Amravati: NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Monday expressed dismay over "unimpressive" track record of Maharashtra government vis-a-vis the rate of women literacy in the state.
"When I was chief minister, I had launched a free education scheme for girls. It now appears that no progress has been achieved on this front even after 22 years", Pawar said addressing a rally of women activists of NCP here.
While smaller states like Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya have 98% literacy rate among women, Maharashtra cut a "sorry figure" as the literacy rate in most of its districts is still hovering in the range of 60 to 65 percent, he said.
The Union Agriculture Minister was quick to add that the women-centric composition of school committees in smaller states is the key towards achieving higher literacy among women.
"Smaller states could post better literacy rates because 75% members on specially set-up school committees who monitor attendance in schools consisted of mothers. Similar policy could be adopted in Maharashtra", he said.
Interestingly, the higher education ministry is represented by NCP.
Pawar said the state has achieved no progress on this front. "I am disappointed to know that higher education is not provided free to girls in the State. The government should at least take care of providing higher education to financially poor but meritorious girls.