The above color-coded map from the Wikipedia article on literacy shows India’s true position in the world map of literacy. India and Africa hog most of the orange color in this map, meaning that the literacy rate is just above the 50% mark.
This is a stark reminder of the fact that access to education is far from universal in India. Although India is generally considered a developing country in terms of per-capita income and other measures, it lags behind other developing countries like Brazil and SriLanka in terms of literacy rates.
Should we downgrade India’s state of development from the proud “developing & future economic super-power” label to the more modest “under-developed” label ?
Because as far as a child born in India is concerned, in terms of having a shot at a well-rounded education, she/he might just as well have been born in Africa. Despite 60 years of independence, stable government, and a currently prosperous economy, it seems that the best India can do for the child is to give it the same chance of education as it would have in a continent ravaged by genocide and dictatorship.
Thanks to Nandini for pointing out the map to me!