The National Literacy Mission (NLM) was initiated in 1988 with an objective of achieving sustainable threshold level of 75% functional literacy for non literates in the 15-35 age group by 2007. It relied on mass mobilization through locally organized cultural and social events, and by integrating literacy into a wider programme of mass social education and awareness The 2001 census indicates that the Literacy level in the country has gone up to 65.38%, from 52.21% in 1991. For the first time the total no of non literates has decreased in absolute terms from 329 million to 304 million during this decade. However the national average masks enormous disparities and pockets of residual illiteracy and differentials based on several factors- region, caste, gender etc continue to be problematic. Further the total number of non-literates continues to be enormous and no country on its path to becoming a Knowledge society can allow a sizable portion of its population to remain illiterate.
Some of the issues under consideration of National Knowledge Commission are:
Re-evaluation of the National Literacy Mission
Multi-pronged approach for literacy initiatives like use of ICT in literacy programmes or computer enabled learning
Material development and training
New ideas in terms of innovative concepts and initiatives in literacy
Equivalence with formal and non-formal educational system