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Educationally Backward Blocks

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Educationally Backward Blocks (EBBs) means a block(this is an intermediate geographical cluster between village and a district) where the level of rural female literacy is less than the national average and the gender gap in literacy rate is above the national average.A block has been designated as an EBB on the basis of twin criteria of Female Literacy Rate (FLR) being below the national average of 46.13% and Gender Gap in Literacy being above the national average of 21.59%. This criteria for identifying an EBB has been earmarked by the Registrar General of India and Census Commissioner, India (RGI).

The number of EBBS initially were 3073 which were drawn in connection with the flagship programme of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. This list was subsequently expanded to include 406 more blocks, out of which 404 blocks were having rural FLR of less than 45% irrespective of the Gender Gap. Besides, one block from West Bengal with Scheduled caste (SC) concentration, wherein SC Rural Female Literacy Rate (FLR) is at 19.81% and one block in Orissa with scheduled tribe (ST) concentration wherein ST rural FLR is at 9.47% were also included under EBB thereby, taking the total number of EBBs to 3479. The updated list can be seen here.

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) is implementing various schemes in EBBs such as Model Schools, construction of Girls hostel, Kastruba Gandhi BalikaVidyalay (KGBVs) etc.

This is different from the concept of ‘Educationally Backward District’ which is identified on the basis of gross enrollment ratio, which is a gross measure that includes all enrolled in higher education proportionate to population in the 18-23 years age group. Accordingly, 374 districts in India have been identified as Educationally Backward Districts.

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