Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Caste and Cash
The Economist

India has traditionally had a quota reserved for the scheduled castes - the lowest groups of India's caste system. Typically 20% or so of government jobs are allocated to these scheduled casts. The Indian Government is now considering expanding the quota system to include the private sector.

While India's burgeoning private sector is wary of having to hire workers who are not as skilled as their non-scheduled caste counterparts, the Indian Government seems firm on its stance to see more backward castes employed in the private sector. In a recent speech, India's Prime Minister exhorted Indian businesses to voluntarily improve diversity in their ranks. In fact some sections of Indian Government are calling for another quota of 27% in universities and technical institutions, on top of the 22.5% already reserved for scheduled castes and tribes.

While Indian businesses have shown a willingness to hire the so-called backward castes, unrest is likely on the horizon.

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