Abstract: While quota based and other affirmative action remains on the policy radar of nations faced with social inequalities, there is limited evidence to support informed policy choices at the national level. This paper estimates the impact of quota-based affirmative action in higher education (HE) in India implemented from 2008, which mandates a 27 percent seats to be reserved for the Other Backward Classes (OBC) in public funded institutes of HE. The differences in HE participation across social groups, age cohorts and geographies with varied histories of affirmative action are exploited to ascertain the impact of this policy. Since the immediate impact would be felt by OBCs who were eligible to go to college at the time of the implementation, using the Difference in Difference (DD) estimation strategy, we compare the differences in participation in HE by the younger (18-23 years) and older (24-29 years) age groups within eligible OBCs, with similar differences in the general caste population across three different regions of the country. Using the National Sample Survey data of 2004-05, 2009-10, 2011-12, and data on institutes of HE from the government of India, the DD estimates do not show a positive impact of the policy on participation of OBCs across all regions. The coefficients seem to be negative, though statistically insignificant in all regions, except the east which lacks the long history of affirmative action. However, using the triple difference method, a comparison of the east without a long history of affirmative action with the southern or northcentral regions having a long history of such policy, produce positive treatment effects only in the south. Our results suggest that the generalized nation-wide policy may not be relevant for issues which are regional in nature and indicate the weak impact of this policy when states have already implemented. However, the policy of OBC reservation being quite recent, a decent amount of time may be required to assess its impact and reach an unequivocal verdict. In that context, our exercise can be seen as a first step of evaluating the policy and can be replicated after a lapse of few years, to ascertain if the same findings persist before articulating a clear policy recommendation..
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Seminar: Dr. Gitanjali Sen, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Shiv Nadar University
Seminar at IGIDR by Dr. Gitanjali Sen, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Shiv Nadar University. The details are as follows:
Date & Hour: 11th-April-2018, 3:00 pm
Venue: Seminar Hall 1.
Title: Quota-based Affirmative Action in Higher Education: The Impact on Other Backward Classes in India.