- Overall, the situation with basic reading continues to be extremely disheartening in India. In 2014, in Std III, only a fourth of all children can read a Std II text fluently. This number rises to just under half in Std V. Even in Std VIII, close to75% children can read Std II level text (which implies that 25% still cannot).
- Some very small improvements in reading are visible in the last few years. For example, the proportion of Std V children who can at least read a Std II level text has inched upwards from 46.8% in 2012 to 47% in 2013 and to 48.1% in 2014. 38.7% of Std III children could read at least a Std I level text in 2012. This number is slightly higher at 40.2% in 2014.
- In some states, reading levels have improved since last year. For example, in 2014a higher proportion of children in Std V in Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Bihar, Odisha and Karnataka can at least read Std II level text than was the case last year. Tamil Nadu shows major gains in reading over last year for Std V.
- Looking at trends over time, in many states the reading status of children is largely unchanged. However in some states, like Bihar, Assam, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra there are visible declines in reading levels over the last 5-6 years.
- The proportion of schools with libraries has increased substantially, from 62.6%in 2010 to 78.1% in 2014. In about 40.7% of schools that were visited, childrenwere seen using library books as compared to 37.9% in 2010.