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Literacy Increases among Muslims

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A decade after Sachar Committee report on social, economic and educational status of Muslim community of India was tabled in Parliament, things seem to be brightening up for the country’s biggest minority community, which accounts for 14.23 per cent of the total population. As per 2011 census, the literacy rate among Muslims has surged ahead to 68.5 per cent, compared to 59.1 per cent in 2001, indicating a jump of 9.4 per cent in 10 years. Literacy rate among Muslim males soared to 74.79 per cent in 2011 compared to 67.6 per cent in 2001. Literacy rate also grew to 62 per cent among Muslim females in 2011, compared to 50.1 per cent in 2001. However, the literacy rate among Muslims was the lowest among all the religious communities and it was also much lower than the national average. While the overall literacy rate for India was 74.04 per cent in 2011, it was 82.14 per cent among males and 65.46 per cent among females. Muslims lagged behind not only Hindus, but also behind all other minority communities (Parsis, Jains, Christians, Buddhists and Sikhs). There were also wide variations in the literacy rates among Muslims (males and females) in various states. Muslims in the southern states reported higher literacy rates compared to their counterparts in northern, western, central, eastern and north-eastern states.