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Literacy rises by 9.2 percent, now 74.04 percent

New Delhi(IANS): India’s effective literacy rate has recorded a 9.2 percent rise to reach 74.04 percent, according to provisional data of the 2011 census released Thursday.

Effective literacy rate in the 2001 census was 64.83, which improved to 74.04, said Registrar General of India and Census Commissioner C. Chandramauli.

Interestingly, literacy rate improved sharply among females as compared to males. While the effective literacy rate for males rose from 75.26 to 82.14 percent marking a rise of 6.9 percent, it increased by 11.8 percent for females to go from 53.67 to 65.46 percent.

According to provisional totals of the latest census, literates constitute 74 percent of total population aged seven and above. Chandramauli said it was encouraging to note that out of total 217,700,941 literates added during the decade, females at 110,069.001 outnumbered males at 107,631,940.

He said a significant milestone reached in 2011 census was the decline of illiterates by 31,196,847. Ten states and union territories, including Kerala, Lakshadweep, Mizoram, Tripura, Goa, Daman and Diu, Puducherry, Chandigarh, National Capital Territory of Delhi and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, have attained literacy rate of above 85 percent, the target set by the Planning Commission to be achieved by 2011-12.

The gap of 21.59 percentage points recorded between male and female literacy rates in 2001 census reduced to 16.68 percentage points in 2011. The Planning Commission had set up a target of reducing this gap to 10 percentage points by 2011-12. Kerala has the highest literacy rate at 93.91 percent followed by Lakshadweep at 92.28 percent. Bihar is at the bottom of the ladder with literacy rate of 63.82 followed by Arunachal Pradesh at 66.95.

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