Odisha has more than one crore illiterates. School and Mass Education Minister Badri Narayan Patra informed this in the Assembly in a written reply to a question from Dilip Ray (BJP).
Minister said, the number of illiterates in Odisha is 1,01,99,532 out of a total population of 4,19,74,218. Out of the illiterates, 32,72,434 are males while 69,27,098 are females.
Odisha State Literacy Mission headed by chief minister Naveen Patnaik has not met even once since it was constituted in 2001. Besides the Chief Minister, the Literacy Mission has 30 other members. The Minister said steps are being taken to convene a meeting.
All the same, out of the Rs 48.08 crore provided during the past five years by the central government to eradicate illiteracy, Rs 41.75 crore has been spent.
To a separate question from Ray, Planning and Coordination Minister Usha Devi said the Odisha State Planning Board has not met since October 15, 2007. The board should have 10 members but all positions are vacant, the Minister said and added that the board now has a vice-chairperson, advisor and officer on special duty (OSD).