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Essay on Illiteracy in India

Essay on Illiteracy in India! Find high quality essays on ‘Illiteracy in India’ especially written for school, college and university students. These essays will also guide you to learn about the definition, reasons, causes, importance, effects and drawbacks of illiteracy with initiatives taken by the Government of India.

Illiteracy is basically defined as the inability of a person to read and write. People with this inability and with lack of knowledge in a particular field or subject are called illiterates. Going to school and studying is such a common activity for most of us that sometimes we don’t realise what a privilege we have.

There are still places in our country where the children don’t even have the access to basic education. This, as well as other compounded factors, have led to a high rate of illiteracy in India.

Although there have been initiatives by the Government to reduce the rate of illiteracy in India, the goal is far from being achieved, therefore it becomes all the more necessary for the students of today to know more about illiteracy in India.

Hence we have come up with long essays for students which they educate them on the causes and the currents schemes in place to reduce the illiteracy in India.

Audience: The below given essays are exclusively written for school students (Class 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 Standard) and college students. Furthermore, those students preparing for competitive exams like IAS, IPS and UPSC can also increase their knowledge by studying these essays.

List of Essays on Illiteracy in India

Essay on Illiteracy in India – Short Essay (Essay 1 – 150 Words)

Illiteracy is like an internal disease of independent India. After attaining freedom, we found that our illiteracy is the main obstacle in our development. It feels such a shame that the country which was an ideal for other countries,has high illiteracy rate. Illiteracy in India is mostly prevalent in the rural areas. Few of the reasons for illiteracy in India include poverty, lack of quality education, illiteracy among women, etc.

“The Right to Education” act was passed in 2009, which specified that those children between 6-14 ages, will be given free education and all necessary things. Many other initiatives have been started by the Government to ensure that there is increase in the literacy rate in India. Today, literacy rate in India is at 74.04%. More efforts are still being made and finally there will be a day in future when illiteracy in India will be completely non-existent.

Essay on Illiteracy in India – 10 Lines on Illiteracy in India Written in English (Essay 2 – 200 Words)

When it comes to illiteracy in India, the statistics could be staggering. There are so many people who have not been imparted even the basic education and their state is pitiable to say the least.

Reasons of Illiteracy in India:

When we are discussing illiteracy in India, it refers to the people who never went to school and were deprived of their right to education. While there are government schools and rules that say primary education is free for all, these rules are often not put into practise. Even in rural areas where the rules are put into practise, parents from poor families put their children to work so that they could assist in piling more income.

The Solution:

The only solution is to make people aware of the need for education. If we want our country to make good amount of progress, it is important for the citizens to be literate. Illiteracy in India is one of the grave problems which need to be remedied before it becomes too huge to handle.

So, try and create awareness campaign and let people know about their basic right to free education. Giving the right incentives might trigger the change which has become the need of the hour.

Essay on Illiteracy in India (Essay 3 – 250 Words)

We hear a lot about ‘illiteracy’ in the developing countries. Illiteracy in India is a curse since it holds the people in complete darkness.

Illiteracy is basically defined as the inability of a person to read and write. People with this inability and with lack of knowledge in a particular field or subject are called illiterates.

India is the second largest populated country in the world and its illiteracy rate is also high. Although many initiatives and measures taken by the government have reduced illiteracy to a large extent, still, nearly 287 million people in India are illiterates. This hinders the economic progress of our nation and this must be eradicated.

Let us analyze the main causes for illiteracy in India and the ways to remove it from our society.

Causes for Illiteracy in India:

1. The root cause for high illiteracy rate in India is Poverty. Parents with poor financial background are unable to send their children even to government schools since they cannot afford to buy their books and other necessities.

2. Lack of awareness and gender inequality is another reason for illiteracy in India among girl children in most rural areas.


The first and most important welfare measure that the Government of India can do to its people is to remove illiteracy in India.

1. Education must be made free; this must include fees, books, uniforms, food, stationeries and everything that the child needs.

2. Awareness programs on the importance of education must be conducted in each and every part of the country.


“Mass illiteracy is India’s sin and shame and must be liquidated”. – Mahatma Gandhi

In order to uproot illiteracy from India, every citizen must jointly work together with a single motto – ‘Each one – teach one’

Essay on Illiteracy in India – For School Students (Class 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 Standard) (Essay 4 – 300 Words)

Illiteracy is the state of being unable to read or write. India is the home of largest population of adults who are illiterate in the world. There are 287 million people who are illiterate and they account for 37% of the global total. Even though the literacy rate has increased six times since the British rule, from 12% to 74%, still the population of the illiterates is highest. Although there is an achievement of increasing the literacy rate given the large population, however, it cannot be ignored that 1 in every 4 people in the country is illiterate and he/she cannot read or write.

Illiteracy in India is a complex problem with many reasons contributing to the issue. There is gender imbalance, income disparity, state imbalances, caste, technological barriers which lead to the illiteracy rate in the nation. Another reason behind this problem is the inadequate school facilities. The staff employed in most government schools are unskilled and inefficient. Lack of proper sanitation is another reason for children dropping out from schools. Commercialization of education is also one factor that has led to the declining state of education.

With the ever growing population, reducing illiteracy in India continues to be a challenge for our nation. Level of literacy and ability to attain education is the backbone of development in a country like India. It enhances the quality of life, awareness amongst population and skill levels in the society.

There are steps taken by the government to reduce illiteracy in India. In 1993, the Right to Education was incorporated in the Constitution. According to this, children have a fundamental right to free education. But the Right to Education still needs to be extended so that we reach not only the children but also include the adult population of the country. There are other policies and NGOs that focus on making the children and adults literate. “Teach India” is one such initiative. Its objective is to give a platform where the educated people can teach the unprivileged children.

Essay on Illiteracy in India – With Solutions (Essay 5 – 400 Words)

Illiteracy in India is a huge obstacle in its economic growth. Actually, the condition of being incapable of writing or reading is known as illiteracy. There are so many people in India who are living under the darkness of ignorance due to illiteracy and get easily betrayed in other phases of life. It has turned out to be a big scar in the global image of India.

The illiteracy in India has deteriorated the backbone of the nation. It is not merely mystifying the Indian democracy gradually but increasingly also leading the huge democratic system of this nation to trouble.

Today, the Illiteracy in India is quite a big question for the government. It is very important to eradicate the branch and roots of the illiteracy in India for making the life of the people happy and flourishing.

Solutions to the Problem of Illiteracy in India:

To eliminate the problem of Illiteracy in India and to fetch the economic, social, as well as political developments, all the educated people and students must join their hands altogether in all probable manners. The following are few solutions to the problem of Illiteracy in India to some extent:

1. There are some great efforts by the U.N.O. for removing the issue of illiteracy in India which is an under-developed nation. In fact, they have also declared the year 1990 as the Global Literacy year.

2. The calendars and postal stamps have been issued by the central government for this purpose but such things are not adequate for advertising of literacy in a big nation like India.

3. The government should construct more schools all over India and there must be sufficient budgets in the State and Central government to overcome the issue of illiteracy in India.

4. There should be more efforts by the Indian government to bring each kid to the school. In fact, they should also prohibit the child labor to achieve this solution.

5. Charitable societies including the non-formal or formal educational organizations must help the poor people in becoming literate.


It is true to say that only government cannot handle the difficult mission of eliminating illiteracy in India. People have to volunteer to carry out this national obligation so that the drive of eradicating the illiteracy in India can turn into a huge mass movement. Assuredly, India can rank behind over the socio-economic development in comparison to the other nations if the intellectuals of the nations do not think sincerely over this harmful sickness of illiteracy in India.

Essay on Illiteracy in India – For College and University Students (Essay 6 – 550 Words)

Illiteracy in India is the biggest stigma on the socio-economic progress of modern times. Although the literacy rate in the country has enhanced to 74.04% (in 2011) from the 12% at the time of our independence in 1947. According to the 2011 census, the effective literacy rate for the males was 82.14% and for females, it was 65.42%.  Illiteracy in India has resulted in a negative impact on family planning and population control efforts in India. Although we are on our way to improve the literacy rate, but we are still behind as the world average literacy rate is 84%.

Reasons behind Illiteracy in India:


Poverty is one of the foremost problems faced by India for ages. Poverty becomes a root cause of the widespread illiteracy in India. Families who struggle for their daily bread cannot afford education for their children. Apparently these people tend to make their children work to cope with the financial problems.

Lack of School Facilities:

Illiteracy in India is proliferated as schools are out of reach for the underprivileged people living in rural areas. The schools in rural areas of India lack in various issues like the medium of transportation. Students in rural areas have to walk for miles to reach the school. Most of these schools are deprived of funds, qualified staff, proper seating arrangements, sanitation facilities, healthy food and education friendly environment.

Social Problems:

A large percentage of children are deprived of even basic primary school education due to major social problems like caste discrimination, child marriage, child labour. Illiteracy in India is accentuated by the huge gender bias exists against females in terms of education. A girl child is denied education by stating illogical reasons like her existence is only to take care of her family and kids.

Impacts of Illiteracy in India:

Illiteracy in India affects the personal growth of people and the economic progress of the country. Lack of education makes people unqualified for so many job opportunities. Living becomes difficult when they are not able to get jobs and earn money. Such people are unable to earn money and they incline to the crime world and earn living by unethical and wrong ways.

Steps Taken by the Indian Government to mitigate illiteracy in India:

Both Central and State Government have undertaken many initiatives and schemes to eradicate Illiteracy in India. The Sarva Shikasha Abhiyan operating since 2002 covers people who domains, especially elderly citizens and women to provide primary education. National Literacy Mission Program was implemented in 1988 to educate millions of people in India. Saakshar Bharat is another program which aims 80% literacy level at the national level, focusing on literacy among women. Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act is an act passed by the Parliament in 2009. It is a very instrumental law with a panoramic aim to mitigate illiteracy in India, where it safeguards compulsory education for children of age between 6- 14 years in top quality schools.


Illiteracy in India has been deeply rooted since ages. The country has tremendously derailed its process at the hands to severe illiteracy. The government of India and a large number of Non-Governmental Organizations are working hand in hand to spread the awareness on the importance of education. As responsible citizen we all must contribute to uplift our fellow countrymen and completely eliminate illiteracy from India.

Essay on Illiteracy in India – Introduction, Causes, Drawbacks and Conclusion (Essay 7 – 600 Words)


Illiteracy in India is a huge problem. Illiteracy means the inability to read or write anything. Even when the person has acquired a basic education but is facing difficulty in reading and writing, he or she would be considered illiterate.

Compared to the other developed and developing countries in the world such as France, UK, USA, and Japan, the current scenario of illiteracy in India is quite poor. While we understand that for the wholesome growth of a country, education plays an indispensable role, for one or the other reason, we are lagging behind when it comes to dealing with the illiteracy in India.

Causes of Illiteracy in India:

Illiteracy in India is a combined outcome of many problems in our country. In fact, the reason why we still have such a high percentage of illiteracy in India points toward everything that’s wrong with our nation. Let’s take a quick look at the factors responsible for the issue of illiteracy in India.

The first reason is the enormously growing population in the country. Every time we cross another milestone in population growth, the gap between the number of people to be educated and the volume of available resources increases. In other words, the resources created to educate people, fall short and this brings us back to the same endless loop of illiteracy in India.

Females make up for around half of the population in India. That means when girls and women are not getting an education due to gender discrimination, half of the nation is being deprived of the education. This is another great contributor to illiteracy in India.

The cultural backwardness in the rural areas, poverty, and lack of awareness are equally to blame for the curse of illiteracy in India. Either the parents are unaware of the importance of education or they are too poor to manage for their bare minimum necessities, let alone the education of their kids. So, the problem of illiteracy in India remains as it is.

Drawbacks of Illiteracy in India:

Honestly, it is beyond our imagination to fathom all the consequences of illiteracy in India. We are paying grave prices on economical fronts already. The lesser education ratio we have, the lower is the national income of the country.

Diving deeper into this context, take a moment and picture what the kids and youths would grow up to be under these current circumstances of illiteracy in India. India would have an intellectually toothless and gullible generation with no thought process of its own.

With zero education to back them up, what chances do our young ones have when they begin to look for a source of earning? Nil. It is easy to see how the illiteracy in India would certainly impact each and every aspect of their lives like health, employment opportunities, family planning, etc., and hinder their overall progress.

How to Overcome the Problem of Illiteracy in India:

In order to break the evil spell of illiteracy in India, we need to take some strong steps according to the nature of the obstacles. For instance, the poverty factor can be dealt by providing free education and books (new or used), scholarships to lower the rate of illiteracy in India.

We can have a provision of night classes for the adults as well. With proper resources, opening more schools in rural areas is an effective solution for illiteracy in India.

Enhancing the quality of education and providing efficient teachers are also some of the measures to overcome illiteracy in India.


Fighting illiteracy in India would be easier by creating more awareness among the common people. When the public would understand the value of education, the rate of illiteracy in India would fall down naturally.

Essay on Illiteracy in India (Essay 8 – 800 Words)

Illiteracy in India is a very serious problem, which will even affect the development of our country. Our literacy rate has increased massively when compared to those at the time of independence, but it is not a cent percent improvement when compared to the population rate. There are many reasons for this unhealthy illiteracy in India, and the effects they cause individually and nationally.

This increase in literacy rate also includes those who can just read two or three alphabets and those are not properly literate. There should be well maintained and standard education offered to every single child born, to avoid this state of illiteracy in India, which will, of course, reflect in the nation’s development.

Reasons for Illiteracy in India:

1. Population and Poverty – The increase in population rate is one of the major cause for illiteracy in India. Population growth has made it too much difficult to fulfil all the needs ultimately to all children in our country. Illiteracy in India, especially in rural areas is to the peak that people in such areas don’t get access to even basic primary education due to the ignorance of the population increase.

The rising number of students has also considerably increased the demand for more educational institutes like schools, colleges, libraries, laboratories, hostels, etc. Lack of a quality educational system that reach the poor hands, when compared to urban areas is also an important reason for illiteracy in India.

Illiteracy in India is also due to the growing poverty rate. Even though government and private owned institutes are available in almost all Indian cities and rural areas, due to poverty many families refuse their children to attend school. Instead of education, they choose labor works for their kids so that they can earn a living that results in illiteracy in India.

Those people who are rich and with resources will get their children educated easily from standard institutions, but those who are unaware and less with resources will opt for jobs rather than educating their kids. Unemployment can also be related to illiteracy in India. When the parents lack regular income, which helps them to afford the children’s education, the family will face poverty and also illiteracy in India will increase.

2. Unhygienic and Unhealthy Environment – This can also be considered as a crisis and the increase in population causes illiteracy in India.  Illiteracy in India is a direct outcome of the irresponsible handling of the educational institution that will force parents and society to avoid those places. Institutions with unhygienic washrooms, improper seating and classroom facilities, unhealthy canteens or food items will affect the rate of illiteracy in India. Such conditions will discourage the children as well as their parents from continuing their education from the institution and due to their lack of affordability they won’t be able to opt for another school or college.

3. Gender and social discrimination – A massive and undeniable cause for illiteracy in India is the backward thinking of dominating citizens. Education is almost denied in India for backward classes due to their caste difference and gender difference.

A lot of schemes and policies are initiated to avoid this condition but the unawareness of people in remote areas has increased the illiteracy in India. Child marriage and thoughts like girls are meant for household works has impacted on the literacy rate. In many rural villages and even in some urban cities, girls are denied education just because of their gender and this in turn increases the illiteracy in India.

4. Low-quality education – Lack of qualified and dedicated teachers and professors are another reasons for illiteracy in India. This will result in the degradation of the knowledge children acquire from such teachers and will result in low-quality education.

Effects of Illiteracy in India:

Illiteracy in India is a major cause of the nation’s slow growth and development. Lack of qualified education and basic knowledge has resulted in a lack of economic growth as well. Literate and talented students are the future of our country. They are the people who will help in our country’s growth.

The personal and mental growth of a person is also affected by education. Illiteracy in India has also caused many major crimes from evolving and reduces the social awareness of a person. Illiteracy in India and its unawareness create lack of discipline and social behavior in people which in turn results in unethical characteristics in them.

This cause of illiteracy in India can also be as a result of the difficulty in earning a living which will eventually lead the people to carry out their lives in such irresponsible ways.

Illiteracy in India can be reduced by offering more standard and affordable educational institutions that are easily available and reached by both rich and poor.

Essay on Illiteracy in India – Long Essay for Competitive Exams Like IAS, IPS and UPSC (Essay 9 – 1000 Words)


Illiteracy in India has always been one of the major concerns for socio-economic reforms in the country. In fact, India is a country with one of the most illiterate populations in the world. In order to make India compete with the global population, it is necessary to focus on the reduction of the rate of illiteracy in India.


The ability to read and write is what defines a literate person and explains what literacy is all about. A person who is unable to read and write is called an illiterate person.

Causes of Illiteracy in India:

India is a country where more than half of the population is engaged in agriculture leading to illiteracy in India. In fact, the percentage of this population was 75% of the overall population until the last decade. However, with the increase in urbanisation and acceptance of modern techniques and occupations, there has been a shift with people opting for other occupations as well other than agriculture.

Moreover, among the total population, the percentage of illiteracy in women is far higher than that of men. This is because women in India, especially in the rural regions are dependent on the men for most of their activities. That is why women are not encouraged to go to schools and study and hence contribute to the high rate of illiteracy in India.

Another factor which has largely been responsible for the lack of interest in people being literate is the technology of agricultural practices in India. Most of the agricultural practices in India have been basic in nature. Therefore, the need for being educated to use the new technologies has not bothered the general population of the country. However, with the onset of the green revolution, there has been an increase in the farmers being literate since the last decade.

Lack of educational facilities is another contributor to the high rate of illiteracy in India. Even if the poor and the underprivileged want to study, there are not enough educational facilities available in the villages. For instance, there are still places in India where children have to walk for miles before reaching to school. In the absence of proper roads and transport facilities, they are often forced to skip school during extreme weather conditions. This itself takes out the motivation in them to study further.

Moreover, at the time India attained independence from the British on 15th August 1947, it was struggling with means to give basic quality life to its citizens such as food, water and shelter. Therefore it took time for the subsequent governments to come up with schemes and policies in place to make the citizens of our country literate. Additionally, there is a wide disparity between the rich and the poor in our country. The high rate of illiteracy in India has widened this gap further.

Importance of Education as Mentioned in the Constitution of India:

The importance of education has been recognised by the Constitution of India as well. There have been different rules and regulations in place which protect the right of education of all the citizens of our country.

Education for minorities has always been a concern for all governments. The cultural and educational rights of the minorities are guaranteed under Article 30 of the Constitution.

Free and Compulsory Education for All is a right guaranteed under the Constitution of India. Equal educational opportunities are to be provided to all the citizens of the country is a factor governed under the Directive Principles of State Policy. It also finds mention in article 41, 45 and 46 of the Constitution of India.

All such laws are intended to remove illiteracy in India. However, the implementation of these rules has always been a challenge due to the different mindsets of the affected population.

Initiatives by the Government of India:

There have been many initiatives by the Government of India in order to decrease the rate of illiteracy in India. The government has come with various schemes and policies to this effect.

Free Education – In order to achieve its goal of reducing the rate of illiteracy in India, the Government of India has initiated free education, especially for the people in rural areas and the ones who belong to the below poverty line (BPL) category. In fact, this scheme is one of the successful schemes of the Government of India and has led to an increase the student enrolment in rural areas.

Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan – The Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan has been in implementation since the year 2001. This scheme focuses on elementary education in the country. Achievement of universal primary education has been the aim of this scheme. The scheme has found popularity both in rural as well as urban areas.

Through this scheme, the Government of India has the vision that if it is able to educate the children of our country, the rate of illiteracy in India of the current and future generations shall come down drastically. Other schemes such mid-day meals where children are provided food in the school are in place so that the poor parents need not to worry about the health of the children and allow them to study. Also, uniform and books are provided free of cost of the children have been in place in order to motivate the poor to send their children to school.


It is very sad that even after so many years of attaining freedom, there is still a high rate of illiteracy in India and we are far from becoming a fully literate country. People in rural areas are still struggling with basic facilities such as food, water and shelter. Education perhaps has taken a backseat due to the primitive mindsets of the people. However, there have been many initiatives by the Government which have been successful in evolving in people in rural areas.

Now people are more than ready to send their children to school. With the young generation becoming literate, the future of the next generations seems bright. But, people should also realise that they should utilise the facilities provided by the Government to the fullest and help in reducing the rate of illiteracy in India.

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