Kerala emerges most literate state: But annoyed over being placed 28th in Ease of Doing Business in India

97-year-old Karthyayani Amma from Kerala secured first rank in the Kerala’s literacy exam under” Aksharalaksham” scheme.

NEW DELHI Sept 8: With 96.2 per cent literacy, Kerala has once again emerged as the most literate state in the country, while Andhra Pradesh featured at the bottom with a rate of 66.4 per cent, showed a report based on National Statistical Office (NSO) survey.

The report on ”Household Social Consumption: Education in India as part of 75th round of National Sample Survey – from July 2017 to June 2018” provides for state-wise detail of literacy rate among the persons aged seven years and above.

According to the study, after Kerala, Delhi has the best literacy rate at 88.7 per cent, followed by Uttarkhand’s 87.6 per cent, Himachal Pradesh’s 86.6 per cent and Assam’s at 85.9 per cent.

On the other hand, Rajasthan is the second worst performer with literacy rate at 69.7 per cent, followed by Bihar at 70.9 per cent, Telangana at 72.8 per cent, Uttar Pradesh at 73 per cent and Madhya Pradesh at 73.7 per cent.

The study has pegged the overall literacy rate in the country at about 77.7 per cent. In rural areas, the literacy rate is 73.5 per cent compared to 87.7 per cent in urban areas of the country.

A sample of 64,519 rural households from 8,097 villages and 49,238 urban households from 6,188 blocks was surveyed all-over India. The report also revealed that nearly 4 per cent of rural households and 23 per cent of urban household possessed computer.

Among persons of age 15-29 years, nearly 24 per cent in rural areas and 56 per cent in urban areas were able to operate a computer.

Nearly 35 per cent of persons of age 15-29 years reported use of internet during the 30 days prior to the date of survey. The proportions were nearly 25 per cent in rural areas and 58 per cent in urban areas.

However, miffed over being placed 28th in the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) ranking 2019 covering states and Union Territories, Kerala on Monday held that the process lacked clarity on some counts, and asked the Centre to disclose the criteria applied in deciding the ranking.

Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation’s Managing Director S. Harikishore (KSIDC) said that his organisation, as the state’s nodal agency for industrial promotion, has approached Centre seeking the details in this regard.

The EoDB ranking was published on September 5.

“The EoDB ranking, as published on the website of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), did not reveal either the criteria adopted for scoring and ranking or disclose the feedback from the states and UTs,” Harikishore said.

As per the Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP) of 2019, each state had to complete 187 missions.

Of these, Kerala has accomplished 157 missions, which comes to 85 per cent of the mandated missions, but the details in this regard are not available on the website that put out the ranking, he said.

“While it was stated that the ranking would be decided based on the Reform Action points and feedback scores obtained from states and UTs concerned, the details of this process are also not available on the website. The details regarding the yardsticks adopted for the scoring and ranking have not been shared among the states or revealed them on the website, which has resulted in lack of clarity regarding the process of ranking. This is why KSIDC decided to approach the DPIIT on the very day the ranking was published,” Harikishore added.

Lakshadweep, which has not carried out any reforms as cited on EoDB website, has been ranked 15th, he said, claiming several criteria announced by the DPIIT for EoDB ranking, based on BRAP in 2018-19, have been changed in the current ranking. For instance, the northeastern states and UTs have been considered together in the current ranking.

“Since 2016, as many as 52,137 MSME enterprises have been started in Kerala, which account for 40 per cent of all businesses the state has in this job-generating sector. The state has clocked an estimated investment of Rs 4,500 crore in MSME sector alone, which itself vouch for the strides made by Kerala in industrialisation,” Harikishore said. – PTI

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