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India has 35 per cent of global illiterates
Despite several steps by the government, much remains to be done in the educational sector. According to a latest report by the GMR, India has been ranked 105th and has 35 per cent of the total illiterates in the world.
MAKING A disclosure in the Parliament on April 28 (Monday), the government said that despite the fact that India had a huge number of illiterates and it has been ranked 105th in the global monitoring report, the country’s education development index had risen from 0.789 to 0.797.

Replying to a question in the Rajya Sabha, minister of state for education, MAA Faatmi, cited the Global Monitoring Report (GMR) 2008, and told that the main achievements included high level of net enrollment in the primary education and significantly improved adult literacy rate and gender parity.

In order to achieve the millennium development goals, pertaining to universal primary education, the government has launched the Sarv Shikhsha Abhiyan (SSA), introduced cooked mid-day meal scheme.

The Minister said that the SSA aims at achieving the objectives of universalising elementary education among children in the age group of 6-14 years in a time bound manner. As a result of this programme, a large number of children have been brought into the fold of elementary education and the drop out rate has come down from 320 lakhs in 2001-02 to 76 lakhs in 2007-08.

He also informed that the mid-day meal scheme has been introduced for all children up to class IV in the government and the government aided schools, centres under the alternative and innovative education and education guarantee scheme and its extension to the upper primary level in the 3479 educationally backward blocks.

The government has also levied a two per cent education cess in order to bridge the gap between the available plan resources and the established requirements to finance SSA and the mid-day meal, the two main programmes for the universalisation of elementary education.

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