According to the Opportunity for Action report by the International Youth Foundation (IYF), there are an estimated 270 million Indians aged 15 and older who are illiterate, while young women aged 15 to 24 are twice as likely as young men their age to be illiterate.
And among the working youth, approximately one in four is illiterate, and fewer than one in five completes secondary education, said the Microsoft Corp commissioned report.
The education deficit, according to the report, is not filled by technical or vocational education and training (TVET), as only six per cent of urban youth and three per cent of rural youth attend TVET at the secondary level.
Attendance rates for girls have declined since 1999, and currently fewer than 25 per cent of girls in India attend vocational training.
On the positive side, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) have promising applications for education delivery in the country, although such initiatives must be tailored to regional differences, and teacher training in the use of ICTs is crucial to a programme's success, it said.
On a global basis, the unemployment rate for youth is currently 12.7 per cent, or more than double the six per cent global average for unemployment as a whole.
The report documented that nearly 75 million young people globally, 9.9 per cent of which are in South Asia, are unemployed. Less than half (44 per cent) of them enroll in the equivalent of India's senior secondary school and even fewer graduate.
New Delhi: About 270 million people aged 15 years and older still remain illiterate in India, despite the country making major progress in cutting down the number of school drop-outs over the years, according to report.
First Published: Tuesday, April 17, 2012, 22:57