Based on the 2011 census, the literacy rate of the country stood at 72.99%. Also, the SC (Scheduled Castes) population in the country is pegged at 20,13,78,372. The census also concluded with the number of literate SCs in the country are 11,37,59,997. A number of factors have contributed to the illiteracy of the large proportion of the SC population.
Some of these include gender and social inequality, poverty, low access to the schools and other. The Government is committed to expand the reach of quality education in the country. 'Saakshar Bharat', a scheme aimed at improving adult education and skills development, in being carried out for the illiterate adults of over 15 years of age. It aims at improving the literacy rate in 410 districts across 26 States and Union territories. This centrally sponsored scheme aims at impacting 70 million adult illiterates, including 14 million adults from the Scheduled Castes. The other steps taken by the Government include the enactment of 'Right of Children to free & compulsory education Act 2009' and implementation of the 'Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Programme for universalisation of elementary education for all children belonging to the 6-14 years age group.' This information was furnished in the Lok Sabha by Prof. Shankar Katheria. He is the MoS in the HRD Ministry.