On Backwardness and Fair Access to Higher Education in India: Some Results from NSS 55th Round Surveys 1999-2000
Against the backdrop of policy of reservation of seats in Higher Education for the Other Backward Castes 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 â€œbackwardâ€ 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 Other Backward Castes (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. [Working Paper No. 151]
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