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EAC-PM Released Report on the State of Foundational Literacy and Numeracy in India

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State of Foundational Literacy and Numeracy in India

The Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) released the report on the  State of Foundational Literacy and Numeracy in India which highlights the importance of early education years in the overall development of a child.

The report was prepared by the Institute for Competitiveness. 

Gist of the Report:

i.The report underlines the role of well-planned early interventions like the National Education Policy (2020) and the NIPUN Bharat guidelines in leading to long-term improved learning outcomes.

ii.The report also stated that access to quality early childhood education is a fundamental right of every child, and the early years of a child’s life should be understood in the backdrop of the socio-economic, psychological, and technological hindrances they face, which affect the potential of a child in different ways.

Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN):

i.Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN) refers to basic reading, writing, and mathematics skills.

ii.Falling behind in the foundational learning years (preschool and elementary education) negatively impacts the learning outcomes and will make the child vulnerable.

iii.The report also states that a focus on foundational learning is needed to ensure universal access to quality levels of education for all children in pre-primary and primary classes in India.

iv.The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of technology in the overall child’s education.

Index on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy:

i.The Index on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy, the first step in this direction, established an understanding of the overall state of foundational learning across children aged below 10 years in Indian states and Union Territories (UTs).

ii.The index includes 5 pillars (Educational Infrastructure, Access to Education, Basic Health, Learning Outcomes and Governance) with 41 indicators. 

iii.Several goals of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030(Zero Hunger, Good health and Well being and Access to Education) are mapped with the Index on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy.


i.West Bengal (58.95) has topped the ranking in the large state category followed by Tamil Nadu (55.49) and Maharashtra (53.11).

ii.Kerala (67.95) has the best performance in the small state category followed by Himachal Pradesh (57.36) and Punjab (56.19).

iii.In the Union Territory category, Lakshadweep(52.69) has topped the ranking followed by Delhi (50.74) and Puducherry (50.08).

iv.Kerala(67.95) tops the overall index followed by West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh. But Kerala (36.55) is outperformed by Andhra Pradesh (38.50), with respect to access to education Category.

v.The poor-performing states in the overall index were Jharkhand (45.28), Odisha (45.58), Madhya Pradesh (38.69), Uttar Pradesh (38.46) and Bihar (36.81).

vi.In access to education Category, the performance of the Large States such as Rajasthan (25.67), Gujarat (22.28), and Bihar (18.23) is noticeably below average.The North-eastern states have the highest scores as a result of their superior performance.

Recent Related News: 

On August 11, 2021, Dr Bibek Debroy, Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) released the Quality of Life for Elderly Index 2021 measuring the quality of life led by the elderly in India. It has been created by the Institute for Competitiveness (IFC) at the request of EAC-PM.

  • The report identifies the regional patterns of ageing across Indian States and assesses the overall well-being of the ageing population in India.

About Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM):

Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) is an independent body constituted to give advice on economic and related issues to the Government of India, specifically to the Prime Minister
Chairman– Dr Bibek Debroy
Member Secretary– Ratan P Watal
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi