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Focus: GS-II Social Justice

Why in news?

A report from the National Statistical Office reveals that Muslims are on various yardsticks of academic marginalisation as bad or even worse than SCs and STs.


  • The report shows that among the various social groups, the literacy rate for those aged 7 years or more was the highest for “others”, which is non-SC/ST/OBC population groups, at 91% for men and 81% for women.
  • This proportion declines to 84% for OBC men and 69% for OBC women.
  • For SCs, the ratio was 80.3% for men and 64% for women and for STs 78% for men and 61% for women.

By religion

  • Among religious groups, 88% of Christian men and 82% of women were literate, the highest proportions for both genders. This was followed by Sikhs and Hindus.
  • The literacy rate of 80.6% among Muslim men was equivalent to that for dalits and marginally higher than the rate among tribals.
  • The literacy rate for Muslim women was higher than dalit or tribal women, but lower than for women of any other religious group.

GAR disproportionate

  • The Gross Attendance Ratio (people attending a level of education as a proportion of the population of the corresponding age group) was the lowest for Muslims among social and religious groups at all levels of education except above higher secondary, where it was the between the rates for dalits and tribals.
  • At the primary level, the GAR of 100 for Muslims was lower than “others”, SCs, STs, OBCs, Sikhs, Christians, and Hindus.
  • At the upper primary level, Muslims were the only community whose GAR was below 90%.
  • At the secondary level, the GAR of 71.9% for Muslims was lower than STs

English Medium Education by states

  • Data from the recent National Statistical Office (NSO) survey on education, which was conducted in 2017-18 shows in 10 out of 20 large states, the number of Muslims attending English-medium schools, expressed as a proportion of all Muslims attending schools is higher than the corresponding proportion for Hindus.
  • Just 6% students were receiving English medium education in Bihar. This number is 63% in Telangana and 95% in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, India’s only Muslim majority state, has the highest prevalence of English medium education in the country.

-Source: Times of India

February 2024