In two decades, Bihar could have full literacy

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3 Nov 2010
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Patna: Bihar's literacy rate may be the lowest in the country at 63.8 percent, but it could achieve total literacy in about two decades like the rest of India, predicts a new report.

During the past decade, the literacy rate in Bihar has increased by 17 percent, much faster compared to nine percent for the entire country, the report points out.

"If Bihar is able to maintain its present momentum in educational progress, it will hopefully achieve total literacy simultaneously with the rest of the country," said the report, "Elementary Education in Bihar: Progress and Challenges".

According to the report, among all Indian states, the literacy rate is the lowest in Bihar. The 2011 census records it at 63.8 percent compared to 74 percent for the entire country.

"The only ray of hope in this otherwise depressing scenario is the faster spread of literacy in Bihar during 2001 to 2011 than in India as a whole," the report said.

The report was released by Nobel laureate Amartya Sen three days ago, which was jointly prepared by the Pratichi India Trust and the Centre for Economic Policy and Public Finance, Bihar.

It pointed out that the present momentum in the progress of literacy in Bihar can be maintained only when elementary education in the state is strengthened.

"The differences between the all-India and Bihar literacy rate was only 4.5 percent in 1961, it has gradually increased to 18.2 percent by 2001," the report said.

"Fortunately, the spread of literacy during the last decade has been faster in Bihar than in India as a whole, reducing the gap in literacy rates to 10.2 percent," the report said.
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