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Literacy in India: 5 states that have made the greatest strides forward

By Finserv MARKETS - Sep 5,2019
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Literacy in India & 5 States that Have Made the Greatest Strides

8th September is celebrated annually as International Literacy Day worldwide by governments, global civil society and stakeholders to showcase the progress in world literacy rates, and ponder upon world’s unfulfilled literacy challenges. Literacy forms a vital aspect of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) and UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The UNSDG, as part of its agenda, strives to work towards universal access to quality education and learning opportunities through people’s lives.

The theme of this year’s International Literacy Day is ‘Literacy and Multilingualism’. It aims to address the main characteristics of multilingualism in today’s digital and globalized times, and embrace linguistic diversity in education and literacy policies for greater linguistic inclusivity. India’s adult literacy rate rose from 61 percent in 2000 to 72.2 percent in 2015, a mere 18.4 percent growth in these 15 years. This is much below the world literacy rate of 86.24 percent (as of 2016) making it the largest illiterate population in the world.

Despite the lethargic literacy growth rate in India, few of its states and UTs have fared well and have in fact made great strides forward in the last few years that are worth taking note of, this International Literacy Day:


Kerala’s literacy story is widely spoken about with 94 percent literacy rate (as per 2011 census), the highest in the country. It serves an exemplary model for the other states that are still trying to catch up in the process of achieving 100 percent literacy. The state government sponsored flagship literacy drive – the Kerala State Literacy Mission (KSLM) implements literacy, continuing education, lifelong learning education programmes, and other social literacy programmes. Changathi – a one of its kind literacy programme organised under the KSLM is exclusively designed to help the large number of migrant workers in the state become literate in Malayalam through language classes in just 4 months. In addition to language classes, special sessions on health, hygiene and workers’ rights are also held. The first phase of the programme has garnered overwhelming enrolments from Bengali, Assamese, UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and even Nepalese migrant workers in the state.


As per 2011 Census of India, Lakshadweep has a literacy rate of 92.28 percent well above the national average of 74 percent. The female literacy rate at 88.2 percent is slightly lower than the male literacy rate of 96.1 percent. Post-independence, Lakshadweep has opened up a number of schools for elementary education. Lakshadweep is now a favourite educational destination with the rise in the number of educational institutions since 1997.


While Mizoram takes pride in its top literacy rate of 91.58 percent (2011 census), it has actually fallen below Kerala and Tripura in the recent years. Efforts are on by the Mizoram state to reclaim the top position. In a further bid to boost the literacy rate, a night school programme for locals in most illiterate districts is being run by an association of 100 government employees whose efforts are also backed by the state’s education department. The initiative has drawn good response from female students whose enrollment is said to be higher with most students aged between 30-60 years being daily labourers who have begun to learn Mizo language.


Goa’s literacy rate stands at 87.4 percent (2011 census), and digital literacy has been the central focus of state’s education department with its memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Google India. This tie-up aims to promote digital literacy and drive digital transformation in the state of Goa, by incorporating internet safety education into the curriculum of 9th to 12th standard in government schools, and launching programmes to help women and small and medium businesses, and mobile-app development skilling programme for start-ups.


The state’s success story of achieving 100 percent literacy despite being affected by militant violence, can be credited to its emphasis on social sector, including education, while the rest of the country was running after high GDP growth at the turn of this millennium. It silently went on to send every single child to school. Not just children, it also ensured that people, both young and old who lost the chance of entering into the fold of formal education, were provided basic education to improve their standard of living through its special Improve Pace and Content Learning (IPCL) programme.

Literacy and education are foundations for a strong, forward-looking, inclusive, and gender-sensitive society. It is important to promote literacy not just among children but also among adults who have missed the chance to be literate within a formal education system. This scenario is much more relevant for those girl children who drop out of school due to the societal pressures. Lack of financial support is another aspect that drives people to drop out of education. Although government scholarships and fee waiver/reimbursement schemes do support the economically backward sections to keep up with their educational journey, it isn’t enough unless one fends off on their own. In such circumstances, a personal loan for education can provide a respite without hampering the learning process.

Availing a personal loan for education can be useful to fund a child’s study dreams. The Bajaj Finserv Hybrid Flexi Personal Loan available on Finserv Markets allows you to fund your child’s dream of studying by providing an instant custom-made personal loan amount of upto Rs. 25 lakhs at reasonable interest rates with no collateral. At Finserv Markets, availing a personal loan for education like the Bajaj Finserv Hybrid Flexi Personal Loan is easy and quick with minimal documentation, and an approval in 3 minutes and loan money disbursal within 24 hrs. It offers several benefits like flexible repayment tenure ranging between 1-5 years, customized insurance plans to protect loan liability, flexible repayment options like interest only EMI during the initial tenure of loan, unlimited withdrawals of loan amount, part payment facility with no extra charges, and online account management facility.

To read more on how you can avoid getting rejected for education loan.

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