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Some Statistics on the Distribution of Different Communities in Various Professions in India, and the Effects of Reservations

While reservations cannot take the place of comprehensive societal changes, they constitute a very important and necessary step in the process of compensating for centuries of (and ongoing) discrimination. They promote integration in the upper strata of society by increasing the access of highly disadvantaged and under-represented communities to elite occupations and decision-making positions. For example, in central government services, reservations for SCs and STs have been operational for a few decades, and this has resulted in a rise in SC representation in all four categories of central services.  However, upper castes continue to disproportately occupy the more prestigious Class I services, while SCs/STs/OBCs have been relegated to jobs lower in the hierarchy. Furthermore, the cumulative percentage of SC/ST employees in Central government services continues to be below their percentage in the general population. 


Depts/Bodies Class I Class II Classes III & IV All Classes
SC/ST OBC SC/ST OBC SC/ST OBC SC/ST OBC
Ministries / Departments 7.18 2.59 13.66 3.98 30.95 8.41 16.83 4.83
Autonomous Bodies 6.64 5.09 18.16 11.74 20.78 20.98 18.06 14.43
Public Sector Undertakings 4.51 4.59 18.74 9.91 31.72 15.77 19.95 10.61
Total 5.68 4.69 18.18 10.63 24.40 18.98 18.72 12.55

Table 1: Representation of Lower Castes in Central Government Services
[All numbers in %]
Source: Report of the Backward Classes (Mandal) Commission, 1980, Vol II, p.92. Also available at UNDP.org



Position Total
Employees
SC
Employees
%SC
Employees
Professor 1155 2 0.17
Associate Professor 1774 6 0.34
Assistant Professor 1491 35 2.35
Research Associate 257 3 1.17
Grade A, Non-Teaching 756 26 3.44
Grade B, Non-Teaching 1525 49 3.21
Grade C, Non-Teaching 9001 414 4.60
Grade D, Non-Teaching 10635 2368 22.27

Table 2: Representation of Scheduled Castes in Educational Institutions. [Excludes Indira Gandhi National Open University, for which figures were not available]
Source: National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Annual Report: 1993-94, p 103. Also available at Ambedkar.Org.



State/Union Territory Total SC
Gujarat 27 0
Sikkim 3 0
Himachal Pradesh 7 0
Kerala 25 1
Tamil Nadu 20 1
Punjab & Haryana 29 0
Andhra Pradesh NA 0
Karnataka NA 3
Delhi 28 0

Table 3: SC Representation in High Courts in Various States/Union Territories in 1996.
[NA = Not Available]

Source: National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Fourth Report, 1996-97 & 1997-98, p.16. Also available at Ambedkar.Org



Occupation / Landholding Castes/Communities
Brahmin Rajput Other Upper Castes Peasant OBCs Other OBCs SCs STs
Higher Professional 3.8 0.6 3.5 0.5 0.8 0.3 0.5
White Collar Employees 34.7 21.3 21.2 7.5 9.0 10.0 7.2
Large Business 3.6 2.0 10.1 0.9 1.6 0.2 1.6
Petty Business 13.4 7.0 25.8 5.8 10.0 5.3 12.5
Artisan / Blue Collar Workers / Service Providers 9.0 8.7 9.5 14.6 34.1 25.5 23.7

Table 4: Occupational profiles of different caste categories. [All numbers are percentages]
Source: National Election Study, 1999, Center for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi. Also available at UNDP.org

Cumulatively tables 1-4 illustrate the continuing reality of occupational segregation within Indian society and the pervasiveness of caste in the bureaucracy, judiciary and educational institutions. Evidently, casteism transcends the systematic opportunities and benefits provided by reservations and continues to maintain a caste-segregated labor market. The greater concentration of lower-caste employees in low-paying jobs is yet another indicator of the intricate links between caste and class in India.



Category Rural (1999-2000) Urban (1999-2000)
HCR1 (%) PGI2 SPG3 HCR (%) PGI SPG
Scheduled Castes 38.38 0.079 0.024 37.84 0.088 0.029
Scheduled Tribes 48.02 0.115 0.038 35.15 0.090 0.034
Other Backward Classes 29.04 0.055 0.016 28.99 0.062 0.020

Table 5: Poverty Measures by Household Type and Social Group.
Source: UNDP.org

[1] Head Count Ratio (HCR) is the proportion of poor in the overall population. 
[2] Poverty Gap Index (PGI) is a measure of the depth of poverty.
[3] Squared Poverty Gap (SPG) is similar to PGI but with squared poverty gaps (so as to give the highest weight to the largest poverty gap).

Note that the location, i.e. whether rural or urban, makes only a slight difference to the levels of poverty of lower caste groups and households. This underlines the fact that poverty correlates better with caste than with, say, geographical location (which in turn might determine access to other opportunities and social services). The Mandal Commission referred to similar empirical data in observing that there is a strong correlation between social, educational, and economic backwardness and membership in certain lower castes. See, for instance, PUCL.org.



Class 1959 1965 1974 1984 1995
I 1.18 1.64 3.2 6.92 10.12
II 2.38 2.82 4.6 10.36 12.67
III 6.95 8.88 10.3 13.98 16.15
IV 17.24a 17.75 18.6 20.2 21.26a

Table 6. Percentage of SC Employees in Central Government Services. [All numbers are percentages. a: Excludes sweepers]
Sources: National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Seventh Report, April 1984 - March 1985, p.5; National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Sixteenth Report, 1966-1967, p.15; National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Fourth Report, 1996-1997 and 1997-1998, Volume I, p.14. Also available at Ambedkar.Org

As the data above illustrates, reservations have slowly but certainly led to better representation of SCs/STs in the bureaucracy (though primarily in the lower rungs of the hierarchy)




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