High literacy levels, but sex ratio remains unimpressive | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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High literacy levels, but sex ratio remains unimpressive

The economic survey report for 2011-12 has revealed that more than half of the state's urban population of 5.09 crore comes from five urban agglomerations and one city having a population of more than one million.

mumbai Updated: Mar 23, 2012 02:03 IST
Ketaki Ghoge

The economic survey report for 2011-12 has revealed that more than half of the state's urban population of 5.09 crore comes from five urban agglomerations and one city having a population of more than one million.

The five urban agglomeration centres include Greater Mumbai (population: 184 lakh), Pune (51 lakh), Nagpur (25 lakh), Nashik (16 lakh), Aurangabad (12 lakh) and Vasai-Virar (12 lakh). Interestingly, what links these urban growth centres is contradictory indicators of high literacy levels but poor sex ratios.

For instance, in Greater Mumbai, which includes Mumbai, Mira-Bhayandar, Thane, Navi Mumbai and Ulhasnagar, out of 18.4 crore, 1.51 crore citizens are literate. The highest literacy rate is in Mumbai suburban district at 90.9%. But, sex ratio in Greater Mumbai stands at 861, lower than the national average of 940 per 1,000 males. It is the lowest among all urban agglomerations.

The trend however is similar in cities such as Pune, Nagpur where higher literacy rates has not led to an improvement in the most basic of human development indicators. In Pune, out of the 51 lakh residents, 41 lakh are literate. The sex ratio of this booming educational hub however is a poor 899 females for every 1,000 males.

The child sex ratio figures from the age of 0-6 years in these urban centres also portray a sorry picture. The child sex ratio is 900 in Greater Mumbai, 883 in Pune and 855 in Nashik.

"There is no correlation between literacy level and overall gender consciousness. More affluent areas have poorer sex ratios," said a senior official from the women and child development department.

Maharashtra has among the poorest child sex ratios at 883, even as the national average stands at 914.