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

Articles By Scheduled Caste

District-level Estimates of Unemployment Rates in Odisha

This article describes the possibilities of using an alternative method, such as small area estimation, for generating district-level unemployment estimates with higher precision. The SAE method is applied to generate the unemployment rate of different districts of Odisha combining the Periodic Labour Force Survey 2018–19 data of the National Sample Survey Office and the auxiliary variables from other secondary data sources.

 

Rohith Vemula: Foregrounding Caste Oppression in Indian Higher Education Institutions

In April 2021, a professor from the Indian Institute of Technology verbally abused students belonging to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities. The incident brought to the fore conversations around caste and education. One is instantly reminded of how five years before this incident, in 2016, Rohith Vemula, a Dalit PhD scholar at the University of Hyderabad, died by suicide. Between 2016 and 2021 itself, India lost several students belonging to Dalit and Bahujan communities to suicide as a result of caste-based discrimination. That elite Indian higher education institutions practise caste-based discrimination is nothing new. But Vemula’s death sparked a political movement. This reading list attempts to understand how and why this came to be.

Reservations, Efficiency, and the Making of Indian Constitution

The notion that reservation is contrary to efficiency and merit has been invoked consistently. Even the Supreme Court of India seems to have agreed withthis proposition in  some judgments, as it held that Article 16(4), which provides for reservation in services, would be limited by Article 335, which mentions the term “efficiency of administration” in the Constitution. This paper explores the Constituent Assembly Debates to show that the Constitution framers did not subject reservations to the test of efficiency or merit. In addition, “efficiency of administration” mentioned under Article 335 cannot be treated as an exclusionary construct, as it was done in pre-independence era.

 

The Impossibility of ‘Dalit Studies’

The meaning and implications of the presence of “Dalit studies” in the pedagogical content of higher education in India need to be analysed. “Dalit studies” seeks to intervene into such a space of pedagogical practices and institutional policies in higher education which may have grudgingly accepted the physical presence of the Dalit through affirmative action, but which has nonetheless historically overlooked the thought of the Dalit.

Religion and Scheduled Caste Status

The Supreme Court's judgment in the case of Mohammad Sadique carries disturbing implications for Muslim Dhobis, Dooms, Julahas, Mochis, etc, who face social disabilities similar to Hindu Dhobis, Dooms, Julahas, Mochis, etc, but are denied the same legal status. It seems to convey that the former could get the Scheduled Caste status provided they agree to convert to Hinduism, Sikhism or Buddhism. This judgment is in conflict with the basic tenets of the Constitution. There is thus an urgent need to review the relationship of religion and caste as assumed in the acts that deal with the question of the membership of SCs.