In the Name of Globalization: Meritocracy, Productivity and Hidden Languag...
By Surinder S. Jodhka and Katherine S. Newman Volume III Number 03 2009
This Working Paper "In the Name of Globalization: Meritocracy, Productivity and Hidden Language of Caste" draws on interview data to analyse the attitudes of 25 employers/hiring managers in India's organized private sector towards the caste and community attributes of their potential employees. It focuses on the role ascriptive qualities play in employer perception of job candidates, arguing that they persist despite a formal adherence to the importance of merit. Antagonism toward reservation, as a mechanism for promoting employment for Scheduled Castes, is articulated as a principled commitment to the modern virtues of competition and productivity.
The paper concludes as to how merit is produced in the first place since distribution of credentials, particularly in the form of education is hardly a function of individual talent alone. It reflects differential investment in public schools, healthcare, nutrition, and the like. And since institutional discrimination of this kind sets up millions of low caste Indians for a lifetime of poverty and disadvantage, there can be no real meaning to meritocracy conceived of as a fair tournament.
Will India's Attianment of MGDs be an Inclusive Process...
By Purnamita Das Gupta and Sukhadeo Thorat Volume III Number 02 2009
This Working Paper "Will India's Attainment of MDGs Be An Inclusive Process?", as the authors point out, the Millennium Summit of 2000 outlined a set of development and social goals called Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that brought into focus the legitimate concerns of the developing countries . India was among the 189 nations that pledged to adopt measures to fight hunger, illiteracy, gender inequality, diseases and environmental degradation. The MDGs indicators have since then been the global benchmark for development and all countries including India are striving towards achieving them. MDGs have brought back the focus of development to social sector that need to pursued hand-in-hand with economic development. Indeed the social sector commitments need to be placed at the centre-stage as an investment, not as expenditure that drain accrued economic gains. Today, the MDGs are not only a commitment by the governments but also a measure of how well development-oriented programmes are working towards their stated objectives. MDGs targets are to be achieved by 2015, with the improvements in most indicators being measures from their 1990 levels.
The paper concludes that as per the current trends in progress on the MDGs indicators there is a sufficient ground for concern that under a business as usual scenario, significant shortfall is evident among the disadvantaged groups in India. This may occur even if most of the indicators are achieved in terms of a national average. In such a case, social disparities would continue to exist.
Urban Labour Market Discrimination...
By Sukhadeo Thorat, Paul Attewell and Firdaus Fatima Rizvi Volume III Number 01 2009
This Working Paper "Urban Labour Market Discrimination" examines the prevalence of discrimination in the job application process of private sector enterprises in India. The study is based on a field experiment where authors replied to job advertisements in major English dailies sending three applications to each call – as an upper caste Hindu applicant, as a Dalit and as a Muslim. Using statistical analysis they assess the data and find that discriminatory processes operate even at the first stage of the application process.
The paper finding suggest that social exclusion is not just a residue of the past clinging to the margins of the Indian economy, nor is it limited to people of little education. On the contrary, it appears that caste favouritism and the social exclusion of Dalits and Muslims have infested private enterprises even in the most dynamic modern sector of the Indian economy.
Reservation in Employment, Education and Legislature...
By Sukhadeo Thorat and Chittaranjan Senapati Volume II Number 05, 2007
This Working paper "Reservation in Employment, Education and Legislature" studies the reservation policy of the Government of India with regard to – employment in government services, admission in educational institutions, and representation in legislative bodies – as envisaged in the Constitution of India. This Working Paper systematically reviews the government's policies and administrative mechanisms for regulating, monitoring and implementing the reservation policy. It also addresses issues of private sector reservation.
The Paper brings out that in the last fifty years, the share of SCs/STs in the government services has improved in all the categories of jobs. However, the SCs/STs are heavily concentrated in Group 'C' and Group 'D' categories of jobs. The representation in educational institutions has also enabled improved access to the SC/ST students to desired courses. Representation in legislative bodies has also provided space to the SC/ST persons.
Caste-based Discrimination and Atrocities on Dalit Christians and the Need ... By Prakash Louis Volume II Number 04, 2007
This Working paper "Caste-based Discrimination and Atrocities on Dalit Christians and the Need for Reservations" presents a unique perspective into the problems faced by Dalit Christians. It contextualizes the problem of the Dalit Christians to the Scheduled Caste origin of this social group and thereby, establishes that assertions for mobility are being circumvented due to their treatment as erstwhile untouchables at par with the Scheduled Caste community in the wider Indian society.
It documents the dilemma of the Dalit Christians, who on one side, are treated as Dalits by the caste Christians and on the other, are denied their legitimate rights due to their embracing another religion.
Further, this Working Paper attempts to understand the Dalit discourse in the contemporary times, the processes and outcomes of Christianization of Dalits, caste-based discrimination suffered by the Dalit Christians and the legitimacy of the demand for reservations for Dalit Christians, the opposition to such demands. In the backdrop of paucity of data on Dalit Christians, this Working Paper collates information from a wide variety of primary and secondary sources, which highlight the marginality, alienation, continued subjugation and depressed location of the Dalit Christians.
It is relevant here to mention that the study is both, topical and interesting considering the nature of exclusion faced by the Dalit Christians on account of their caste backgrounds.
Dalit Empowerment and Vocational Education - An Impact Study...
By Michael Kropac Volume II Number 03, 2007
This Working paper "Dalit Empowerment and Vocational Education – An Impact Study"attempts to evaluate the social, economic and spatial impact of Navsarjan's Dalit Shakti Kendra programme on the participating students. It aims at finding out whether such a vocational training programme can be a successful way to socially and economically empower a deprived minority. This Working Paper, therefore, is an independent ex-post impact study with a multi-method approach, which measures the success of a project by determining its impact on the target group.
The paper is based on a multi-method approach, which utilized a multitude of data material, data collection methods and analysis tools. The findings of the Paper have been collated from 216 questionnaires with over 35 questions, besides numerous expert interviews and other official sources. Other tools of data collection such as formal and informal interviews and participant observation method were also utilized.
Though, the primary objective of the Working Paper was to ascertain the social, economic and spatial impact of the programme, but concurrently, it also gauged the impact of the programme on the belief, attitudinal and behavioural patterns and personality development of the participants.
Interestingly, the Paper also took into account certain biases that inadvertently creep into any research and were given due credence while interpreting data.
This Working Paper is of particular relevance to various stakeholders as it reveals achieved results and hitherto unknown coherences. As the Paper documents the strengths and weaknesses of the vocational programme and makes concrete suggestions on the improvement of the training programme, it could be utilized, not only, by Navsarjan, but other NGOs, educational institutes, government, international agencies and the public involved in development issues, especially, for the marginalized social groups.
Exclusion and Discrimination: Civil Rights Violations and Atrocities in Mah...
By Sukhadeo Thorat and Prashant Negi Volume II Number 02, 2007
This Working paper "Exclusion and Discrimination – Civil Rights Violations and Atrocities in Maharashtra" delineates the nature, extent and pattern of civil rights violations and atrocities perpetuated on the SCs and the STs with particular reference to their assertion of basic human rights equality in Maharashtra.
It also seeks to comprehend the dynamics and multitude of civil rights violations and atrocities committed whenever the SCs and the STs portray a social behaviour contrary to the customary rules of the caste system.
The Paper further address whether civil rights violations and atrocities committed indicate a pattern, which hinders the processes of social mobility and empowerment among the marginalized social groups.
The paper is based on detailed datasets generated from official sources and primary surveys. In conclusion, it surmises that despite several Constitutional provisions, the enactment of various legislations and the presence of an elaborate executive, legislative and judicial machinery – untouchability and caste-based crimes and atrocities against the marginalized social groups continues unabated in Maharashtra.
Observation on the Dalits in Indian Villages - 1963-2004...
By Gilbert Etienne Volume II Number 01, 2007
This Working paper "Observations on the Dalits in Indian Villages, 1963-2004" is based on surveys, which were conducted over 41 years (1963-2004). The sheer extent of time during which these surveys were conducted makes this Working Paper of immense academic value as it gauges the relative economic conditions of Dalits over time.
The author approaches the issues from three perspectives. Firstly, economic changes of Dalits; secondly, relations between Dalits and castes belonging to the four Varnas; and thirdly, with reference to inter-Dalit caste relations.
The Working Paper is based on extensive surveys conducted in the rural areas of India in 1963-1964, 1967, 1978-1979, 1986-1986, 1992-1993 and 2002. In addition to these full surveys, several villages and districts were also visited in between. The detailed surveys were conducted in areas representing three types of regions in India – advanced areas in the British days; potentially rich, but very poor areas; and areas affected by physical constraints in peninsular India.
The Paper traverses the economic conditions of Dalits and concludes that though, the economic condition of the Dalits was diverse at the time of Independence; it remains heterogeneous with positive shadows and changes.
Human Development and the Status of Social Groups in Gujarat...
By Sukhadeo Thorat and Motilal Mahamallik Volume I Number 06, 2006
This Working Paper "Human Development and the Status of Social Groups in Gujarat" firstly, studies the status of the social groups in Gujarat by analyzing the composite indices such as Human Development Index, Human Poverty Index, and Gender Development Index.
Secondly, it analyzes the state level indicators such as poverty; access to healthcare services; civil amenities such as water, sanitation and electricity; employment; and occupational patterns, both for the urban and the rural areas.
Thirdly, it examines the district level indicators such as access to capital assets, self-employed in non-agriculture; work participation rates; main and marginal workers; and magnitude of wage labourers.
Finally, it unearths the patterns, form and magnitude of civil right violations and atrocities in Gujarat.
The paper is based on datasets generated from a multiplicity of sources, and also ascertains the extent of disparities and changes with regards to the above-mentioned variables.
Rural Non-farm Employment of the Scheduled Castes – A Comparative Study...
By Sukhadeo Thorat and Nidhi Sadana Volume I Number 05, 2006
This Working Paper "Rural Non-Farm Employment of the Scheduled Castes – A Comparative Study" examines the participation of the SCs in the rural non-farm sector, given the inadequate access of the SCs to agricultural land and capital assets. In addition, it also evaluates the trends in the magnitude of rural non-farm employment from the 1980s to the late 1990s. The participation rates are examined on the parameters of age; economic activity; employment and unemployment rates; wages; and poverty. The paper accentuates the relative situation of the SCs by undertaking a comparative analysis with the other social groups in India and in that regards encapsulates the changes.
The paper also analyzes the inter-linkages between economic activity and the educational attainments of the SCs.
Health Status and Access to Health Care Services – Disparities among Social...
By Vijay Kumar Baraik and P M Kulkarni Volume I Number 04, 2006
This Working Paper "Health Status and Access to Health Care Services – Disparities among Social Groups in India" illustrates the key aspects of health status with specific regards to 'access to' and 'utilization of' healthcare services among the social groups in India. It undertakes and comparative analysis of the various social groups in India and thereby, brings to the fore, startling disparities in terms of access and outcomes to healthcare.
The paper after examining a variety of empirical evidences critically reviews the health status in India by utilizing the core dimensions of healthcare - preventive, promotive, and curative and also, delves into a comparative analysis by ascertaining the levels of mortality, morbidity, and nutrition. Importantly, it collates empirical evidences on healthcare from a variety of sources to substantiate its theoretical and analytical abilities.
In particular, it addresses the asymmetries within social groups with regards to a multiplicity of indicators such as mortality; nutritional status; incidence of anemia; access to vaccination and vitamin A supplementation; treatment for diarrhoea and pneumonia; and maternal health care.
Dalits and the Right to Food – Discrimination and Exclusion in Food-related...
By Sukhadeo Thorat and Joel Lee Volume I Number 03, 2006
This Working Paper "Dalits and the Right to Food – Discrimination and Exclusion in Food-related Government Programmes" elucidates the preponderance of the continuing practices of caste and untouchability-based discrimination and exclusion in the Government run food programmes, namely, the Mid-day Meal Scheme and the Public Distribution System in India. It brings out the latent and manifest forms of caste prejudices that operate in the functioning of these Government programmes, and highlights the entrenched ways in which discrimination pervades the right to food and also, by implication the right to life.
Specifically, it analyzes the intersecting ways in which institutions and practices built upon the caste system that reproduce norms and beliefs regarding social inferiority (and consequent exclusion of the marginalized communities) and thus, explains how social and economic privileges are distributed within these programmes.
This Working Paper is based on the findings of an Indian Institute of Dalit Studies survey conducted in 531 villages within 30 districts across 5 states (Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu) of India. Importantly, this Working Paper developed qualitative tools to ascertain the levels of physical access the Dalits had to these two food security programmes; the degree to which they participated in their administration; and the nature of community-level access to each program. The Working Paper also accentuates on the actual location of these food security programmes, and brings to the fore, the intangible behavioral aspects of discrimination and social exclusion in their implementation. Finally, it suggests policy implications for the holistic, participatory, and anthropocentric development of the Dalits with specific regards to these food security programmes.
Reservation Policy in India – Dimensions and Issues...
Sukhadeo Thorat and Chittaranjan Senapati Volume I Number 02, 2006
This Working Paper "Reservation Policy in India – Dimensions and Issues" examines the employment status of the marginalized social groups in India, notably, the SCs and the STs with regards to public sector employment. It delineates the public sector into four categories, i.e., Government Services; Public Sector Undertakings; Nationalized Banks; and Insurance Companies and thereby, traverses the trends in public sector employment and the impacts of the reservation policy on the relative employment coordinates of the SCs and the STs. It further, ascertains the levels, share, changes, and growth rates in employment among the social groups in India.
Despite, the provisions of reservation in public sector employment in the Constitution of India, the paper brings out disquieting inter-social group variations in the realm of public sector employment. It specifically reviews the implications in employment after the initiation of the liberalization regime or the New Economic Policy. Importantly, the working paper aligns with empirical evidences and decadal changes to provide the policy implications of the emerging trends.
Reservation in the Private Sector – Issues, Concerns and Prospects...
By Sukhadeo Thorat, Prashant Negi and Aryama Volume I Number 01, 2006
This Working Paper "Reservations in the Private sector – Issues, Concerns and Prospects", the first of the IIDS Working Paper series, disseminates information on one of the most hotly debated issues confronting Indian society today– the debate on reservations in the private sector. This paper represents the panorama of views of the Indian civil society on the issue, as a whole, and covers all shades of opinions that have emanated in the current debate on reservations in the private sector. The paper critically addresses the core thematic concerns that have been debated from the proponents and the opponents of the debate. It focuses on the concepts of social exclusion and discrimination, particularly, related to caste and untouchability; highlights the economic consequences of caste-based discrimination; examines the free market policies versus interventionist policies; and undertakes a critical examination of the current debate from the perspective of the equal opportunity arguments, efficiency, and merit. It further, delves into the possible remedies against discrimination and in that regard evaluates the Indian experience, the possible available remedies, nationally and internationally, and finally, proposes strategies of fair access and participation for the disadvantaged groups.
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