Odisha literacy rate yet to catch up with national average


Bhubaneswar, March 17: The literacy growth rate in State is markedly lower than other States though some growth has been registered in this sector.

Although, the literacy growth rate is 72.9 per cent in the State as against the national average of 73%, it is yet to achieve the desired growth as compared to other states.

According to recently released Economic survey report in Parliament, Kerala registered the highest literacy rate in India with 94 per cent while smaller states such as Mizoram and Lakshadweep registered above 90 per cent literacy.

However, Odisha is placed far behind states such as Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Chandigarh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Daman Dew, Delhi, Goa, Puducherry, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat in terms of literacy rate.

The literacy rate of women is quite lower than men in Odisha. This is worse in tribal districts, the report stated.

However, it is a huge respite for the State that the literacy rate is rising in Odisha as compared to previous Censuses.

While the rate was only 15.8 per cent during 1951 census, it rose to 26.7 per cent in 1971 and 49.1 per cent in 1991 census.

The literacy rate rose to 63.1 per cent in 2001 census and to 72.9 per cent during 2011 census in the State. The percentage of semi literate, was however, alarming.

The number of student dropouts is increasing in the State due to backwardness and poverty, said Planning experts.

Although, the number of schools and colleges is more in comparison with the population, Odisha is facing tough situation due to unemployment issue.

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Despite several schemes such as Mid Day Meal, lack of quality education in schools has become a cause of worry for the students in State, admitted the educationists.


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