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

See all articles by Rakesh Basant

Rakesh Basant

Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad

Gitanjali Sen

Shiv Nadar University

Date Written: September 25, 2010

Abstract

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

Basant, Rakesh and Sen, Gitanjali, Who Participates in Higher Education in India? Rethinking the Role of Affirmative Action (September 25, 2010). Economic and Political Weekly, vol. xlv, no. 39, 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2268425

Rakesh Basant

Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad ( email )

Vastrapur
Ahmedabad 380015, Gujarat
India

Gitanjali Sen (Contact Author)

Shiv Nadar University ( email )

NH-91, Village- Chithera, Tehsil-Dadri,
Dist. Gautam Buddha Nagar, UP
Gautam Buddha Nagar, Uttar Pradesh
India

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