Since its launch, over 20 million persons have been certified as literate, of which, seventy per cent are women, he stated.
The HRM also offered India's support to other countries for global cooperation on literacy at Paris where he was invited for a special address by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on the occasion of International Literacy Day.
Dr. Pallam Raju highlighted India's strategy of providing free and flexible literacy to all individuals, in the age group of 15 years and above who may have missed the opportunity of formal schooling and are now well past the age of going to school.
This strategy is guided by the fact that literacy, especially female literacy, is a pre-requisite to socio-economic development and is located in the Government's overall policy aimed at empowerment of women.
It is in this context that Saakshar Bharat was framed as a programme instrumental in promoting adult literacy and empowerment with a special focus on females in rural areas.
The Programme's distinctive innovative features like rights perspective, teaching in mother tongue; decentralised and devolved management with increased role of the elected Local self Government along with local communities; convergence, good governance; effective use of ICT; robust monitoring; scientific learner's assessment etc are scalable and replicable that could guide the literacy programmes in different countries and regions.
In recognition of India's work in literacy UNESCO has conferred the prestigious King Sejong Award on the National Literacy Mission Authority for 2013. The Award was received by Joint Secretary, Adult Education and Director General, National Literacy Mission Authority Dr. Jagmohan Singh Raju. Shri Rajarshi Bhattacharya, Secretary, School Education and Literacy also participated in the bilateral discussions in the Colloquium at Paris.
The Colloquium also discussed the idea of a Global Coalition, a multi-stakeholder Partnership for advancing the literacy agenda proposed to be launched in November, 2013.