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Discrimination and Exclusion in Education

Discrimination and Exclusion in Education: A Study of the Children of Communities Engaged in ‘Unclean’ Occupations of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana 

Caste-based discrimination and exclusion continues to be an influential factor in the low educational mobility of Scheduled Caste. This is despite various government programs aimed at the development of the community. Taking this into consideration, it was proposed that education could be one of the primary means to overcome caste oppression, exclusion and a means for upward mobility of historically suppressed groups. A constitutional amendment was passed in 2002 which made free and compulsory education a fundamental right for children aged 6-14 years. The national and state governments continue to deliver the programme Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA). The Evaluation Report of Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, Planning Commission (2010) states that the country is approaching near universalization of enrolment at the primary stage.

With this background this research sponsored by Indian Council for Social Science Research (ICSSR) was undertaken to gather empirical evidence of discrimination in education and their causes and consequences on the attainment of education of the children, especially of those belonging to the households associated with “Unclean” occupations in urban India. The study was undertaken in four States of India, namely, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana. In the four States, eight cities were selected to identify households associated with unclean occupations in order to examine the educational status of their children. The cities included Faridabad and Panipat in Haryana, Jaipur and Alwar in Rajasthan, Ghaziabad and Mathura in Uttar Pradesh and Shimla and Solan in Himachal Pradesh. The survey covered total 5665 households and as many as 12348 children. 

The general framework and same research design was implemented in all four states. This included the overall methodology and research tools used in investigation as well as in the analysis of the data. There was also general agreement on the main theme and outline of each state chapter that included an overview of the state context and issues: education, exclusion and “Unclean” occupation review, the profile of the selected cities and settlements, the socio-economic status of households, the educational status of children, the social, economic and cultural causes that promote/hinder education of the children including the policies and programmes aimed at promoting education of the children and their implementation. Finally each chapter describes the empirical realities and the impact of discrimination and exclusion on children in the selected state. For a more comprehensive view the final chapter of the report presents the major findings of the study with a comparative analysis of all four states based on which major recommendations are made to the state and central governments to evolve a comprehensive educational policy.




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