By NewsGram staff writer
New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday requested for greater participation from society in order to achieve higher literacy rate as he remarked that education remained a vital aspect of a nation’s development.
“Literacy alone can bring development, empowerment and sustainability and achieve desired goals set under the Saakshar Bharat and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan programmes,” Mukherjee said presiding over the celebration of International Literacy Day in New Delhi.
Reminding the nation of the UNESCO slogan of “each one teach one”, the President stressed on the need for greater “societal involvement” in achieving higher literacy targets.
Without literacy, India cannot claim its pride of place among the comity of nations, he said.
“From 18 percent in 1951 to 72.5 percent in 2011, we are still behind. Many of our sister developing countries including those in South Asia have almost 100 percent literacy rate.
“While we have fixed a target of 80 percent literacy in country by end of 12th Five Year plan, we have to ensure that the gender gap in literacy should not be more than 10 percent,” he was quoted as saying.
Smriti Irani, Union Human Resource Development Minister, said the government has set a target of achieving 100 percent literacy in villages adopted under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana by March 2016.
“We have written to the members of parliament requesting them the villages they have identified under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana. We will make sure such villages are 100 percent literate by March 2016,” she said.
Noting that there are 410 districts where villages have identified under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, she expressed confidence of accomplishing the target.
(With inputs from IANS)