Social Exclusion and Jobs Reservation in India
This paper argues that social exclusion robs people of their "confidence" and this loss adversely affects their capacity to function effectively. We may not be able to define confidence precisely but we know it when we have it and also when we lack it. In a “just” society, no group should unfairly suffer from a “confidence deficit” or enjoy a “confidence surplus”. However, affirmative action policies to boost a deprived group's employment rate suffer from several defects. In particular, they may have only a small effect (as with Dalits in India) when the group's educational base is low. Consequently, another prong of policy could, indeed should, focus on improving the educational standards of Dalits. The root of the problem of poor Dalit achievement lies in the many dysfunctional primary and secondary schools in the villages and towns of India. Admittedly, tackling the problem at its roots will only yield results after a long delay. Nor does the emphasis on effective learning at school carry the glamour associated with being a putative graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology, the Indian Institute of Management, or the All-India Medical Institute. But, before the vast mass of educationally and economically deprived children in India (many of whom are Dalits) can meaningfully enter the portals of Universities and Institutes of Higher Education they need to go to good schools.
|Date of creation:||25 Dec 2010|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published in Economic and Political Weekly 52.XLV(2010): pp. 31-35|
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