September 8: International Literacy Day

International Literacy Day is observed on September 8 every year in a bid to remind the importance of literacy for individuals, communities and societies.


The day was proclaimed by UNESCO on October 26, 1966 at the 14th session of UNESCO’s General Conference. First International Literacy Day was celebrated in 1967.  This tradition is being held annually for more than 50 years now.

Objective of the day

The day was proclaimed with the objective of reminding international community about the importance of literacy for individuals, communities & societies and the need of intensified efforts to make more literate societies.

International Literacy Day 2021

International Literacy Day 2021 was celebrated to explore how literacy can contribute in building a solid foundation for a human-cantered recovery. It specially focused on interplay of literacy and digital skills needed by non-literate youth and adults. It also explored what makes technology-enabled literacy learning inclusive and meaningful in order to not leave anyone behind. It provided an opportunity to reimagine future literacy teaching and learning, keeping covid-19 pandemic in mind.

Theme 2021

The theme of the day for 2021 is “Literacy for a human-centred recovery: Narrowing the digital divide”.

Literacy and SDGs

Literacy goals are a significant part of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as well as its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Target 4 of the SDGs seeks to ensure that all youth and substantial proportion of adults including men and women, achieve literacy & numeracy by 2030.

Literacy in India

According to census 2011, a total of 74.04 per cent are literate in India. It increased by 9.2 per cent as compared to last decade (2001-11). UNESCO highlights that, India will take another 50 years to achieve universal literacy that is by 2060.




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