New Delhi: Kerala, after a gap of 10 years is getting ready to receive the central funds for literacy programmes as the southern state is now part of the union government’s ambitious literacy drive “Padhna Likhna Abhiyan,” the reading and writing campaign.

Envisaged as a leap forward for achieving the goal of the total literacy in the country by 2030, the core objective of the new scheme is to impart functional literacy and numeracy to 57 lakh non-literate and non-numerate adults in both rural and urban areas across India in the age group of 15 years and above.

Autonomous agency under the state government, the Kerala State Literacy Mission Authority (KSLMA), said here on Friday that it was for the first time in the last 10 years that the southern state was receiving the central fund for literacy initiatives, which is a significant step after achieving 100% literacy.

After 2009, the union government had not granted any fund to Kerala for informal education.

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“Kerala is also now part of the union government’s new literacy drive “Padhna Likhna Abhiyan”. The Union Ministry of Human Resources has issued minutes in this regard. Of the total Rs 4.74 crore-worth project, the Centre will provide Rs 2.84 crore while the state government Rs 1.90 crore,” PS Sreekala, KSLMA director, said.

Women, scheduled caste and tribe people and coastal dwellers would get priority under the programme which lays thrust on districts with low literacy rate.

Around 1,15,000 illiterates, belonging to educationally backward districts like Wayanad, Idukki, Palakkad and Malappuram, would be made literate in the first phase of the drive, KSLMA sources here said.

As per the 2011 census, there were 6,12,624 illiterates in these districts and 4,27,166 of them were women.

The Mission would conduct a survey and trace out these persons before implementing the programme, they said.

Various continuing education programmes, implemented by the KSLM among marginalised sections of the society, have helped the southern state find a place in the central fund list, sources added.

(With inputs from news agency)