Literacy and education system in India

The land of Nalanda and Takshashila awaits a long overdue reinvention of education relevant to its needs.



Bharat, the Vishva-Guru


Education for all is an important feature of a developed & civilized society. A society’s existence depends on the kind and quality of education provided to its upcoming generations, so that they not only are able to adapt to the emerging challenges of the world but also can influence the world positively. In fact, education and literacy can shape a complete individual personality in multifarious ways.

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India, being a union of states, has different rates of literacy and standards of education across its 29 states and 7 union territories. Kerala in India has the highest literacy rate at over 93%, whereas, Bihar is considered the least literate state with a literacy rate of about 63%. All others lie in between, and it must be mentioned that the figures may hide more than they show.

[Read this Bodhi in Hindi, here]

What does literacy and education really mean? Does it mean that people who are able to read, write and understand numbers can be called literate? Does it mean that we call a person educated if he has studied different subjects and courses at school or college levels? Does your education have a meaning if you are unable to put it into practice while dealing people across the world or in your professional life?

The world is fast changing, with new technologies evolving every day and impacting our lives in unimaginable ways. Innovations pop up in different parts of the world most unpredictably. How best is one capable of adapting to these changes and assimilating them in his personal and professional life, for his own development and the requirements of his society, should be the modern and reliable test for today’s education. To be honest, almost all nations are facing the challenge of updating their formal processes to keep pace with this pace of change.


Various assessments and reports released from time to time indicate that the Indian education system is far behind emerging world industry requirements. Less than 30% of India’s management and engineering talent is directly employable. Most are unemployable. So, can the remaining 70% people passing out with various degrees and diplomas every year, considered to be meaningfully educated? Reports indicate that a large number of young men and women with management, engineering and other higher degrees have been applying for lower level vacancies like peons. No doubt, unemployment is a big reason for this trend, but is not the only reason.

[इस बोधि को हिंदी में पढ़ें, यहाँ]


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What we see is that the education system (around the world) has failed to adapt to the needs of today. The knowledge acquired in the majority of colleges and universities is not business and industry oriented. Courses do not get updated as per changing business and industry needs, and hence direct employability is a challenge. This leads to a lot of unrest and frustration among youth. Most are unable to even excel at the three basic RsReading, wRiting and aRithmetic.

The education policy of the country should evolve around these emergent changes. Lot of efforts need to be put to make the education system meaningful, useful and satisfying all requirements of the changing business world. A system that was perfectly suited to the linear and predictable smokestack economy of the industrial world, is creaking at the seams. The new replacement is still not in place.



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Bodhi Booster: Literacy and education system in India
Literacy and education system in India
The land of Nalanda and Takshashila awaits a long overdue reinvention of education relevant to its needs.
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