8th September: International Literacy Day

The International Literacy Day is being observed 08 September every year to emphasize the importance of literacy to individuals, society and communities. This year, the world is celebrating 50th International Literacy Day.

The day was established in 1966 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

2016 Theme: ‘Reading the Past, Writing the Future‘. In India to observe this day, several functions have been planned by the National Literacy Mission Authority.

The National Literacy Mission (NLM) was initiated by the government in 1988 with the objective of eradicating illiteracy.

In 1951, when first Census was conducted after Independence, the literacy rate of country was merely 18%.

However, in the last Census held in 2011 India has achieved a literacy rate of around 73%.

The present national goal is to achieve literacy rate of 80 per cent by end of 12th Plan Period.


The UNESCO had announced September 8 as International Literacy Day on November 17, 1965 and it was first celebrated in 1966.

The objective of celebrating this day is to emphasize the significance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies.

On International Literacy Day every year, UNESCO retells the international community of the status of literacy and adult learning worldwide.

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