The Mission goes beyond ‘3’ R’s (i.e. Reading, Writing & Arithmetic) ; for it also seeks to create awareness of social disparities and a person’s deprivation on the means for its amelioration and general well being. The Central and State Governments, Panchayati Raj Institutions, NGOs and Civil Society need to work in unison to realize dream to create a “literate India”. Saakshar Bharat has been formulated in 2009 with the objective of achieving 80% literacy level by 2012 at national level, by focusing on adult women literacy seeking – to reduce the gap between male and female literacy to not more than 10 percentage points . The mission has four broader objectives, namely imparting functional literacy and numeracy to non-literates; acquiring equivalency to formal educational system; imparting relevant skill development programme; and promote a leaning society by providing opportunities for continuing education. The principal target of the mission is to impart functional literacy to 70 million non-literate adults in the age group of 15 years and beyond. The mission will cover 14 million SCs, 8 million STs, 12 million minorities & 36 million others. The overall coverage of women will be 60 million. 410 districts belonging to 27 States/UTs of the country have been identified to be covered under Saakshar Bharat.
Eligibility criteria for coverage under Saakshar Bharat. - A district, including a new district carved out of an erstwhile district that had adult female literacy rate of 50 per cent or below, as per 2001 census, is eligible for coverage under the Saakshar Bharat programme. In addition, all left wing extremism-affected districts, irrespective of their literacy rate, are also eligible for coverage under the programme. There were 365 districts in the country that had adult female literacy rate of 50 per cent or below. Home Ministry has declared 35 districts as left wing extremism affected districts. However, 30 left wing extremism affected districts also had adult female literacy of 50 per cent or below. Therefore, 370 is the net number of districts that qualify for coverage under the programme. Since 2001, several eligible districts have been bifurcated or trifurcated. This has raised the total number of eligible districts to 410 out of which 35 are left wing extremism affected districts. Programme provides for coverage of only rural areas in the eligible districts
Directorate of Adult Education
Directorate of Adult Education originated from National Fundamental Education Centre (NFEC), which was set up by Govt. of India in the year 1956. This Centre was renamed as Department of Adult Education and made part of the National Institute of Education under the N.C.E.R.T. in 1961. Following the Government thrust on adult education resulting in substantial increase in adult education activities/programmes in the country, this department separated from N.C.E.R.T. and was given an independent identity in the year 1971.For sometime, it was also known as Directorate of Non-Formal (Adult) Education and ultimately the Directorate of Adult Education. Over the years, the Directorate has considerably expanded both in size and coverage of activities in the field of adult education/literacy. At present this Directorate enjoys the status of a subordinate office under the Department of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India.
The main functions of Directorate of Adult Education are as follows:
Provide academic and technical resource support to National Literacy Mission.
Prepare guidelines for development of teaching-learning materials.
Organize training and orientation programmes.
Monitor the progress and status of literacy campaigns and to provide regular feedback to National Literacy Mission.
Produce media materials and harnessing of all kinds of media i.e. electronic, print, traditional and folk media for furtherance of the objectives of National Literacy Mission.
Provide of regular feed back to the NLM about the findings of concurrent and external evaluations of literacy campaigns conducted through social science research institutions.
Coordination, collaboration and networking with all the Zila Saksharta Samitis, State Literacy Mission Authorities, State Resource Centres, Jan Shikshan Sansthans and other institutions / agencies for continuous improvement of content and process of adult education programmes on behalf of NLM.
National Literacy Mission Authority
Adult Education is a Concurrent Subject with both Central and State Governments being required to contribute to its promotion and strengthening. At the national level, National Literacy Mission Authority (NLMA), an autonomous wing of MHRD is the nodal agency for overall planning and management and funding of Adult Education Programmes and institutions. Its inter – ministerial General Council and Executive Committee are the two policy and executive bodies.
Presently, the provision of adult education is through the Saakshar Bharat Programme (SBP) which is a centrally sponsored scheme.The National Literacy Mission Authority (NLMA), is the Nodal Agency at the National level. The Joint Secretary (Adult Education) is the ex – officio Director General of NLMA. It was set up in 1988 with the approval of the Cabinet as an independent and autonomous wing of the Ministry of HRD (the then Department of Education). The Cabinet vested NLMA with full executive and financial powers in the sphere of work.
National Literacy Mission Authority is mandated with
Policy and planning;
Developmental and promotional activities;
Operational functions including assistance to voluntary agencies and other NGOs,
Resource development including media and materials
Research and development
Monitoring and evaluation etc.
The Council of NLMA
Is the apex body of NLMA, headed by Minister of Human Resource Development and consists of, among others, Ministers of Panchayati Raj, Rural Development, Minority Affairs, Information and Broadcasting, Health and Family Welfare, Youth Affairs and Sports, Social Justice and Empowerment, Women and Child Development, senior level political leaders of the main political parties, three Members of Parliament, Education Ministers of six States etc.
The Executive Committee is responsible to carry out all the functions of the Authority in accordance with the policy and guidelines laid down by the Council. It strives for proper implementation of policies and incorporation of latest developments in the field of adult education. It is headed by Secretary (SE&L) and comprises of Adviser (Education), Planning Commission, Additional Secretary & Financial Adviser in Ministry of HRD, Chairman of National Institute of Open Schooling, some State Directors of Adult Education, and officials of the State Governments, representatives of SRCs and JSSs as well as non-official members.