Reading, writing and numeracy are the foundational academic skills at the elementary level. However, a large proportion of children in elementary education are deprived of foundational academic skills. The objective of this paper is to measure the incidence and intensity of “foundational academic deprivation” (FAD) among children and develop ‘foundational academic deprivation index’ (FADI). The data for this paper has been taken from a sample of 11360 children from the ‘India Human Development Survey – II, 2011-12’. FADI has been constructed using Alkire-foster methodology using three indicators – reading, writing and numeracy. The index thus constructed is disaggregated according to key socio-demographic variables to trace FAD among children. The results indicate that 53.62 percent of children in India were deprived of foundational literacy and numeracy. They were on an average deprived in 88.24 percent indicators, and their FADI was 0.4732. Of the three indicators, children were more deprived in writing and numeracy than reading. There also exist widespread inequalities in academic deprivation according to key socio-demographic variables like public-private schools, social groups, residence, wealth quintile and level of education of adult members in the household.