International Literacy Day 2022: Initiatives By Govt To Develop Literacy Levels In India — Details

International Literacy Day 2022: Initiatives By Govt To Develop Literacy Levels In India — Details

The world celebrates September 8 as International Literacy Day and this year the theme is “Transforming Literacy Learning Spaces”. It is worth pausing to reflect on and appreciate the various initiatives undertaken by the Government of India throughout the years to promote literacy among all sections of society and their successes.

According to the information available with the Press Information Bureau (PIB), following are the some of the programmes established to inspire and engage children in developing their literacy skills through reading, writing, and other forms of literary expression.

International Literacy Day 2022: Date, History And Significance – All You Need To Know

New India Literacy Programme (NILP)

The “New India Literacy Programme” has recently been approved by The Union of India for the financial years 2022-2027 to support States and Union Territories in increasing literacy among non-literate 15-year-olds and older across the country covering 5 crore non-literates, including minorities, replacing “Adult Education” with “Education For All”.

The initiative aims to promote financial literacy, digital literacy, commercial skills, health care, and awareness, child care and education, and family welfare) along with vocational skills development among students.

Each One Teach One Programme

Established in 1983, the Each One Teach One Charitable Foundation is a development organisation working to improve the lives of disadvantaged children in both urban and rural areas of India and has helped over 10,000 kids in urban and rural areas of the country during the course of their work.

Initiatives To Promote “Digital Literacy”

According to the NITI Aayog’s report “Strategy for New India @75,” the country needs to eliminate the Digital Divide by 2022–2023. In this regard – 

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“National Digital Literacy Mission” (NDLM) and “Digital Saksharta Abhiyan” (DISHA) – The government implemented these schemes in 2014-2016 to train 52.50 lakh people in digital literacy. About 53.67 lakh people were certified under these two initiatives. “Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan” (PMGDISHA) The Union Cabinet adopted this scheme in 2017 to bring digital literacy to 6 crore rural households (one person per household). Under this, around 5.78 crore candidates have been enrolled, 4.90 crores have been trained and 3.62 crores have been certified.

Nipun Bharat Scheme

The Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education, Government of India launched NIPUN Bharat on July 5, 2021, under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of SamagraShiksha.

Its purpose is to ensure all children have grade-level reading, writing, and maths skills in primary school. The Mission also sets priorities and achievable agendas for States/UTs to achieve competency in basic literacy and numeracy by grade 3.

Initiatives To Promote Literacy Among Minorities:

According to a written reply given in the Lok Sabha by Union Minister for Minority Affairs Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on April 7, 2022, the Ministry of Minority Affairs implements various Schemes/programmes for the educational empowerment of students/beneficiaries belonging to six notified minority communities i.e. Christians, Jains, Sikhs, Muslims, Buddhists, and Parsis. These include:

Begum Hazrat Mahal National Scholarship – This scheme targets minority girls in classes IX to XII with a family yearly income of less than Rs. 2.00 lakh. Achievements: Since 2014-15, 11.51 lakh minority girls have received Rs 722.05 crore and the Ministry has sanctioned more than 5.20 crore scholarships since 2014-15, with an expenditure of Rs. 15862.21 crores.

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Maulana Azad National Fellowship (MANF) Scheme – Fellowships under this scheme are awarded to M. Phil. and PhD research students. The scheme is implemented by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and covers all universities/institutions recognized under sections 2(f) and 3 of the UGC Act. Achievements: Since 2014-15, in addition to renewals, 5882 fresh fellowships have been awarded involving an expenditure of Rs. 645.78 crores.

Padho Pardesh – Under this program, students receive Interest Subsidies on Overseas Education Loans acquired for foreign Masters, M.Phil., or PhD studies during the moratorium period. Achievements: An amount of Rs. 130.42 has been released for payment of interest subsidy to 15743 beneficiaries since 2014-15.

Nai Manzil – This program aims to educate and train school dropouts. Achievements: Since 2016-17, Rs. 448.51crore have been given to 98,697 beneficiaries under this initiative.

Educational Loan Scheme of National Minorities Development Finance  Corporation (NMDF) – This PSU provides Educational Loan Scheme to support job-oriented education for minorities. Loans up to Rs. 20.00 lakh for domestic studies and Rs. 30.00 lakh for courses overseas are available for ‘technical and professional courses.’ Achievements: From 2014-15 through 2020-21, 19,245 minority students received a 252.45-crore education loan.

Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK) is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) with the goal of improving socio-economic conditions and basic amenities in specified Minority Concentrated Areas (MCAs) principally through infrastructure funding. Achievements: Construction of 1,550 School Buildings, 171 Residential Schools, 6 Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs), 38 Degree Colleges, 01 Medical College, 01 Unani Medical College,  02 Nursing colleges, 01 Paramedical college and 01 Pharmacy college, 01 Agriculture College, 691 Hostels, 23,094 Additional Class Rooms, 239 Science Labs/ Libraries and Laboratories.

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India’s Journey In Achieving Literacy:

In the seventy-five years after India’s independence, the literacy rates in the country have increased significantly. The country’s literacy rate was a meagre 12.7 per cent in 1947 with negligible participation of women and the rural population; recently The National Statistical Commission set it to be 77.7% in the year 2017-18. 

Comparatively, the literacy rate in rural areas was 73.5 per cent, whereas in urban areas it amounted to 87.7 per cent. Kerala identifies as the state with the highest literacy rate, with more than 93% of its citizens being literate

Literacy and education in India face various barriers, including an increase in dropout rates, the gender difference in education, and a pandemic-driven delay in education.

The National Education Policy, 2020 intends to restructure education from theory-based to practical learning wherein in the future, children may be able to pick their own subjects. The policy was built on access, equity, affordability, and accountability in line with UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

Large-scale proactive and flexible policymaking is the need of the hour in India but can potentially prove to be difficult to implement and monitor.

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