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New Delhi : The 51st International Literacy Day (ILD) will be celebrated on September 8, 2017, at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, and the theme announced by UNESCO is `Literacy in a digital world’. The programme would include felicitation to the dignitaries, distribution of `Saakshar Bharat Awards’ to the best performing states, districts, Gram Panchayats and NGOs. 

The International Literacy Day is celebrated on  September 8 every year across the world.  On this day, in the year 1965 the World Congress of Ministers of Education met in Tehran for the first time to discuss the programme of education at the international level.  The UNESCO at its 14th Session in November, 1966, declared September 8 as the International Literacy Day.  Since then, ILD is celebrated on September 8 every year by most of the member countries. The key aspect of the observance of ILD is to mobilize public opinion in favour of struggle against illiteracy. ILD is a forum to disseminate information on literacy and raise the public awareness and the significance of literacy for individual and national development, according to a PIB release.

The National Literacy Mission Authority started celebrating International Literacy Day every year from 1988 onwards.  The   eradication of illiteracy has been one of the major national concerns of the Government of India since independence. From 1996 onwards some new elements were introduced to make the programme more attractive. In 1996 a ‘Mashal March’ was organized involving school students and literacy functionaries. In subsequent years variety of activities were included as a part of ILD celebration which includes competitions (Rangoli, Drawing etc), Exhibition of JSS products (KRITI), International Conferences, seminars and cultural progrmmes etc.

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