The government has set a target of 100% literacy by 2030. To achieve this, a new scheme of adult education will start from the month of August 2022.

          The Ministry of Education has approved a new scheme named “New India Literacy Programme” for the period FYs 2022-2027 to cover all the aspects of Adult Education.

          The scheme aims to align Adult Education with all aspects of National Education Policy 2020 and Budget Announcements 2021-22. Additionally, the Ministry has chosen to use ‘Education for All’ rather than ‘Adult Education,’ since the previous terminology was not applicable to non-literates aged 15 and above.


          As per Census 2011, the absolute number of non-literates of the country in 15 years and above age group is 25.76 crore (Male 9.08 crore, Female 16.68 crore).

          Also, in consideration of the progress of persons certified as literates under the Saakshar Bharat programme implemented during 2009-10 to 2017-18, it is estimated that currently around 18.12 crore adults are still non-literate in India.



–To reach 5 crore learners for foundational literacy and numeracy

–To provide vocational skills development (for local employment)

–To provide basic education

–To provide education on topics of interest or use to local learners


Education will be provided on the following stage equivalency:

–Preparatory stage

–Middle stage

–Secondary stage


Critical life skills necessary for a citizen, such as the following, will be provided:

–Financial literacy

–Digital literacy

–Commercial skills

–Health care and awareness

–Child care and education

–Family welfare

Additionally, holistic adult education courses will be provided in:








The scheme will be primarily implemented online with the help of volunteers. To make accessibility easy, study material will be provided digitally through:



–Free apps and portals (mobile-based)

However, the following may be conducted in offline mode:



–Workshops for volunteers


The following will be the volunteers:

–About 3 crore students

–Around 20 lakh students from higher education Institutions

–Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs)

–Anganwadi workers

–Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs)

–Around 50 lakhs Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYSK),

–National Service Scheme (NSS), and National Cadet Corps (NCC) volunteers

–Philanthropic/corporate social responsibility (CSR) organisations


–Non-literates of the age of 15 years and above in all states/UTs in the country.

–The target is 5 (five) crore learners @ 1.00 crore per year by using “Online Teaching, Learning and Assessment System (OTLAS)” in collaboration with National Informatics Centre, NCERT and NIOS.


          The training, orientation, workshops of volunteers, may be organized through face-to-face mode. All material and resources shall be provided digitally.

          School will be Unit for implementation of the scheme. Schools will be used for conducting surveys of beneficiaries and Voluntary Teachers.

          Performance Grading Index (PGI) for State/UT and district level will show the performance of States and UTs to implement the scheme and achievements on yearly basis by weighing both the physical and financial progress through UDISE portal.

          Priority and Saturation in Literacy – The age cohort of 15-35 will be saturated first followed by ages 35 and above. Priority will be given in terms of categories to the Girls and women, SC/ST/OBC/Minorities, Persons with Special Needs (Divyangjans), Marginalized/ Nomadic/ construction workers/ laborers/etc. who can substantially and immediately benefit from adult education.

          In terms of location/area, the focus shall be on all aspirational districts of NITI Aayog, districts with literacy rates less than the National/State average, districts with female literacy rates less than 60% as per the 2011 Census, Districts/ Blocks with large SC/ST/ Minority population, Educationally Backward Blocks, Left Wing Extremism Affected districts.

          Focus will be on life skills. This new scheme will be taken forward by adding some aspects of the ‘Read-Writing Campaign’ and will include life skills and other elements in it.

          In this regard, priority will be given to those districts where the literacy rate of women is below 60 percent according to the current population. Under this scheme, there will be seminars in villages, panchayats, blocks and cities under the awareness campaign. Along with this, Panchayati Raj Institutions, Mahila Mandals, Educational Institutions, Voluntary Organizations will be included in this.

          The work of making course material and curriculum will be of the States. Along with making people literate, the knowledge of reading the title of the newspaper, understanding traffic signs, filling the application form, writing and reading letters, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division of two digits will be given. Under this, the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) will oversee the subject of literacy assessment.


          Convergence with Ministries and Departments for effective implementation of NILP:  MeitY: Digital Literacy, DFS/MoF: Financial Literacy, MoSDE: Skilling, DoJ/MoLJ: Legal Literacy, MoD: Involvement of  NCC Volunteer and Ex- Servicemen, MoYAS: Involvement of NYKS, NSS, MoRD: NRLM and DDU-GKY, MoC: Involvement of Cooperative Societies, MoHFW: Health and Hygiene Literacy, NDMA/MHA: Disaster Management, MoMA: for implementing among Minorities, DoHE: Continuing Edn, Min of Culture: Libraries, Cultural Literacy, MoPR: For Panchayat support, Rural Libraries, MWCD: Involvement of Anganwadi Workers, and MoTA: Implementing in Tribal areas etc.


National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC): It aims to promote skill development by catalyzing the creation of large, quality and for-profit vocational institutions. It acts as a catalyst in skill development by providing funding to enterprises, companies, and organizations that provide skill training.

Digital India Programme: It pulls together many existing schemes by restructuring and re-focusing them and then implementing them in a synchronized manner.

Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan: It is one of the largest initiatives of the country with the target of making citizens digitally literate.

National Digital Literacy Mission: It aims to empower at least one person per household with crucial digital literacy skills by 2020.

Samagra Shiksha: It is an integrated scheme for school education extending from pre-school to class XII to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels of school education.

National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020): On 29th July 2020 Union Cabinet approved NEP 2020 (New Education Policy 2020) which will replace the existing 10+2 School System with a new 5+3+3+4 School System. Besides this, the age group for the Right to Education (RTE) is now 3 to 18 years (earlier 14 years). Hence, New India Literacy Programme 2022, will have some overlapping with the National Education Policy 2020, and here a delicate balance is to be maintained for providing formal education plus vocation to the age group of 15-18 years.


  1. Instead of ‘School’ as a unit, any open space, a chaupal, a playground, a tree shade can be used as a unit. The rigidity of ‘School’ will limit access where infrastructure is yet to come up.
  2. The real test will lie when the States/UTs conduct ground surveys to understand how many beneficiaries are to be covered and how the devolution of finances take place between the Centre and the States during implementation.


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