females (54.16%) were literate. What has been the progress since 2001?
Across the world, more than 18 million new teachers will need to be employed by 2015
Seven states carry the burden of two thirds of the illiterate population in the country. In fact 60 percent of the illiterate population is accounted for by the States of UP, Bihar, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh which had been among the nine states identified as educationally backward nearly three decades ago.
Regional variations in literacy rate become more pronounced when analysis is done at the district level. According to 2001 census, around one-fifth of 591 districts6 (i.e. 81 districts) have literacy rate equal to or less than 50%; most of the low literacy districts (26 districts having literacy rate less than 40%) are located in the states such as Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh. In terms of absolute number of illiterates in 2001, the top 100 districts are found in 11 states