Problem of illiteracy in India and solutions

Problem of illiteracy in India and solutions

According to the 2011 Census, any person aged seven and above and has the ability to read and write is considered literate. The average literacy rate in India stands at 74.04%. While Kerala has the highest literacy rate in India at 93.91%, Bihar has the least literacy rate in India of 63.82%.

India managed to achieve a literacy rate of 74.04% as opposed to 64.80% in 2001. This notable shift also highlights an increase in female literacy over the years. While the female literacy rate in India as per Census 2001 was 53.7%, Census 2011 recorded it at 65.5%. Though not radical but some progress has been made in improving literacy in India especially after the implementation of free education in rural areas for both men and women.

Reasons behind Illiteracy in India


Poverty is one of the foremost problems faced by India for ages. Poverty becomes a root cause of the widespread illiteracy in India. Families who struggle for their daily bread cannot afford education for their children. Apparently these people tend to make their children work to cope with the financial problems.

Lack of School Facilities

Illiteracy in India is proliferated as schools are out of reach for the underprivileged people living in rural areas. The schools in rural areas of India lack in various issues like the medium of transportation. Students in rural areas have to walk for miles to reach the school. Most of these schools are deprived of funds, qualified staff, proper seating arrangements, sanitation facilities, healthy food and education friendly environment.

Unemployment of the educated

Some people believe that the only reason someone should go to school is so that he or she can get a good job and make a good life. Without the promise of employment, education is not a necessity to them. In a country where many of the educated are unemployed, there may not be enough motivation for the illiterate to go to school. After all, they reckon, why would you spend so much money paying for your education when there is no promise of a return on investment? In countries where those who have gone to school have good jobs and reasonable incomes, there may be sufficient motivating factors for people to get rid of illiteracy.

Social Problems

A large percentage of children are deprived of even basic primary school education due to major social problems like caste discrimination, child marriage, child labour. Illiteracy in India is accentuated by the huge gender bias exists against females in terms of education. A girl child is denied education by stating illogical reasons like her existence is only to take care of her family and kids.


The government alone cannot solve the vast problem of illiteracy in the country. It is not possible to achieve the objective of total eradication of illiteracy entirely through governmental efforts. The government can un­doubtedly take cognizance of the situation, can identify the agencies, institutions and individuals can act as a catalytic agent to provide human material and financial resources, but the government cannot promote lit­eracy all by itself.

Free education

The provision of free education in schools, colleges, and universities by the government can play a major role in reducing the level of illiteracy in a country by getting more people to school. Since some people fail to attend school due to lack of money to pay for the fees, offering free education can increase the number of people attending school and subsequently reduce illiteracy levels within a society.


Creating awareness about the importance of education can help people understand why they need to go to school. Non-governmental organizations, government agencies, and other concerned parties should put in place deliberate measures to create awareness in the society and reduce the number of people who are unable to read and write.


Offering grants, subsidies, and scholarships can reduce the financial burden that parents and students bear in paying for education. It would make it possible for students to learn without interrupting their education due to lack of school fees. Parents would also channel the money that would have been used to pay for school fees towards other income generating projects. The cost of financing education can prove to be too high especially for those who live in poverty.


Since we live in the age of technology and information, creating digital platforms for reading and learning can help reduce illiteracy in the society. It can also help take care of the challenge of shortage of education facilities. Digital libraries can provide a good platform for those who live far away from urban centers to expand their knowledge base and become more informed.

Lower educational cost

Even though education has its rewards, it is very costly to finance. Many graduates usually leave school with huge debts in the form of student loans. It makes saving and investing difficult. The cost of university education has been a key political and social issue in many nations. By lowering the cost of education, the government can make it easier for people to study up to the highest level possible.

Free books

The government and different foundations can offer free books in schools to encourage students to develop a reading culture. Offering free books can also reduce the financial burden placed on parents in the provision of textbooks.

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