Who Participates in Higher Education in India? Rethinking the Role of Affirmative Action
Economic and Political Weekly, vol. xlv, no. 39, 2010
9 Pages Posted: 22 May 2013
Date Written: September 25, 2010
This paper explores how an individual’s participation in higher education is dependent upon her religious affiliations, socio-economic status, and demographic characteristics. It argues that an appropriate measure of 'deficits' in participation should inform the nature and scope of affirmative action. The study emphasizes the relevance, both for analytical examination and in policy formulation, of distinguishing between stock and flow measures of participation; and of recognizing the differences (or imbalances) in the eligibility for higher education across groups. On isolating the effect of socio-religious affiliation from other factors that may influence participation in higher education, what emerges is a suggestion that the deficits faced by some marginalized groups are not substantial. If reservation policy for these groups is to be justified only on the basis of low participation, it may require a review.
Keywords: higher education, participation, access, affirmative action, India
JEL Classification: O, N30, J10, I00, C21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation