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Rashtrapati Bhavan : 08.09.2013

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee said that the time has come to put in renewed vigour and concerted efforts to improve our literacy rate. He stated that our ultimate objective should be to bring the literacy rate not only at par with the world average but the levels attained by the leading nations. He was speaking at a function at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi today (September 8, 2013) organized by Union Ministry of Human Resource Development on the occasion of International Literacy Day.

The President said that the existing gender disparity in literacy levels has to be bridged by turning our attention on girl child and women. Our attempts at achieving wide-spread literacy should be complemented by efforts at alleviating poverty, mitigating inequity owing to gender and social category, and improving access to schooling. He said that we have to gear up the machinery at all levels – national, state, district, block, and gram panchayat. He emphasized that the implementation structure has to be strengthened by involving government agencies as well as reputed organizations in the non-government and private sectors.

The President said that in our fight against illiteracy, we have to create greater public awareness and opinion about this scourge. Through meaningful advocacy, we have to create, amongst those who are unable to read and write an inner urge to become literate. Success of literacy programme ultimately depends on willingness and cooperation of the people, he added.

The President presented awards on the occasion. Basic Education Programme for adults was also launched through release of learning material and the first copy was presented to the President.

Also present on the occasion were Shri M.M. Pallam Raju, Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Shri Jitin Prasada, Minister of State for Human Resource Development and Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Minister of State for Human Resource Development.

This release issued at 1345 hrs