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Social Justice through Affirmative Action in India (Thomas Weisskopf Festschrift Conference Paper)

Deshpande provides a careful survey of the empirical research which attempts to establish clearly 1) what are the caste-based inequalities that affirmative action policies are meant to reduce; and 2) how much have caste-based affirmative action policies achieved in terms of reducing these inequalities.  Broadly speaking, she finds that affirmative action policies have been successful in achieving their intended aims.  She also uses this evidence to refute the main arguments against the Indian affirmative action approach.  Deshpande concludes by proposing a series of measures—a “quotas plus” approach—for strengthening affirmative action policies in India.  These include raising the standards for monitoring implementation of the quotas;  broadening the educational offerings to support the targeted caste and tribal groups; strengthening the quota system at the entry level, while allowing quotas to diminish at later stages; and expanding non-farm job opportunities and land reform within the agricultural sector. 



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