Adult Literacy Program

Tata Consultancy Services

Solution Overview & Benefits

Literacy is a part of SDG 4.2 (promoting literacy) and the target is that by 2030 all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy. Currently, 775 million adults worldwide still lack basic literacy skills and more than 60 percent of these are women. As per the 2011 census, an estimated 283 million people in India are illiterate, with 65.46% of them being women which reinforces the need to address gender equality and women empowerment SDG 5 (gender equality).

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) set up an Adult Literacy Program (ALP) in the year 2000 to augment the Government of India's efforts to address this momentous challenge. TCS developed a Computer Based Functional Literacy (CBFL) solution to accelerate adult literacy in the country. The CBFL solution supports non-literate adult learners to easily achieve literacy in their native language. TCS’s ALP initiative effectively addresses both the above SDGs to a great extent.

History & Development

TCS leveraging its core IT skills, developed Computer Based Functional Literacy (CBFL), an innovative teaching method based on Information and Communications Technology (ICT). CBFL uses animated graphic patterns for easy visual and auditory learning and enables functional literacy (reading, writing and arithmetic) in approximately 50 learning hours, over a period of 3 months. The combination of visual graphics and repetition of sound patterns results in improved recognition, retention, and recall of words. On completing this course, the learner acquires a vocabulary of about 700 commonly used words in the learner's native language.

CBFL is available in 9 Indian languages, namely, Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Odia, and Urdu . It is also available in Arabic and two African tribal languages, Northern Sotho (South Africa) and Moore (Burkina Faso West Africa). Apart from the software, TCS provides technical support, training, conducts monitoring/evaluation and exit tests, all gratis, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility.

Salient Features

Much more productive and an effective accelerator, than conventional methods
Lower dropout rates
Over 1 million beneficiaries across India and Burkina Faso
Accomplishment: UNESCO Recognition, Numerous National and International Awards,and Publications


Publicly available: Yes
Countries where available: India
Price range (USD): Free of cost, through declaration/partnership agreement

Additional Information

Solution Providers Website (external link) Product Webpage (external link)


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