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

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Academic Performance of OBC Students in Universities

Findings from Three States

The academic performance of Other Backward Class students in professional courses in leading universities in three large states - Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh - gives a glimpse of the actual nature of their representation and marginalisation. This paper analyses university-level data on caste-based reservations in these states to show that the number of years since reservations were implemented has an effect on the representation and performance of OBC students in higher education. In addition, it uses large-scale surveys to argue that Hindu OBCs were adequately represented in higher education even before the central government's 2008 decision to implement 27% reservation for OBCs in centrally-funded universities.

The paper is based on a TISS report of 2008, titled Analysis of OBC Reservation Policy for Higher Education in India, to which the authors were among the key contributors. The views presented are of its authors alone and do not necessarily represent those of the institute.

We are thankful to our co-authors Sai Thakur, Saritha C T, and Bharat Thombre for their constructive disagreement and critique of our ideas. The TISS study was funded by the National Academy of Sciences India, Allahabad. We thank S Parasuraman and K Srinivasan for their mentoring and support. We are grateful to N Jayaram who gave suggestions on an initial draft of the paper and to Vasudha Mohanka for editing and proofreading. An earlier draft of this paper was presented at a seminar “Demographic Transition and Inclusive Development” organised by the IIPS at the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, in March 2012.

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