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ERIC Number: EJ790159
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1253
Functional Literacy in India: A Progress Report
Bhargava, Alka
Education Canada, v48 n2 p50-52 Spr 2008
Literacy has been a priority for the leaders of India since before Independence. Since the independence of the country in 1947, eradication of illiteracy has been a major concern of the national Government. The nation's constitution includes specific articles and amendments to guarantee the advancement of education. During the country's first Five Year Plan, the program of Social Education, including literacy, was introduced as part of the Community Development Program (1952). Later, the Kothari Commission on Education (1964-66) emphasized the importance of spreading literacy as fast as possible and observed that "literacy if it is to be worthwhile, must be functional." The 1968 National Policy on Education not only endorsed the recommendations of the Kothari Commission, but also reiterated the significance of universal literacy and the importance of developing adult and continuing education as matters of priority. In an effort to impart functional literacy to the Indian people, the former Prime Minister of India, the late Rajiv Gandhi, launched the National Literacy Mission (NLM) in 1988 as one of the five technology missions of the country. The decade between 1991 and 2001 achieved the highest percentage point increase in the literacy rate of any decade--a marked improvement upon the literacy rate increases immediately after independence, touching all categories of people, both urban and rural. However, inter-state and intra-state disparities still continue, although the gap has been narrowing over the years. This is an area of particular concern to NLM and warrants a focused approach in the XI Five Year Plan, which began with 2007-08. The NLM has geared itself to meet the challenges posed by the literacy scenario of the country, especially in view of the growing concern globally over illiteracy as one of the major impediments in the holistic development of the disadvantaged sections of society. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: India