ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Education, Employment and Land-ownership-Role of Caste and Economic Factors

'reservations' for Scheduled Castes and Seheduled Tribes have apparently subsided. Though these agitations released much heat, two relevant questions were not asked. One, why is it that after three decades of independence and planned development we have not been able to free the Scheduled Castes. Scheduled Tribes and other backward .sections of the population from the need lor special protection? Two, who among the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and what percentage of them have benefited from the policy of reservation? There is yet another important question which perhaps may not elicit lunch response today. That is, whether the special help given to the identified and acknowledged deprived section of the population has stood in the way of others, and if so, to what extent, The reservation question has a political overtone, and no politically ambitious per- sou would find it easy to demand a review of the reservation policy or to say anything against it. It is not un- eornmon to hear such statements as "without reservation the Scheduled Castes would not have got even the little they have got" from those who sympathise with the plight of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Though this cannot be fully denied, the fact that the bulk of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes have not benefited from reservation in educational institutions and employment and that they are far below the advanced sections of the society cannot be ignored. Tu fact, the question why they still need reservation would raise a host of issues related to social and economic development, including education and manpower planning.

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