Impact of Reservation on Access and Levels of Attainment in Higher Education among the Scheduled Castes in India

Authors: Sahab Deen*, Jawaharlal Nehru University
Topics: Higher Education, Social Geography, Development
Keywords: Affirmative Policies, Enrollment, Higher Education, India, Reservation, Scheduled Castes.
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Committee Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Reservation is the most challenging policy that is implemented by the Government of India to reservation for SC/ST students in the admission of higher education. Consequently, the Scheduled Castes enrollment in higher education has increased gradually due to reservation policy. The present study is an attempt to evaluate the role of reservation policy along with other enabling affirmative policies in enhancing access, enrollment, and attainment in higher education. Primarily, the study is based on primary data collected from colleges, hostels, and from the 40 villages located in the 40 districts of nine states across in India. The reservation policy certainly has resulted in an improvement in the opportunity to access (enrolling) in higher education for Scheduled Castes. However, the proportion of Scheduled Castes students who actually graduated from higher education is very low i.e. only 7.10% of the total. There are different reasons why the reservation system has not been able to improve the socio-economic status of SCs equal to general people of India and that the policy has produced undesirable negative effects like increase in discontinuation to higher education, long stagnation, and low performance. The improper implementations of reservation along with other affirmative policies are the major cause of such negative results. Therefore, proper implementation of reservation system along with other affirmative action policies added with accountability measures and anti-discrimination and exclusion instruments and consent support from rational and well-educated Indians, eventually India will help in achieving the motive of equity and equality for deprived section of the society.

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