National Literacy Mission was a programme started by Government of India in 1988 on a national scale. It is a time-bound programme which aims to make 80 million adults in the age group of 15-35 years literate over and eighty year period. This programme aims to teach people how to read, write and count also to make people aware of their surroundings so that they can move towards a positive change.

The National Literacy Mission was set up by Government of India on 5th May 1988 with a basic aim to eradicate illiteracy and to impart literacy to millions of Indians in the age bracket of 15-35 years. The National Literacy Mission Authority and Ministry of Human Resources and Development guides and overlooks the working of the National Literacy Mission.


Three bodies are responsible for the working of the National Literacy Mission. The three bodies come into existence legally in 2010 and have been working efficiently sine then.

  1. General Council- It is the core body. It is headed by the Ministry of Human Resource and Development. This body supervises making and execution of policies by different institutions regarding education. It is also responsible for defining India’s welfare scheme for its citizens.
  2. Executive Council- It is headed by the Secretary (Elementary Education and Literacy) and consists of members of Planning Commission, Financial Advisor of human resource development, state directors of adult education and representatives of Parliament and certain NGOs.  It is chiefly responsible for executing all programmes and policies laid down by the general council.
  3. Grants in Aid Committee- It are a sub-committee which looks into the application of grants needed for the implementation of policies regarding education. It is formed by Ministry Human Resources and Development and led by Secretary.

There are 3 flagship programmes under National Literacy Mission:

  1. Total Literacy Campaign (TLC) – the campaigns run predominantly to eradicate illiteracy in India. These are time-bound and cost-effective campaigns. The campaigns are implemented through district-level literacy committees.
  2. Post Literacy Programme (PLP) – post literacy programmes attempts to provided opportunities to neo-literates in the age group of 9-35 years who have completed their basic literacy course or have dropped out of primary schools or have passed Non Formal Education (NFE) programmes.
  3. Continuing Education Programme (CEP) – the aim of this programme was to maintain a continuous and life-long learning process. This scheme also aims at addressing the socio-economic situations of the community to provide infrastructure for larger development initiatives.

The two programmes Total Literacy Campaign (TLC) and Post Literacy Programme (PLP) came under one single project ‘Literacy Campaigns an Operation Restoration’ with the revitalization the programme on 30th September 1999.

The mission received its share of recognitions. It was honoured with UNESCO Noma Literacy Prize in 1999. It also received appreciation for its efforts to raise the quality of primary education in schools. 


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