While, India gears up for the 51st international Literacy Day, it has reasons to rejoice and areas to improve. As per Educational Statistics for 2015-16, the literacy rate in India increased to 69.3% in 2011. In comparison to 2001, when the literacy rate was 61.0%, the improvement is decent.
A dramatic improvement is seen in the literacy rate of female population which improved from 47.8% in 2001 to 59.3% in 2011. Among males, the literacy rate has improved from 73.4% in 2001 to 78.8% in 2011.
Though the literacy rate has been on a upward trajectory in the past decade, the overall literacy rate in India is still lower than the global rate. Compared to the global youth literacy rate of 91%, India lags far behind with 69.3%.
India certainly has improved the literacy rate for young women with the gross enrolment ratio (GER) of girls almost equaling that of boys in secondary and senior secondary level of school. Where India needs to work is enrolment in Higher Education where there is a significant gap. The GER for students between 14-17 years is 65.3 and this number decreases dramatically to 24.3 for students between 18-23 years in Higher Education (as per Education Statistics 2015-16).
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