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

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'Representation' of OBCs in Higher Education

This article is a response to Jaya Goyal and D P Singh's "Academic Performance of OBC Students in Universities: Findings from Three States" (EPW, 1 February 2014). It challenges the claim that the Other Backward Classes are not under-represented in education and also the attempt to redefine representation as understood within the context of reservation policies. The author was also a part of the study on which Goyal and Singh based their article.

Caste in West Bengal Politics

It is difficult to agree with Praskanva Sinharay’s argument (“West Bengal’s Election Story: The Caste Question”,EPW, 26 April 2014) that “caste” is emerging as a “determinant” factor in West Bengal’s political scene.

The Politics of Reservation Categories in Uttar Pradesh

Some of the Other Backward Classes in Uttar Pradesh want to be classified as scheduled castes, while some of the latter want to be reclassified as scheduled tribes. Despite the politics behind these demands, most of the castes demanding reclassification have good reason to feel that the benefits of reservation have passed them by. It is the invisibility of the numerically small castes with little education and no voice that has to be ended before the fruits of development can reach them. 
 

Reservation for Marathas?

The Other Backward Classes of Maharashtra are concerned that if the Maratha community is given reservation then the OBCs will be edged out.

Caste and Politics in Bengal

Any attempt at understanding the presence or absence of caste in West Bengal today calls for a contextualisation of the problem by studying the history of caste politics in pre-Independence united Bengal. A response to Praskanva Sinharay ("A New Politics of Caste", EPW, 25 August 2012) and Uday Chandra and Kenneth Bo Nielsen ("The Importance of Caste in Bengal", EPW, 3 November 2012).

A New Politics of Caste

Caste has never been a relevant category in the politics of West Bengal. That has now changed with the political assertion of the Matua Mahasangha which represents the organised voice of the Namasudras.

Castes, Communities and Parties in Uttar Pradesh

A profi ling of the caste backgrounds of candidates fi elded by the four main political parties in Uttar Pradesh in the assembly elections, the elected legislators and ministers reveals some interesting trends. There is a stable presence of upper caste candidates from all major parties, with the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress continuing to fi eld them predominantly, while the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party have become more of "catch-all" parties, similar yet very different from the Congress Party of the past. The study of ministers and MLAs reveals a more complex picture of upper caste strength in representation.

Caste Challenges BJP

Hindutva comes under strain in Karnataka where the major castes aggressively consolidate themselves.

Reddys, Kammas and Telangana

Reddy-Kamma rivalry has defined politics in Andhra Pradesh in both the Congress Party and the Telugu Desam Party. The two communities used a pliant Telangana vote bank in their battles, but this option is now no longer available to them. Should that come in the way of the formation of a state of Telangana?

Why Jat Reservations?

Instead of the image of a prosperous and dominant community, the Jats of Uttar Pradesh have socio-economic indices comparable to Other Backward Classes like the Yadavas and Gujjars. The recent protest by Jats in Uttar Pradesh asking for OBC classification and reservations in government jobs is driven by the extended government neglect of their backwardness.

Beyond Caste Voting: Modasa, Gujarat Revisited

The intensity and nature of caste sentiments have changed in the last four decades, and they have come to have a limited influence in voting behaviour. In the course of the political process, agglomerations of different jatis, sometimes even of unequal social status, have evolved a common political identity. But perceptions of identity, common interests and political preferences among the members are not monolithic or static. In Modasa, Gujarat, primordial sentiments of oneness and honour have transformed into "secular" economic interests. In the entrenched Hindutva setting, nourished by Narendra Modi, vikas (development) and governance were the central issues that influenced voters in the 2007 assembly elections.

Discrimination in an Elite Labour Market? Job Placements at IIM-Ahmedabad

Using data on the iim -Ahmedabad's 2006 batch of mba graduates, we find that graduates belonging to scheduled castes or scheduled tribes get significantly lower wages (19 per cent lower in domestic jobs and 35 per cent lower when foreign jobs are included) than those in the general category. This difference disappears once their lower Grade Point Averages are taken into account, suggesting that the large wage difference is due to the weaker (on average) academic performance of sc/st candidates. The study suggests that in the absence of any serious attempt to equalise school-level opportunities, the current policy of reservations at elite educational institutions will be insufficient to equalise career outcomes even for the minority of sc/st candidates who can benefit from them.

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