Lucknow: Stressing the need for hundred per cent literacy, Union Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot on Saturday said its low percentage among Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes is a matter of concern.
"Though according to 2011 national index, literacy rate in the country is 65 per cent, it is much lower among the SC/STs and backwards...And that of women among these sections is much less which is a matter of concern," he said.
The Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment was addressing the 19th Foundation Day of Bhimrao Ambedkar Central University here.
Stating that universities help in reducing illiteracy, he said according to him literacy does not merely mean "identifying" words but also knowing what they exactly "mean".
"Most of the developed countries are 100 per cent literate," he said, adding there was need to improve education system in government institutions.
He regretted people could not get free education in the country for a long time and claimed that former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpyaee tried to bring a law for free and mandatory education which was later implemented by Manmohan Singh government.
The minister also mentioned the schemes of his department for welfare of the physically challenged.