ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Welfare Programmes for Scheduled Castes-Content and Administration

Content and Administration S N Dubey Usha Mathur This paper discusses (1) the public policy provisions responsible for the creation of ameliorative programmes for the scheduled castes; and (2) the anomalies in the administrative structure responsible for the implementation of the pro- grammes, SCHEDULED castes are one of the most disadvantaged groups in Indian society. According to the 1961 census, the scheduled caste population is about 85 million, or approximately 15 per cent of the total Indian population. Out of the 65 million scheduled castes, 54 million or 90 per cent of the total live in rural areas; whereas 82 per cent of the total Indian population live in villages. In education, the situation of scheduled castes is worse than that of the population at large, although it is similar in general features and trends. About 90 per cent of the scheduled castes population cannot read or write. The corresponding percentage of illiteracy for the general population in India is 73. Further, more than 75 per cent of the population of scheduled castes is engaged in agriculture, while only 67 per cent of the general population is engaged in agricultural pursuits. The population of agricultural labourers is considerably higher among scheduled castes than in the general population. About 34.5 per cent of the active scheduled caste population work as agricultural labourers, while 16.7 per cent of the total active population in India constitutes agricultural labourers (Aries, 1971: 39-64).

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