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Updated: April 1, 2011 01:50 IST

India on the cusp of achieving full literacy, says Kapil Sibal

Staff Reporter
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Kapil Sibal
The Hindu Kapil Sibal

Reflecting on the literacy figures announced in the 2011 census, findings of which were announced on Thursday, Union Minister for Human Resource Development and Telecom Kapil Sibal said that India was on the cusp of achieving full literacy.

That the overall literacy numbers had grown from 64.8 to 74 per cent in the past decade, he said, was a sign of transformation — one that would provide the backbone of “double-digit GDP growth”.

He was speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the 36th convocation of the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIM-B).

Saying that privatisation was a “very dirty word,” Mr. Sibal clarified that the United Progressive Alliance government did not believe in privatising education. He emphasised the need for education to serve a public goal with the private sector playing its role.

He spoke of measures such as the Right to Education Act and recent moves to “regulate engineering institutions, 90 per cent of which are run by the private sector.”

“We are also keen on the question of affordability,” he said.

Affirmative on granting autonomy to institutes such as the IIM, he spoke of a new move to allow the governing boards of the institutes to shortlist three candidates for the posts of chairman and director.

“Boards should be given the power to do so.”

He also spoke of the need to change the governance structures, to make the boards a more cohesive group of members who would be active and represent all stake-holders.

Keywords: CensusKapil SiballiteracyRTE

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