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

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Practice of Caste in Higher Education

Beyond Inclusion: The Practice of Equal Access in Indian Higher Education edited by Satish Deshpande and Usha Zacharias (New Delhi: Routledge), 2013; pp 356, Rs 415 (hardback).

Affirmative Action, Reservation or Appeasement

Taking Sides: Reservation Quotas and Minority Rights in India by Rudolph C Heredia (New Delhi: Penguin), 2012; pp 383, Rs 499.

The Politics of Reservation Categories in Uttar Pradesh

Some of the Other Backward Classes in Uttar Pradesh want to be classified as scheduled castes, while some of the latter want to be reclassified as scheduled tribes. Despite the politics behind these demands, most of the castes demanding reclassification have good reason to feel that the benefits of reservation have passed them by. It is the invisibility of the numerically small castes with little education and no voice that has to be ended before the fruits of development can reach them.

Humiliation: Class Matters Too

All the dalits actively protesting against the humiliation of Devyani Khobragade through email and social media campaigns would not have even heard of Soni Sori, let alone what the Chhattisgarh police did to her. But isn't Sori a member of their class, the class of the exploited?

Reservations within Reservations: A Solution

What is the solution to the problem of reservations for the scheduled castes where these are disproportionately cornered by a single sub-caste in every state?

Debating Dalit Emancipation

Dalits in Modern India: Vision and Values (second edition) edited by S M Michael;

Dalit Christians: Betrayed by State and Church

Dalits who have converted to Christianity find that not only are the benefits of reservation not extended to them in contravention of constitutional provisions but even the church and the non-dalit Christian community actively discriminate against them.

Caste, Courts and Reservations

By staying the operation of the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act 2006, the Supreme Court has ensured that “elite” central institutions of higher learning such as the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) remain elitist...

Creamy Layer' Principle: A Comment

Discussion ‘Creamy Layer’ Principle:A Comment The matter of excluding the “creamy layer” from quotas is the subject of two comments and the author of the original article (November 11) replies to the comments. K SUNDARAM I n an elegant note (EPW, November 11, 2006), S Subramanian offers a strong...

On Backwardness and Fair Access to Higher Education

Against the backdrop of the policy of reservation of seats in higher education for the Other Backward Classes in India, this paper examines two inter-related yet distinct issues: (i) the use of economic criteria for assessing the backwardness of different social groups, and (ii) assessment of fairness of access to higher education of an identified "backward" social group. On an analysis of the NSS 55th round surveys for 1999-2000 we show that, on a range of economic criteria, there is a clear hierarchy across (essentially) caste-based social groups, with the scheduled castes (in urban India) and the scheduled tribes (in rural India) at the bottom, the OBCs in the middle, and the non-SC/ST "Others" at the top. However, for the poor among them, there is more of a continuum across caste-groups, with surprisingly small differences between the OBCs and the non-SC/ST Others. It is also shown that for the OBCs as a group, and especially for over 70 per cent of them who are above the poverty line, the extent of their under-representation in enrolments at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels is less than 5 per cent. Therefore, a 27 per cent quota for the OBCs, which would effectively raise their share in enrolments to over 50 per cent when their share in the eligible population is 30 per cent or less, is totally unjustified.

Dalits: Prejudice in Institutions

Prejudice in Institutions Reservations may give students from a Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe background access to higher education, but it is not uncommon for these students to be discriminated against after they enter these schools of learning. Recently, the spotlight was turned by the media on the plight of these students in some of the institutions of higher education.

Social Inequality, Labour Market Dynamics and Reservation

This paper brings two new elements to the debate around expanding reservation in centres of excellence in higher education. First, it separately estimates upper caste Hindu profiles in education (dropout and completion rates), employment and relative incomes and establishes that UCHs are significantly better off in all these parameters than scheduled tribes, scheduled castes and other backward classes. It also establishes that in urban India, ST, SC and OBC have very similar profiles and are at a great distance from the UCHs. In rural India, OBCs are situated in the middle - between ST and SCs on the one hand and UCHs on the other - but again at a significant distance from the latter. Second, it links this privileged positioning of UCHs with changing labour market dynamics in the 1990s and suggests that as a result these castes dominate access to the best jobs in the urban economy. Access to high quality tertiary education has then become key to accessing the most dynamic segment of a decelerating labour market. It uses evidence from both of these to intervene in the current debate around expanding reservations to OBCs in public institutions of higher learning and argues that the above make expanding reservation imperative

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