Only 4.5 per cent of the population in the country is educated up to the level of graduate or above while a majority of 32.6 per cent population is not even educated upto the primary school level.
According to the census data for 2011 on literacy, workers and educational levels, released by the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India, literate population who are presently attending any educational institution in the country, below primary occupies the major share of 32.6 per cent.
It was followed by primary (25.2 per cent), middle (15.7 per cent), matric (11.1 per cent), higher secondary (8.6 per cent) and Graduate and above (4.5 per cent).
During the decade 2001-11, improvement is observed at middle and above educational levels and decline in percentage share at lower levels (below-primary and primary).
The improvements at higher educational levels are indication of educational advancement in the country during the decade 2001-11.
The data on workers by five categories of literates namely literate but below matric/secondary, matric/secondary but below graduate, technical diploma or certificate not equal to degree, graduate and above other than technical degree and technical degree or diploma equal to degree or post-graduate degree have also been released.
The data that distributes the population, main workers, marginal workers, non-workers, marginal and non-workers seeking/available for work by literacy status and educational levels separately for total, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes population is also released.
The data reveals that during the decade 2001-2011, there is an overall improvement in literacy status and educational levels of various types of workers and non-workers among total and SC/ST population.
Census 2011 has further exhibited that out of about 55.5 million Marginal workers seeking/available for work in India, the majority of 21.9 million (39.4 per cent) are illiterates followed by 20.9 million (37.6 per cent) literates but below matric/secondary and 8.0 million (14.5 per cent) matric/secondary but below graduate.
However, among 60.7 million non-workers seeking/available for work in India, the major share is constituted by literates but below matric/secondary (33.6 per cent) followed by matric/ secondary but below graduate (31.1 per cent) and illiterate (17.2 per cent).
The census data said that the cross-classified data gives the distribution of main workers by educational level and age-groups and shows that out of 362.6 million main workers in India during 2011, the majority of 130.2 million (35.9 per cent) are literates but below matric/secondary followed by 104.3 million (28.8 per cent) illiterates and 71.5 million (19.7 per cent) matric/ secondary but below graduate.
The decade 2001-11 has exhibited 59.2 million increase in literate main workers out of which maximum increase of 20.5 million is reported under the category matric /secondary but below graduate followed by 16.2 million as below matric/secondary and 11.0 million as graduate and above other than technical degree.