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A STUDY ON IMPACT OF

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IN HIGHER


EDUCATION IN INDIA

By Under the guidance of


Dr. J SUBRAMANI
ARAVIND U
Associate Professor
Reg. No. 17375005
Department of Statistics
Introduction
The greatest of all revolution i.e. the French revolution of 1789 was based on three
pillars, Equality, Fraternity and Liberty.

However, wide gap continues to exist between the goals enunciated in the Constitution,
legislations, policies and plans and the ground reality of the status of some sections of
people especially scheduled Caste, scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Castes and some
religious minorities in India.

In order to correct the issues of exclusion, discrimination and imbalance in terms of


access to capital assets, employment, education, political participation and other spheres,
the framers of the constitution and other development thinkers have turned to practices of
Reservation or Affirmative Action or Positive action or equal opportunity policies for
these discriminated sub-groups.
Objective
1. To study on the impact of reservation system in India on Higher education
(HE) enrollment especially concentrating on Other Backward Class.

2. To check if there is any change in HE enrollment between post


implementation and pre implementation of affirmative action for the OBC
class

3. To analyze if there is any difference in the HE enrollment for states in


India where there is a long history of affirmative action versus states where
it is newly implemented
Data

1. Household level sample survey by NSSO, primarily from


62nd round (2005-2006) and 68th round (2011-2012)

2. Individuals survey data from NFHS 2 (1950 onwards)

3. Higher Education enrollment data from 2012-2019 from


All India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE)
Methodology
A Binomial logistic regression is used to check for association between
the dependent variable (HE enrolment) with the other factors and
interaction effects.

glm(education~ 1+ age+ side+ social.group+ age*side+ age*social.group+


side*social.group+ age*side*social.group+ sector, family = "binomial")

Difference in Difference estimates (DD) are used to measure the Intent-


to-treat effect (ITT) on the basis of the first comparison.
The first difference compares HE enrolment outcomes of OBCs aged 18-
23 years (‘treated’) to OBC aged 24-29 years (‘controlled’), in the year
2011-12.
DD analysis is done separately for north and south regions for the second
comparison.
The diff-in-diff estimator is defined as:

DD = (Y¯treatment post − Y¯treatment pre ) – ( Y¯comparison post −


Y¯comparison pre)

Treatment Comparison
Pre-Program Y¯treatment pre Y¯ comparison pre

Post-Program Y¯treatment post Y¯comparison post


Hypotheses to be tested

Hypothesis 1: Affirmative action for the OBCs will result in faster growth
(or a lower decline) of enrollment of eligible OBCs in HEIs than the
enrolment of eligible population not benefiting from affirmative action.

Hypothesis 2: The impact of affirmative action for OBC population in terms


of higher increase (or lower decline) in enrollment in HEIs among the
eligible population would be the highest in states with no history of
affirmative action and the least in states with a long history of affirmative
action.
Descriptive statistics of Male and Female population
aged 18 and above at the time of the survey and born
from 1950 onwards.
OBC and SC(MALES) OBC and SC(FEMALES)

Mean Std. Dev. Mean Std. Dev.

Education level 2.425 1.363 1.360 1.504

Literacy 0.773 0.419 0.445 0.497

Primary Completion 0.799 0.401 0.476 0.499


Secondary
0.616 0.486 0.318 0.466
Completion
Higher Education
0.209 0.407 0.088 0.283
Completion
Hindu 0.981 0.137 0.982 0.131

Sikh 0.019 0.137 0.018 0.131


Buddhist/Neo
0.000 0.009 0.000 0.009
Buddhist
N 13,670 13,644

Number of jatis 184 185


Plot of % of HE enrollment for the Southern and Northern states from
2012-2019
Model

Yihds = β0 + β1.Oihds*Tihds*Eihds+ β2.Oihds*Eihds + β3.Tihds*Eihds +


β4.Oihds*Tihds + β5.Oihds + β6.Tihds + β7.Eihds + uihds
Where
Yihds is the indicator for current HE enrolment of 18-29 years old (=1) of an
individual i, in household h, in district d, and in state s.
Tihds is the indicator for the person being treated (of age group 18-23, as
against control being in age group 24-29),
Oihds is the indicator for individual belonging to the social group, OBC.
Eihds takes a value of 1 if the individual belongs to the state group North
(else, it takes a value zero for individual from South).
•We estimate the model for the year 2011-12 data for the sample of 18-29
years cohort in the state groups of South and North regions.
Estimates and p-values for the parameters of logistic
regression model
2011 2005
Variables
Estimate P-value Estimate P-value

Intercept -1.924 0*** -0.674 0***

Age – 18-23 &24-29 1.047 0*** 0.549 0***

Side – North & South -1.102 0*** -2.401 0***

Social Group – OBC &


-0.736 0*** -0.898 0***
Others

Sector – Rural & Urban -0.403 0*** -1.539 0***

Age x Side 1.423 0*** 1.747 0***

Age x social group 0.204 0.237 0.113 0.132

Social group x side 0.562 0.005*** 0.748 0***

Age x Side x Social


0.005 0.979 0.046 0.784
group
DD estimation for the year 2011-12: Dependent variable
is HE Participation

Panel A: South No Control Individual Household State


controls controls controls
OBC -0.002 -0.005 0.003 -0.004

treat 0.532 0.128 0.114 0.115

OBCxtreat -0.049 -0.045 -0.033 -0.02

R2 0.26 0.35 0.37 0.37

N 6,495 6,495 6,495 6,495

Panel B: North No Control Individual Household State


controls controls controls
OBC 0.019 0.013 0.036 0.037

treat 0.515 0.212 0.210 0.207

OBCxtreat -0.018 -0.022 -0.026 -0.027

R2 0.27 0.32 0.33 0.33

N 12,932 12,932 12,932 12,932


Conclusion
The treated cohort has higher chances of participation than controlled cohort among
both the groups in both the regions. However, the triple interaction term in the full
model is not statistically significant in any region, resulting in failure to accept the first
hypothesis.
The result from the above table also strengthens the importance of the second
hypothesis further, where we conduct a difference in difference strategy to compare the
outcome in North (experimental region) versus the South (non-experimental region).
For further explanation of the results, the first difference can be seen as the difference
in enrollment between the treated cohort and controlled cohort. Statistically significant
interaction terms indicates that the hypothesis gets rejected. Hence the impact of
affirmative action for OBC population in terms of enrolment in HEIs is higher among
the southern states with a history of affirmative action and the least in northern states
with a lesser history of affirmative action.