Saturday, August 09, 2008

How many people can actually read/write in Rural India?

Recently I was asked about the data (in each state) on educated population in rural India. Although government releases data about literacy rates, but I don't believe that this actually represents the people who can read and write. Say for example, consider the census of 2001. Download this pdf file, in order to get the detailed data on education in India. Here you find that both higher secondary pass-outs and graduates are 37 million. Similarly you find that 'below primary school' educated are lesser than 'upper primary educated'. Anyone with common sense predicts that number of higher secondary pass-outs should be much higher than graduates (simply because almost all graduates are HS pass-outs and moreover, drop-out rates are very high in India). Anyway let us move ahead.

As there is no single source for such authentic data, I am attempting to collate from several sources in order to get a feel for media companies. The following data is a "rough" estimation from various sources (Ministry of Education, NSSO, Pratham, etc).
  • More than 70% of the population fall under rural India
  • At least 40 million people of rural India can read/write in their local language (females : 30%)
  • At least 18 million people of rural India do have familiarity with English, minor arithmetic
  • 12 million rural population can be considered for formal employment considering their interest in higher education (certificate, diploma, vocational training, industrial training, degree, etc)
  • 4 Million rural population (Females: 15%) can directly be trained for professional employment
Notes: Based on Pratham's observations, here I assume that the people who completes their school education can read/write in their local language. Similarly who completes high school education successfully should be familiar with English/arthmetic. Graduates can be trained for employment.

If you have any authentic sources in this regard, do let me know.

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