Muslims have the highest number of illiterates at nearly 43 per cent, while Jains have the highest number of literates among India’s religious communities as over 86 per cent of them are educated.
According to the Census 2011 data, Jains have just 13.57 per cent illiterate – aged 7 years and above – among all the communities. The census has taken those between 0 and 6 years as illiterate.
The Muslims have the highest percentage of illiterates aged beyond 7 years at 42.72.
This number is 36.40 per cent for Hindus, 32.49 per cent for Sikhs, 28.17 per cent for Buddhists, and 25.66 per cent for Christians, as per the latest census figure on ‘education level by religious community’ for age 7 years and above.
As compared to 63.60 per cent of 7 years-plus Hindus and 57.28 per cent Muslims in the ‘literate’ category, the percentage of literates among Christians is 74.34 per cent, among Buddhists 71.83 per cent and among Sikhs 67.51 per cent.
Jains have the highest percentage of educated members who are graduates and above.
At 25.65 per cent of Jains who have minimum graduation as qualification, they surpass by far the corresponding numbers for other communities, which are 8.85 per cent for Christians, 6.40 per cent for Sikhs, 6.18 per cent for Buddhists, 5.98 per cent for Hindus and 2.76 per cent for Muslims.
The overall literacy rates among all communities have gone up since 2001.
The percentage of those literates among Hindus is up from 54.92 per cent in 2001 to 63.60 per cent in 2011, while the corresponding rise for Muslims is 48.05 per cent to 57.28 per cent.
For Christians, the number rose from 69.45 per cent to 74.34 per cent, for Sikhs from 60.56 per cent to 67.51 per cent, and for Buddhists from 62.16 per cent to 71.83 per cent.
Among the Muslims, just 2.76 per cent are educated till graduation level or above, only 0.44 per cent have technical/non-technical diploma, 4.44 per cent are educated till higher secondary level and 6.33 per cent till matric level.
The highest number of literates in the Muslim community are at the primary level (16.08 per cent), followed by 14.32 per cent at below primary level and 9.73 per cent at middle school.
In comparison, Hindus have 11.83 per cent of their members educated below primary level, 15.11 per cent till primary level, 11.27 per cent till middle school level, 9 per cent till matriculation and 6.62 per cent till higher secondary.