A continuous mixed opinion on the relevance of caste-based reservations and caste as a factor of socioeconomic disparity in the recent period demands update of evidence on socioeconomic inequalities among caste groups for effective policy making. The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether the caste inequalities in terms of socioeconomic opportunities and poverty are still persisting in rural Uttar Pradesh based on village census surveys?
This study used data primarily collected from four village census surveys under the project rural transformation in Uttar Pradesh, 2013. Bivariate analyses, human opportunity index (HOI), multidimensional poverty index (MPI) and inequality decomposition analyses used as methods of analyses.
The authors findings suggest that in spite of more than six decades of welfare policies and major political mobilization movements among lower castes in the state, the huge inequalities in terms of critical socioeconomic indicators such as landholding, higher education and wealth distribution and multi-dimensional poverty across the castes are still persisting in the state. Decomposition results suggest that between group inequalities contribute more to the total inequality in landholding whereas within group inequalities contribute maximum to total inequality in education and wealth status of different castes in rural Uttar Pradesh. However, within inequalities much less in general castes compared to SCs/OBCs.
Based on its latest empirical evidence, this study strengthens the argument that caste still matters in socioeconomic achievements of the population in India even after decades of planning and financing of social welfare schemes to uplift the lower castes in India. Thus, provides critical inputs to current debates on the relevance of caste as a determinant of socioeconomic status in India.
The authors would like to thank Professor A.K. Singh, the former Director of the Giri Institute of Development Studies, Lucknow for his valuable comments on various drafts of this manuscript. The authors also thank Professor R.B. Bhagat and Professor R.P. Mamgain, and five anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments on the manuscript.
Goli, S., Maurya, N.K. and Sharma, M.K. (2015), "Continuing caste inequalities in rural Uttar Pradesh", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 35 No. 3/4, pp. 252-272. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSSP-07-2014-0051Download as .RIS
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