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In search of models for Social Inclusion: case studies in rural and urban Bihar, India

In search of models for Social Inclusion: case studies in rural and urban Bihar, India . Development Studies Association Conference Development Paths: Values, Ethics and Morality, London, November 5, 2010 MeeraTiwari m.tiwari@uel.ac.uk.

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In search of models for Social Inclusion: case studies in rural and urban Bihar, India

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  1. In search of models for Social Inclusion: case studies in rural and urban Bihar, India Development Studies Association Conference Development Paths: Values, Ethics and Morality, London, November 5, 2010 MeeraTiwari m.tiwari@uel.ac.uk

  2. In search of models for Social Inclusion in India: case studies in rural and urban Bihar • Introduction • Social exclusion overview, practices in India and the context in Bihar • The policy framework for social inclusion in India • Grassroots social inclusion models in Bihar • Top down state model and the grassroots bottom up approaches – what can be learned?

  3. Social exclusion overview, practices in India and the context in Bihar • The meaning: not being being a part of or be able to participate in the society where the individual lives • The literature: broad Aristotelian perspective of human life, further enriched by the contributions of Petty, Quesnay and Adam Smith amongst others • Lenoir (1974), Silver, 1995; Gore and Figueiredo (1997); de Haan and Maxwell (1998), Sen(2000), Thorat(1999-2004), Buvinic(2005) • Indian SE practices: rooted in cultural stratification of the society going back thousands of years based on caste and ethnicity • Bihar: rigid ‘semi-feudal’ tendencies, complex social-exclusion politics and fragile state structures.

  4. Social Exclusion practices in India • High prevalence of caste based exclusions • Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) & some religious minorities comprise socially excluded class in the post independence era. • SC and ST make up a quarter of India’s population & make up the biggest deprivation cohorts • Benefits of occupational specialisation through intergenerational engagement non-existent Table 1 Caste based indicators in India Source: Based on Thorat, 2005, NSS, ODI

  5. Social Exclusion context in Bihar • Lowest HDI in all of the 15 major states of India • India’s 3rd most populous state, accounts for one-seventh of India’s BPL poor • 90 % of its population in the rural sector with a poverty incidence at 41 % • 70 % of households are landless/near landless, 25 % of landless are SCs , 15 % are Muslim • SCs = 15 % of state population, 93 % reside in the villages, comprise 23 sub-castes • Horizontal inequalities deep rooted and visible within the SC communities in Bihar Source: Census of India, 2001

  6. The policy framework for social inclusion in India • Adopted in 1950, Article 13 of the Constitution of India provides: • justice, equality and fundamental human rights to all citizens • to address the suffering of a large cohort through social exclusion, • GoI’s well-defined affirmative action – the Reservation Policy in state & state supported sectors: • Reservations for SCs and STs in proportion to their share of population • Relaxations in the minimum age for entry & minimum standard of suitability. • Three key domains targeted: employment & promotion in govt services, entry to state run educational institutions & representation in the legislature. • In govt services SCs&STs have reserved quotas in all but defence & judicial services. • In education, SC & ST students have reserved places in all govt educational institutions. • In political representation, SCs&STs have reserved constituencies in central & state legislatures • The framework incorporates complementary provisions to enhance the abilities of the SCs and STs to avail the opportunities offered through the reservation policy.

  7. Grassroots social inclusion models in Bihar JeeVika: a state supported initiative, based on ‘savings-led’ self-help-groups for the poorest and the most socially excluded women • The conceptual model for JeeVika is rooted in participatory and capability approaches to development • Focal point of the process: the socially excluded rural and her ‘agency’ • Objective: livelihood opportunities and wellbeing • Outcome: overcoming the exclusionary practices, empowering the women to participate in the society they live in Super30: athird sector initiative for affirmative action to enable teenagers from backward socioeconomic classes to pursue the aspiration of education in elite engineering institutions • Rigid selection criterion of poor socio-economic background • Children of richshaw pullers, street hawkers, manual and landless labour and subsistence farmers – the most likely livelihoods of the SC communities in the state • Objective: Capability & skill enhancement of youth to compete & seek entry into the highly ranked technical institutions • Outcome: Assimilation & participation in society as equals & be recognised for their diligence, determination & intellect

  8. Top down state model and the grassroots bottom up approaches – what can be learned? *Off-springs of those SC-ST cohorts who are already beneficiaries of the Reservation Policy Source: Author’s research

  9. Tentative conclusions • Could the national Reservation Policy be more effective? • Top down output based national Reservation Policy needs to be revisited • Who & what is the focus – the socially excluded individual or higher representation of SC/ST in • Increasing horizontal inequalities through the current model • Further research needed to investigate the implementation of the framework for complementary provisions to enhance the abilities • Grassroots models focus on the capability deprivations of the socially excluded individual • Individual and collective agency to overcome the exclusionary practices • Capability enhancement to expand and access opportunities in life • Complementarity needed between top down and bottom up approaches?Thank you

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