The National Literacy Mission has a three-tiered structure. At the apex is the National Literacy Mission Authority supported by the Directorate of Adult Education, which controls the programme at the national level. The State Literacy Mission Authority directs activities at the state level, supported by the State Directorate of Adult Education. Finally, the Zilla Saksharta Samiti helps make the programme a reality in districts and villages all over India. In urban areas, Nagar Palikas are being encouraged to take up the challenge.
The Zilla Saksharta Samitis are registered under the Societies Registration Act as independent and autonomous bodies, to provide a forum for individuals and organizations to work together. The leadership to these bodies, is provided by the district collector. All sections of society are thus duly represented in the planning and implementation of the programme.