Amartya Sen said that Japan and China’s rapid economic development draws greatly on the rapid expansion of literacy in these countries. In his address on “Centrality of Literacy” Sen pointed out that maoist violence was causing problem in school education. He also pointed out the East Asian countries’ achievements also to a large extent have been due to the development of basic education in these countries. He stated that India’s Right to Education is a step in the right direction and presents real hope that things will move forward now. This event was organized by the National Literacy Mission Authority, Pratichi and ADRI.
Here the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh has said that to make India fully literate, and to eliminate the gender bias in literacy must be our immediate priority goals. Even though India’s GDP has recorded a very high growth rate in the recent past, the inferior literacy status of our country has contributed to the lowering of our position in the UNDP’s human development index, he pointed out. The Prime Minister stated that even at the end of the first decade of the 21st Century, which we so proudly hail as the “Knowledge Century”, a quarter to a third of the country’s people remain “illiterate”. It is even more unfortunate that a strong gender bias against women persists in the spread of literacy, he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Kapil Sibal stated that the government is committed that paucity of funds will not be allowed to limit the spread of literacy and education in our country. It is on the foundation of this fiscal commitment and political resolve that we went to Parliament and added a new Fundamental Right to our Constitution – the Right to Education. Sibal said that literacy is part of the right to education and at the same time it is a means of learning and exercising significant rights.
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