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The 10% literacy figure was given to us by our group's liaison with the Indian tourist board; he cited the recent introduction of compulsory primary education as grounds for a projection that a 30% to 40% literacy rate would be achieved by the end of this century. I do not know how his statistics were derived; neither do I know how statistics in the Encyclopaedia Britannica were derived. I therefore simply do not know which is the more accurate reflection of the truth. It could well be that both are accurate, depending on what definition is used for literacy.
Hammerschmidt DE. Literacy in India-Reply. JAMA. 1981;245(2):129. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03310270010009