literates 361,870,817 223,551,641 138,139,176
Literacy Rate 58.7 % 70.7 % 46.1 %
Urban No. of Literates 198,816,980 112,982,075 85,834,905
Literacy Rate 79.9 % 86.3 % 72.9 %
Source : Census of India, 2001
Literacy in a general sense means the ability of a person to read and write. Limiting literacy only to reading and writing skills is not correct. Literacy program will be considered to be effective if the individual can utilize whatever he has been learned for improving his life. Education includes both formal schooling and non-formal learning and it should focus on the overall development of skills, knowledge and abilities that are needed by a person in his daily life and can help him in improving the situation, ensure that he grows, and get a better life.
In India the educational methodology, used by us is of little use in the... [continues]
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