India is to achieve 80% literacy rate in the next two years. This was stated by the HRD minister, MM PallamRaju, while inaugurating an international conference on achieving literacy for all. The literacy rate of India is 73% at present as per the 2011 Census.
Raju said that more than 20 crore people have become literates since the last Census of 2001 out of which more than half of them are females. To achieve the goal of 80% literacy by 2015, the minister said that the HRD Ministry is restructuring the entire adult education system in the country with a paradigm shift to lifelong education. He announced that an appropriate administrative and if required legislative process will be initiated to integrate formal, non-formal and informal learning and to formally recognize forms of education other than formal. He clarified that recognition, validation and accreditation of learning obtained through adult education will be formalized by setting up equivalency framework.
Stressing on the fact that the Government is keen to improve the quality of adult learning, the HRD minister added that a core curriculum framework for adult education has been developed and is currently undergoing consultative process. The framework will address total quality management in adult literacy. Full support will be given to adult education by providing adequate resources including funding, research complemented by knowledge management systems and through other innovative means including use of computer ICT as a medium of instruction, he added.
The UN resident coordinator Lise Grande complimented India for fighting illiteracy and making achievements in the field of education sector. However, she said that India should continue with its struggle against illiteracy. More than 70 crore people globally do not know reading, writing and arithmetic and most of them are in India, China, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The three-day conference will focus on effective, innovative approaches to scale up literacy, reduce gender disparities and create a literate world. The conference has been organised by National Literacy Mission Authority (NLMA), India along with UNESCO and UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL).