BeyondHeadlines Special Correspondent
Sri Nagar, Kashmir: The literacy rate in Jammu and Kashmir has surged by 13 percent in the last decade despite the fact that the Valley has been witnessing insurgency and unrest for a long time back, according to the provisional figures of the 2011 Census. However, the state witnessed a dip in the sex ratio .
“The literacy rate in J&K has increased from 55 percent in 2001 Census to 68 percent in the 2011 Census,” Farooq Ahmad, J&K director Census Operations, said yesterday.
While female literacy has rised from 20 percent in 1981 Census to 58 percent this year, the male literacy has also nearly doubled from 44 percent to 78 percent during the corresponding three decades, Ahmad said while releasing the data. Jammu, Samba and Leh districts have the highest literacy rates of over 90 percent while Bandipora, Ganderbal, Budgam, Ramban, Kulgam and Reasi have a literacy rate of less than 60 percent.
Remote Kupwara district in north Kashmir has made the biggest strides in improving the literacy rate, moving from 42% in 2001 to 68% in this year. Ahmad said, however, the data regarding the sex ratio was a cause of worry as numbers had fallen to the level of 1901.
In 1901, the sex ratio in J&K was 882 and the latest Census has it marginally higher at 883, a drop of nine compared to 2001 Census. The national average is 940. Leh district in Ladakh region has a shocking sex ratio of just 583, which is a massive drop of 240 from the 2001 Census.
Considering the sex ratio, Leh district is ranked 22nd in as many districts in the state. Nearby Kargil District is one rank above, at 21st position with a ratio of 775, down 62 from 2001 Census. Kulgam and Shopian districts in south Kashmir have the highest sex ratio of 951, which is 11 more than the national average.
The two capital cities of the state—Jammu and Srinagar—have almost identical figures of 871 and 879 and both have registered improvements over the 2001 figures.
The child sex ratio was equally worrisome as it has dropped by 100 points from 963 in 1981 to 863 in 2011.
“It will have serious effects on our future population and it is time that we take steps to correct it,” C S Sapru, joint director Census Operations, said. According to the data, the state’s population has grown from 1.01 crore in 2001 to 1.25 crore this year, with the male population accounting for 66.65 lakh.
The state has registered a decadal growth of almost 24 percent, which was the seventh highest in the country.
However, the growth rate for the past decade was 6 percentile points less compared to last four Census operations since 1971.
Kashmir Valley has a population of 69.08 lakh while Jammu division has 53.50 lakh. Ladakh accounts for 2.90 lakh population of the state. “These figures include whoever was physically present in the jurisdiction of J&K during the enumeration period. The security forces posted in the state were also counted.”