Upper-caste share is down, more marginal groups enter campuses -Shalini Nair
-The Indian Express
New education report: Muslims, disabled most under-represented.
While the proportion of upper-caste students in higher education institutions is still considerably higher than their share in the population, for the first time ever their “erstwhile near-monopoly” is being eroded with their percentage share falling to below 50 per cent over the last few years, according to a study.
All other groups, women, Other Backward Classes (OBC), Scheduled Castes (SC), and Tribes (ST), have increased their share though they still remain largely under-represented relative to their share in the population.
The enrolment share of upper caste Hindus (estimated to be about 20 per cent of the country’s population), has come down from 51 per cent to 40.6 per cent between 2010-11 and 2015-16.
The study titled ‘Exclusion in Indian Higher Education Today’ by Delhi University professors Satish Deshpande and Apoorvanand states that “the entry of hitherto absent or severely under-represented groups” was facilitated by the 93rd Amendment to the Constitution (2006) which extended OBC reservations to elite “institutions of national importance” and Central universities.
“Although it took some years to take effect, by the second decade of the 2000s, its impact was being felt,” the report said.
Apoorvanand teaches Hindi and Deshpande teaches sociology in Delhi University. Their study has been published in the India Exclusion Report 2017 released by the Centre for Equity Studies this week. Citing figures from the All India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE), it states that between 2010-11 and 2015-16, in terms of percentage share in total enrolment in higher education institutions, the share of women has increased from 44 to 46 percent, for STs from 4.4 to 4.9 percent, for SCs from 11 to 13.9 percent, and for OBCs from 27.6 to 33.8 percent.
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