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86 million illiterate people in rural India, SECC exposes the reality

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New Delhi: About 86 million more rural Indians have been counted as illiterate than the 2011 census data found.

This is revealed by the Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC), which counted 315.7 million Indians in rural areas as illiterate in 2011, the same year as the census and the highest number of illiterates of any country in the world.

Put another way, rural India has more illiterate people than the population of Indonesia – the world’s fourth-most populous country – and twice the population of Pakistan.

Released last week, the SECC, which focused on rural India, counted more people (literate and illiterate) than the census: 35.73 percent of Indians in rural areas as illiterate, as against 32.23 percent counted by census 2011.

The new data has also revealed the low levels of literacy in rural India.

Those who are literate can barely read or count.

As many as 14 percent (123 million people)  of literate Indians in rural areas have not studied past class five, while 18 percent (157 million) have completed primary education, or class five.

Given that educational levels in India do not reflect real learning, 280 million literate Indians in rural areas are only nominally literate.

As IndiaSpend reported earlier, only a fourth of all children in class III can read a class II text fluently, a drop of more than 5 percent over four years. With math, a quarter of children in class III could not recognise numbers between 10 and 99, a drop of 13 percent over four years, according to the 2014 Annual Status Report on Education (ASER).

Only 3 percent (three million) of Indians in rural areas have completed graduation or a higher level of education.

Central India reported the highest illiteracy rate of 39.20 percent and east India 38.79 percent, followed by west India (35.15 percent), north India (32.87 percent), the northeast (30.2 percent) and south India (29.64 percent).

Union territories fared the best with less than 15 percent of the population illiterate.

Rajasthan reported the worst illiteracy rate: 47.58 percent or 25.88 million people, followed by Madhya Pradesh with 44.19 percent or 22.80 million illiterate people, Bihar with 43.85 percent or 42.89 million illiterate people and Telangana with 40.42 percent or 9.5 million illiterate people.

The surprises are the presence of the southern states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in the top 10 state for illiteracy.

Kerala is another surprise in the SECC analysis. While state surveys and the census have repeatedly claimed a literacy rate of more than 90 percent,  the SECC report says 11.38 percent, or 3 million Keralites, are illiterate.

Among union territories, Dadra & Nagar Haveli reported the highest illiteracy rate of 36.29 percent.

(IANS/IndiaSpend)

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Top 5 IAS Officers Who Acted As The ‘Steel Frame’ Of Bureaucracy

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Indian Administrative Service is the steel frame of bureaucracy. Wikimedia Commons
Indian Administrative Service is the steel frame of bureaucracy. Wikimedia Commons

BY SHANTAM SAHAI

Indian Administrative Service (IAS), as described by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is the steel frame upon which the bureaucracy rests. No matter how many times the government changes, if we have good IAS officers, they would ensure good governance. Since the decades that have passed after Independence, doubts over the competence of the Indian Administrative Service have been raised. People wished to know if the steel frame is still strong, or has it became rusty and weak?

The answer lies in these dynamic and dedicated IAS officers who are doing wonders in their districts through fresh ideas. They are actually changing the country for the better!

ALSO READ: Woman IAS officer Gauri Parashar Joshi saved Panchkula when Local Police Ran Away

1. Rohini R. Bhajibhakare

Rohini  Bhajibhakare is the daughter of a marginal farmer who became the first woman collector in Tamil Nadu in 1790. She is known for her people-centric governance.
  • She conducts surprise checks in government hospitals.
  • Keeps in touch with officials through WhatsApp.
  • Also, gives pep talks to school students.
  • Even visits the rural areas to directly listen to grievances of the people.
  • Banned the use of plastic or polythene articles on the Collectorate campus.

She has recently been appointed the collector of Salem district.

Salem District Collectorate. Wikimedia Commons
Salem District Collectorate. Wikimedia Commons

2. Ronald Rose

A 2006 batch IAS officer of the Telangana cadre, Ronald had single-handedly ensured the effective implementation of government initiatives in the district and taken it to the forefront of the rural development in the state. He is a man who is driving an amazing transformation of Mahbubnagar district of Telangana.

  • Villages have become free of open defecation.
  • Farmers use organic methods.
  • Soak pits have been successfully dug in the houses.
  • Haritha Haaram programme, a large-scale tree-planting campaign has also been successful.

Ronald Rose is also the brain behind Divyang Solar Society.

3. Saurabh Kumar

A 2009-batch IAS officer of Chhattisgarh cadre, Saurabh Kumar converted a Naxal-hit Palnar village to a cashless village post demonetisation, despite the village had no cellular connectivity.

Lunch with the Collector

Kumar understands how lack of education and unemployment could lead the youth towards violence and extremism. Hence, he introduced counselling sessions to help students make the right career choice. These sessions involve Saurabh and other senior officials directly interacting with the students.

Through this thoughtful initiative, he has earned the respect of the locals of Dantewada.

4. Prasanth Nair

A 2007 batch IAS officer of Kerala cadre, Prasanth Nair is affectionately called ‘Collector Bro’. He is popular for the initiatives he kickstarted as the collector of Kozhikode.

  • Operation Sulaimani: It is a decentralized participatory project to address the issue of hunger in urban areas.
  • Tere Mere Beach Mein: It is a project to tackle waste management at Kozhikode Beach.
  • Yo Appooppa: It is an attempt to improve the quality of life of the elderly.

Nair also once offered a free plate of Malabar biryani to each individual who volunteers to clean a 14-acre pond. The idea, unsurprisingly, worked.

ALSO READ: The world of Civil Services Aspirants – Coaching Institutes

5. PS Pradyumna

PS Pradyumna is a man on a mission. His well-planned and inclusive initiatives have breathed new life into the development of the Andhra Pradesh district.

  • Palle Vanam: It is a rural afforestation programme that will create natural green spots with benches and walking tracks for villagers.
  • Nirbhaya Patrolling: it is a programme in which women cops on electric bicycles keep an eagle eye on zones covering educational institutions, bus stops and areas vulnerable to sexual harassment.
  • Construction of one lakh individual toilets (under the Palle Nidra programme)
  • Water conservation in drought-prone areas (under the Handri-Neeva project)

He has also established affordable selling centres for providing the agriculture equipment to farmers.