Adult Education, India

The Central Directorate of Adult Education provides academic and technical resource support to National Literacy Mission. It has been playing an important role in the development of a network of resource support, particularly production of prototype teaching/learning materials/media software and harnessing of all kinds of media for realising the objectives of NLM.

40th International Literacy Day celebration was held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on 8th, 2006. The Chief Guest for the function was His Excellency Shri Bhairon Singh Shekhwat, Vice President of India. NLM-UNESCO Awards are given every year in the national function to the selected StateResource Centre, Jan Shikshan Sansthan and University, Department of Adult, Continuning Education and Extension for their outstanding work done in the field of adult and literacy programmes. The award winners were : 1) State Resource Centre, Kolkata 2) Jan Shikshan Sansthan Aurangabad and 3) Department of Continuing Education & Extension, S.V. University,Tirupati.

Satyen Maitra Memorial Award is given every year to selected TLC/PLP/CE districts for their best performing and significant achievements in literacy programmes. The awards for 2006 went to Changlang, Arunachal Pradesh (TLC), Hanumangarh, Rajasthan (PLP), Cuddapah, Andhra Pradesh (CEP), Kollam, Kerala (CEP) Toothukudi, Tamil Nadu (CEP)UNESCO’s Confucious Prize for Literacy has been awarded to Directorate of Literacy & Continuing Education, Goverment of Rajasthan for its Useful Learning through Literacy and Continuing Education Programme in Rajasthan. The award carries a cash award of US $ 20,000 and a citation. The theme for award for this year was “Literacy for Sustainable Development”. The Directorate of Literacy & Continuing Education of Rajasthan received this award for this literacy programmes specifically targeted at illiterate women.

The State of Rajasthan has undertaken specific initiatives under which the illiterate women were taught IPCL primers and after completion of Primer-III at CE Centres, 15 day special vocational training camps were organized for them in all the districts. Self-Help Groups for neo-literate women have been organized and facilities for marketing the goods prepared by them have also been arranged. The objective was to make the women economically self-sufficient. A Project for Residual illiteracy has also been taken up in 30 districts of the State for the benefit of nearly 10 lakh illiterate persons.

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Publication Unit of Directorate of Adult Edcuation brought out various kinds of publications related to literacy and Adult Education during 2006-07. The books published were in different languages for neo-literates; Guidelines on different aspects of the literacy programmes (Basic Literacy, Post Literacy and Continuing education) for neo-literates; Policy guidelines, annual reports, statistical data books etc. for academicians and social sciences researchers; Special publications for important occasions such as International Literacy Day celebrations and national/ international level workshops etc.

Throughout the year a good number of publications were brought out and other associated works like photo-documentation, design artwork making of publications and dispatch of printed materials were carried out. Many publications were distributed free of cost to various levels of users in the country. On the occasion of the International Literacy Day on 8th September, 2006, Special publication titled “Innovations in Literacy” was released by Vice President of India and a set of 8 books for neo-literates was also presented to the Vice-President.

393 Total Literacy Campaign districts and 172 Post Literacy Programme districts have been evaluated by the External Evaluation Agencies. Seven Continuing Education Programme districts, i.e., Mandi (Himachal Pradesh), Ajmer (Rajasthan), Idduki Kasargod and Kollam and (Kerala) Uttar Kammad and Davangere (Karnataka) have also been evaluated by external evaluation agencies. Similarly, the activities of  106 JSSs have also been evaluated. Some of the agencies, which conducted evaluation of these programmes, include Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, XLRI,  Jamshedpur, Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, Tata Consultancy Services, Mumbai, Media Research Group, New Delhi, etc.


The literacy rate in 2001 has been recorded at 64.84 per cent as against 52.21 per cent in 1991. The 12.63 percentage points increase in the literacy rate during the period is the highest increase in any decade.

  • 124.27 million persons made literate so far.
  • Rate of growth in literacy is more in rural areas than in urban areas.
  • The gap in male-female literacy rate has decreased from 24.84 per cent in 1991 to 21.60 per cent in 2001.
  • Female literacy increased by 14.38 per cent i.e. from 39.29 per cent to 53.67 per cent whereas male literacy increased by 11.13 per cent i.e. from 64.13 per cent to
    75.26 per cent during the last decade.
  • Gender equity and women’s empowerment is also visible as about 60 per cent of participants and beneficiaries are women.
  • The population in 7+ age group increased by 171.6 millions while 203.6 million additional persons became literate during 1991-2001.
  • All the States and union territories without exception have shown increase in literacy rates during 1991-2001.
  • In all states and union territories, the male literacy rate is now over 60 per cent. Kerala continues to have the highest literacy rate of 90.92 per cent and Bihar
    has the lowest literacy rate of 47.53 per cent.
  • Significant decline in absolute number of non-literates from 328.88 million in 1991 to 304 million in 2001.
  • Out of the total 600 districts in the country, 597 districts have been covered by NLM under literacy programme.
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