Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister M M Pallam Raju on Thursday underlined the need for proper utilisation of the synergy with Panchayati Raj institutions to create an equal, inclusive and literate India’, while highlighting the country’s “encouraging” growth in literacy rate.
Participating in the convention of ministers on adult education and Panchayati Raj, he said that the key feature of ‘Saakshar Bharat’ is that panchayats run the mission.
He said this would help in achieving the herculean task of making seven crore adults literate.
Seeking more funds to the Saakshar Bharat programme, Raju said the programme was expected to make non-literate adults literate and prevent a relapse to illiteracy.Expressing satisfaction over the rising literacy rate recorded in the new census data, Raju said that the literacy rate of the country had risen from 64.8 per cent in 2001 to 73 per cent in 2011.
“What is more encouraging is the female literacy growth has outstripped the male literacy growth by nearly 100 per cent and the gender gap has been reduced,” he said.
However, Raju said the government had a long way to go in this area as there was a wide variation in female literacy rates, which were unsettling low in rural areas.
Minister of State for HRD Shashi Tharoor said the adult literacy initiative has not been able to achieve its objective as does not feature high on the administration’s priority list.