Only 4.5 per cent of the population in the country is educated up to graduation or above while a majority of 32.6 per cent of the population has not even studied till primary school.
According to the census data for 2011 on literacy of workers and educational levels, released by the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India, the literate population, who are at present enrolled under any educational institution in the country – below primary occupies the major share of 32.6 per cent, followed by primary (25.2 per cent), middle school (15.7 per cent), matric (11.1 per cent), higher secondary (8.6 per cent) and graduate and above (4.5 per cent).
From 2001 to 2011, improvement was observed at the middle school and above educational levels while a decline in percentage was seen at lower levels (pre-primary and primary).
The data on workers under five categories of literates – literate but below matric; secondary, matric or secondary but below graduate; technical diploma or certificate not equal to degree; graduate and above other than technical degree and technical degree or diploma equal to degree or post-graduate degree have also been released.
Data also shows that from 2001 to 2011, there has been an overall improvement in literacy status and educational levels of workers and non-workers among total and SC/ST population.
Census 2011 has further exhibited that out of about 55.5 million marginal workers seeking or who are available for work in India, the majority of 21.9 million (39.4 per cent) are illiterates, followed by 20.9 million (37.6 per cent) literates.