Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme shows no improvement in female literacy owing to the misuse of funds

This scheme is nothing but a false promise to uplift the girl child of our country with data being hidden by the government for years

By Aatreyee Mohanta | April 27, 2021

Due to the decline of the child sex ratio, the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) scheme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with objective of this scheme was to benefit and help the state of girl children in the country with a special focus on education. 

This scheme was launched on January 22 in 2015 at Panipat, Haryana. 

Since its launch in more than half a decade back, the scheme was earmarked large sums of money that were being used to improve the education facilities given to women. 

In the year 2014-15 to 2016-17, the scheme was earmarked 100 crores every year. This was increased to 200 crores in 2017-18 and further raised to 280 crores in 2018-19 as well as 2019-2020. 

However, when asked by Trinamool Congress MP Md. Nadimul Haque to the Ministry of Women and Child Development, they released information on the allocation of the funds along with the expenditure. 

The figures given by the MWCD shows a very different outcome as compared to the tall claims the PM has been making. 

In the year, 2016-17 the MWCD allocated 43 crores for the scheme while only 32.7 crores were released. In 2017-18, out of the allocated 200 crores, 169.1 crores were released. In 2019-20, out of the allocated 280 crores, 244.92 crores were released. 

Along with the information of the allocated and released funds, the MWCD also released data on the amount of money spent on advertisements and media campaigns for the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao scheme. 

In 2016-17, out of 32.7 crores released, 29.79 crores was spent on media campaigns. In 2017-18, 135.7 crores out of 169.1 crores was spent on advertisements and in 2019-20, 160.13 crores out of 244.92 crores was spent for the same. 

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This shows that the money released by the government under this scheme was barely used for the purpose of the education of women in India. 

The primary focus of this scheme is education of the girl child, and it seems to be making no impact. 

The 2001 Census data shows that only 53.7 per cent of the female population was literate while 75.3 per cent of the male population was found to be literate. Contrary to that, the 2011 Census data shows male population literacy at 80.9 per cent while female population was 64.6 per cent. 

Although this is a rise from the 2001 census, there is a huge gap in between the literacy rates of male and female populations. 

In 2014, the gross enrollment ratio for women in primary education was 114.02 which increased marginally to 114.78 in 2015. In the years 2016 and 2017, there was a rise to 123.56 and then a drop to 121.13 respectively. This fell drastically to 97.81 in 2019. Not only is this lower than when the scheme was started, but also the lowest India has seen in the last ten years. 

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In the first year of the scheme, 2014-15 the drop out rates for upper primary girls was 4.6, while it was 3.49 for boys. The government has not released any information or data on the drop out rates since the scheme was started. 

In 2014, the rural male literacy rate was 72.3, while it was 56.8 for women. This was the gap that the government was trying to bridge. 

Data by UNESCO shows that the male illiterate population for the age group of 15 years of older is 9,00,82,894 while it is 16,27,80,856 for women in 2018. 

Keeping all the given data in mind, it is important to mention that as much as scattered information tells us, the female population is being educated more than before. However, the government websites do not house the data for drop out rates or literate population beyond the years 2014-15. All the data in the 2016 and 2018 education reports is the same 2014-15 data being recycled. 

The government started the scheme in 2015, however no efforts have been made by the government to put it into action. The money allocated is being misused and unaccounted for as well. The illiterate female population of the country seems to be growing every minute as the politicians of the party in power make false claims in their speeches.