Some more on the Census..
the other surprising bit is Andhra Pradesh, which is barely above the national average @ 75%..And also Karnataka, the "IT capital" of India is BELOW the national average, in fact well below @ 67%! On top, a decadal growth that is worse than even WB...Again, puts paid to some of the "south advanced, north backward" rhetoric that we have come to hear from time to time..
You flipped the states here. It is Andhra Pradesh which has a literacy rate of 67% (much lower than the national average) and Karnataka which has a literacy rate of 75% (just above national average).
The really sad part with respect to AP's literacy rate is that none of the AP based news papers that I read where portraying the news as a travesty. They were actually all parroting the line that literacy rate grew from 60% to 67% as though it was a great achievement.
There is virtually no recognition in the public consciousness in AP that the low literacy rate is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. If the people do not identify it as a problem why will the leaders do anything about it. So no prominent leader in the state talks against this injustice. Unless there is a recognition of the problem how can it get fixed.
One of the reasons for low literacy rate is the per-capita expenditure on education in AP which is about half about what Maharashtra spends on its residents (based on figures from 2004-05) for example.
Most social indicators in the south are only good in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry. Karnataka is a middle level performing state while AP is really bad on some measures.
The one thing that stands out in Andhra Pradesh despite its low literacy (including a female literacy rate of 59%) is the TFR and population growth rate. The NFHS-3 had TFR for Andhra Pradesh at 1.8 (amongst the best performing states) and the decadal population growth rate is at 11.1% in 2011 (as against the national average of 17.64%). As far as I can see only Kerala (amongst the big states) had a lower decadal growth rate than AP. As a side note some smaller states and UTs Goa, Lakshwadeep, AN Islands and Nagaland all had decadal growth rates below 10%.
One other interesting aspect is that decadal population growth rate increased in Tamil Nadu from 11.7 in 1990s to 15.6 now despite TN having a low TFR of 1.8 as well. I do not yet know if this was because of migration into the state or for some other reason.