The literacy percentage in India is still quite low compared to the developed nations of the world. If we go into the details, North Indian states are at a lower level compared to the national figures. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan are clear laggards. Uttar Pradesh, in particular, holds 1/6 of the heads in India and around 1/5 of the people not literate. The gender gap in education is also significant with literacy rate of 79.2 % for men and 59.3% for women.
The fact remains that education is, and will be the most powerful tool for individual and social change and we must do all that it takes to facilitate it. While we are tackling education quality through various institutions of repute (including Shiv Nadar University, SSN college of Engineering, Shiv Nadar Schools and VidyaGyan institutes), the education gap at the ground level among rural underprivileged students and urban students is glaring. Thus there is a glaring need for an organization like Shiksha which can create a more conducive and effective learning environment, motivate the teachers, engage the students better in the learning process and create lifelong learners.
With a vision to Eradicate Illiteracy from India in a period of ten years, we have started Shiksha Initiative that will improve learning at the elementary education level through ICT content and trained effective delivery. We want to create a literate student base who have not only enjoyed their learning but have also grasped the basic concepts of their classes thoroughly and become aligned to lifelong learning. Shiksha Initiative is Shiv Nadar Foundation’s first grassroots program and the most ambitious project. With a highly motivated and competent team, we are going to make India literate in time enough to reap the dividends of the young demography and develop all across.