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New India Literacy Programme: the changing need of education in India

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    2nd Mar, 2022


Recently, the Government approved a new scheme “New India Literacy Programme” for the period FYs 2022-2027 to cover all the aspects of Adult Education to align with National Education Policy 2020.

  • The government has also decided to use the term “Education For All” in place of “Adult Education.” 
  • This is because the terminology “Adult Education” is not appropriately incorporating all non-literates of 15 years and above age group.


  • As per Census 2011, the absolute number of non-literates in the country, who are 15 years and above, is 25.76 crore.
  • It is estimated that currently, around 18.12 crore adults are still non-literate.

 "State of the Education Report (SOER) -2021 of India-" No Teachers, No Class"


  • This report is published annually by UNESCO. This is the third edition of the Education Report.
  • This year, the report focuses on the theme “teachers, teaching and educating teachers”, highlighting the challenge of teaching.
  • The report seeks to provide insight into key aspects of the teaching profession and provides a profile of 9.6 million teaching staff.
  • The report also highlights the challenges of a complex system of teaching and their professional development.
  • The findings of this report were prepared on the basis of the data obtained from:
    • Periodic Labor Force Survey (PLFS)
    • Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE)


  • As per the report, there are close to 1.2 lakh schools in India. It accounts for 7.15 percent of 11.51 lakh schools. Of this, 89 percent are in rural areas.
  • 51% of total schools are employing 95 lakh teachers.
  • According to the Report's findings, India needs 11.16 more teachers to address the current shortage.
  • Countries with the highest percentage of schools with single teachers are
    • Arunachal Pradesh (18.22%)
    • Goa (16.08%)
    • Telangana (15.71%)
    • Andhra Pradesh (14.4%)
    • Jharkhand (13.81%)
    • Uttarakhand (13.64%)
    • Madhya Pradesh (13.08%)
    • Rajasthan (10.08%)


What is the New India Literacy Programme (NILP)?

  • The New India Literacy Programme is implemented by theMinistry of Education in convergence with various Ministries and Departments to implement the scheme.
  • It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme.
  • The scheme will be implemented through volunteerism through online mode. 
      • The training, orientation, workshops of volunteers, maybe organised through face-to-face mode.
  • The Objective of this Programme to impart not only foundational literacy and numeracy but also to cover other components which are necessary for a citizen of the 21st century.Such as-
      • Critical life skills (financial literacy, digital literacy, commercial skills, health care and awareness, child care and education, and family welfare)
      • Vocational skills (with a view towards obtaining local employment); 
      • Basic education (including preparatory, middle, and secondary stage equivalency) and 
      • Continuing education (including engaging holistic adult education courses in arts, sciences, etc and recreation, as well as other topics of interest or use to local learners).
  • The scheme will cover non-literates of the age of 15 years and above in all states/UTs.
  • The target for Foundational Literacy and Numeracy for FYs 2022-27 is5 crore learners at one crore per year by using “Online Teaching, Learning and Assessment System (OTLAS).”

Status of Adult illiteracy in India

  • As per Census 2011, the absolute number ofnon-literates of the country in 15 years and above age group is 25.76 crore.  
      • About 7.64 crore persons are certified as literates under the Saakshar Bharat programme.
      • Hence, it is estimated that currently, around 18.12 crore adults are still non-literate in India.

Important Constitutional provisions

Education was sole responsibility of state till 1976 but constitutional amendment made it concurrent subject.

Fundamental Rights

  • Article 21A: Right to Education
  • Article 28: Freedom as to attendance at religious instruction or religious worship in certain educational institutions.
  • Article 29: Equality of opportunity in educational institutions.
  • Article 30: Right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions.

Directive Principles:

  • Article 41: Right to work, to education and to public assistance in certain cases
  • Article 45: Provision for free and compulsory education for children and Provision for early childhood care and education to children below the age of six years
  • Article 46: It provides for special care to the promotion of education and economic interests of the scheduled caste, scheduled tribes and the weaker sections of society.

Government initiatives promoting online education in India:

Digital India initiative in mind, the government is aiming to give online education a big push, in an attempt to widen the reach of higher education. Following are the major initiatives taken by the government to promote online education in India:

 How Government is promoting online education?

  • SWAYAM: The ‘Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds' (SWAYAM) is an integrated platform for offering online courses and covering school (9th to 12th) to Post Graduate Level. 
  • SWAYAM Prabha: SWAYAM Prabha is an initiative to provide 32 High Quality Educational Channels through DTH (Direct to Home) across the length and breadth of the country on 24X7 basis.
  • National Digital Library (NDL): The National Digital Library of India (NDL) is a project to develop a framework of virtual repository of learning resources with a single-window search facility.
  • Free and Open Source Software for Education (FOSSEE):FOSSEE is a project promoting the use of open source software in educational institutions.
  • E-Yantra: e-Yantra is a project for enabling effective education across engineering colleges in India on embedded systems and Robotics.
  • Other major initiatives include:
    • UG/PG MOOCs for non-technology courses
    • e-PG Pathshala or e-content containing modules on social science, arts, fine arts, natural and mathematical science
    • CEC-UGC YouTube channel
    • Vidwan – a database of experts who provide information to peers and prospective collaborators,
    • NEAT – an initiative by AICTE based on the PPP model to enhance the employability skill among students, in collaboration with Education Technology Companies and National Digital Library (NDL), a repository of learning resources with single window facility.
    • Many noteworthy initiatives have been taken up like Spoken Tutorial, Google Classroom and so on.

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