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 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 26 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