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The present article focuses on a comparative study of the male-female disparity in literacy of two districts Purulia and North 24 Parganas in West Bengal, India. The Census data of 2011 has been used in this regard. The literacy rate has been calculated for the population above six-year, and Sopher’s Disparity index (1974) has been applied to measure the male-female disparity in literacy. The study examines the block-level male-female disparity in literacy among non-Schedule Caste (none-SC ST), Scheduled Castes (SC), and Scheduled Tribes (ST). The study highlights that North 24 Parganas is far ahead in terms of literacy than Purulia district. However, there is wide variation in block-level male-female disparity in literacy among the three-caste groups in both the districts. In block-level, the Bundwan block of Purulia district and Barasat-I and Deganga block of North 24 Parganas district occupies a remarkable place in terms of the male-female disparity in literacy among each three-caste group. Conversely, Jhalda-II block in Purulia and Hingalganj block of North 24 Parganas is the most backward block in terms of the male-female disparity in literacy among the all-caste groups. Although the Central and the State Government have taken various schemes to enhance literacy rates and eliminated the male-female disparity in education, more suitable steps need to be followed to implement appropriate measures towards education, especially for the women and other marginalised sections of the society.
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