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Indian social/economic environment- Distribution

by oc, bc sc, st and the occupations.

Vaisakh Vimalan
Vishnu Sankar S
Zakariya M A


unequal opportunities to
access various commodities
and services available in
society to different sections of
society are termed as social


socially defined sections are

gender, age, class, cast and race
Similarly commodities and
services as referred here are
education, healthcare, job
opportunities, employment etc.

Caste system in modern India


leaders of independent India decided that India will be

democratic, socialist and secular country. Practicing untouchability or
discriminating a person based on his caste is legally forbidden. Along
with this law the government allows positive discrimination of the
depressed classes of India.

The lower classes were listed in three categories. The first category is
called Scheduled Castes. This category includes in it communities who
were untouchables.

The second category is Scheduled Tribes. This category includes in it

those communities who did not accept the caste system and
preferred to reside deep in the jungles, forests and mountains of
India. The Scheduled Tribes are also called Adivasi, meaning

The third category is called sometimes Other Backward Classes. This

category includes in it castes who belong to Sudra Varna and also
former untouchables who converted from Hinduism to other religions.
This category also includes in it nomads and tribes who made a living
from criminal acts.

According to the central government policy these three categories are

entitled for positive discrimination. 15% of India's population are
Scheduled Castes. According to central government policy 15% of the
government jobs and 15% of the students admitted to universities
must be from Scheduled Castes. For the Scheduled Tribes about 7.5%
places are reserved which is their proportion in Indian population.
The Other Backwards Classes are about 50% of India's population, but
only 27% of government jobs are reserved for them.

The scheduled tribes population


2001 census put the number of persons

belonging to Scheduled Tribes in India at 84.3 million
which is 8.2% of the total population.
-There were about 60 major tribal groups
-Over 100 medium tribal groups and 130 minor tribal
According to 2001 census, STs are largest in MP
followed by Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan and
Jharkhand. The ST formed the largest proportion of
the total population in Lakshadweep, Mizoram and
The decadal population growth between the census
years 1981-1991 in tribal population has been higher
at 31.64% than that for the entire population at


has witnessed highest growth rate

of 80.82% followed by Nagaland 67.23%.The
lowest growth rate as per 2001 census was
recorded in Andaman and Nicobar Islands at
10.08% followed by Himachal Pradesh at
The sex-ratio among STs stand at 977 per
1000 males. In all states except AP and Tamil
Nadu and Uttaranchal the ST sex-ratio as per
2001 census was more women centric.
The literacy rate for STs increased from
29.62% to 47.10 %.The female literacy rate
among tribals increased from 18.19% to
34.76% in 2001.

Exploitation and Unrest of the tribes


ages tribals are considered primitive segment of Indian society.

They lived in forests and hills without any contact with civilizations.
During British rule they consolidated their position and their
political aspirations and administrative needs necessitated to open
up the entire country.
The British introduced the system of landownership and revenue.
Annual tax was trebled which was beyond the paying capacity of
tribal cultivators.
Many nontribals began to settle in the tribal areas offering credit
facilities. Initially it provided relief to tribals but gradually the
system became exploitative.
Over the years the tribal population faced all types of exploitation.
This aroused the tribal leaders to mobilize the tribals and start
Thus it is the cumulative result of a number of factors.
Indifference from administrators and bureaucracy in dealing with
tribal grievances.

Tribal Struggles
Numerous uprisings of the tribals have taken place beginning with
the one in Bihar in 1772 followed by many revolts in Andhra Pradesh,
Andaman and Nicobar Islands,Arunchal Pradesh,Assam,Mizoram and
Nagaland.The important tribes involved in revolt in the 19th century
were Mizos (1810),Kols(1795&1831),Mundas (1889),Daflas
(1875),Khasi and Garo (1829)
After independence the Tribal struggle may be classified into
three groups:
Struggles due to exploitation of the outsiders.
Struggles due to economic deprivations
Struggle due to separatist tendencies
The tribal movements may also be classified on the basis
of their orientation into four types:
Movements seeking political autonomy and formation of separate
Agrarian movement
Forest -based movements
Socio-religious movements

Crimes against scheduled


The number of crimes committed against STs was:-

4,306 in1992

3,652 in 1993

5,019 in 1994

13.9% were cases of hurt, 7.7% cases to rape,2.1%

cases to murder, 1.3% case s to kidnapping and
48.8% to other cases.

Scheduled Caste Population

According to 2001 census the
population of Scheduled Castes in
India was 166.6 million which is
16.2% of the total population of the
country. The SCs are largest in UP,
Maharashtra, Bihar and West Bengal.
The highest proportion of scheduled
caste population was in Punjab while
the lowest is in Nagaland.

Upliftment of the scheduled


Of all the sections the shudras, once put on the

lowest rung of the social hierarchy were destined
to suffer all types of deprivations. These
untouchables and depressed classes came to be
designated as Scheduled Castes.

The term first appeared in the Government of

India Act, 1935. In April 1936, the British
Government had issued the Government of India
(Scheduled Castes) Order, 1936 specifying certain
castes, races, and tribes as Scheduled Castes in
the then provinces of Assam, Bombay, Bengal,
Bihar, Central Provinces and Berar, Madras, Orissa,
Punjab and United Provinces.

Different Plans for Upliftment of SCs

The implementation of the special strategies of
the Special Component Plan (SCP) for SCs and the
Special Central Assistance (SCA) to SCP, has been
receiving special attention, since their inception,
as these were effective instruments to ensure
proportionate flow of funds for SCs from the other
general development sectors.
In respect of the Special Component Plan (SCP),
the situation at the central level was not found to
be very encouraging as the earmarking of funds
was adhered to only by thirteen



Castes (SC)
Scheduled Castes (ST)
Other Backward Classes 27%
(or more)
Even with conservative estimates,
it appears that more than 50% of
Indias population suffers
systematic disadvantage and

Other backward

reservation for OBCs was announced by the

Janata Dal government on aug 7,1990.
27% seats were proposed to be reserved for 3,742
This was done in accordance with implementing
the mandal Commisions report.
The report was discussed by both rajya sabha and
lok sabha in 1982.
The sudden announcement of accepting its
recommendation in aug 1990 was decribed as a
political decision of then prime minister V.P
Singh,taken without an in-depth study of the
various issues arising out of its implementation .


commission used three indicators for

identifying a specific caste/class as
They were-social,educational,and economic.
The social indicators were given a weightage
of 3 points,the educational indicators 2
points and the economic indicators were
accorded 1 point.
The total value was 22 points.
Casstes which secured the score of
50%,i.e;11 points or above, were listed as

Classes considered as socially backward by others.
Classes which mainly depend on manual labour for their livelihood.
Classes where at least 25 per cent females and 10 per cent males above the state
average get married at an age below 17 years in rural areas and at least 10 per
cent females and 5 per cent males do so in urban areas.
Classes where participation of females in work is at least 25 per cent above the
state average.
classes where the number of children in the age group of 515 years who never
attended school is at least 25 percent above the state average.
classes where the rate of student drop-out in the age group of 515 years is at
least 25 percent above the state average.
classes amongst whom the proportion of matriculates is at least 25 per cent below
the state average.
classes where the average value of family assets is at least 25 per cent below the
state average.
Classes where the number of families living in kuccha houses is at least 25 per
cent above the state average.
Classes where the source of drinking water is beyond half kilometer for more than
50 per cent of the households.
Classes where the number of households having taken consumption loans is at
least 25 per cent above the state average.
Also known as "Creamy layer," this criteria of separation is ignored by the
government which is known as the most controversial issue of reservation

Present position

supreme court gave its verdict on November 15,1992

based on V.P Singhs governments notification.
The majority judgment held that 27% reservations in govt.
service on the basis of caste are permissible.
But it gave certain directions for change in this policy, they
were:1. Creamy layer of backward class should be excluded.
2. Armed forces and sensitive higher civilian posts should be
kept outside the purview of caste reservations.
3. While commission had identified 3,743 backward classes,
the supreme court recognized only half this number as
4. Those castes which were well represented in govt. jobs
should be excluded from the list of OBCs.
5. Supreme court recommended reservations only in original


Supreme court gave directions for treating unfilled

vacancies as unreserved.
Reservation of 10% seats for weaker sections in the
higher castes as constitutional.
The reservation quota should not go beyond 50%


the recommendations of the report are not yet implemented. As on 27 June

2008 there is still a backlog of 28,670 OBC vacancies in government jobs.The
recommendation of reservations in Higher educational institutes was
implemented in 2008.
NFHS Survey estimated only Hindu OBC population.Total OBC population derived
by assuming Muslim OBC population in same proportion as Hindu OBC
The National Sample Survey puts the figure at 32%.There is substantial debate
over the exact number of OBC's in India, with census data compromised by
partisan politics. It is generally estimated to be sizable, but lower than the
figures quoted by either the Mandal Commission or and National Sample Survey.
There is also an ongoing controversy about the estimation logic used by Mandal
commission for calculating OBC population.
Famous Indian Statistician,Mr.Yogendra Yadav who supports Reservations
agrees that there is no empirical basis to the Mandal figure. According to him "It
is a mythical construct based on reducing the number of SC/ST, Muslims and
others and then arriving at a number."
National Sample Survey's 1999-2000 round estimated around 36 per cent of the
country's population is defined as belonging to the Other Backward Classes
(OBC). The proportion falls to 32 per cent on excluding Muslim OBCs. A survey
conducted in 1998 by National Family Health Statistics (NFHS) puts the
proportion of non-Muslim OBCs as 29.8 per cent.