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Educational reservation: Should Muslims get it in place of other well-off groups?

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A recent study on inter-generational mobility in India by Sam Asher, Paul Novosad and Charlie Rafkin of the World Bank, Dartmouth College and MIT has created quite a stir since it argues that “intergenerational mobility for the population as a whole has remained constant since liberalisation, but cross-group changes have been substantial”. While there has been an increase in mobility among Schedule Caste groups, the authors posit, this “is almost exactly offset by declining intergenerational mobility among Muslims”. Naturally, this reinforces the view that Hindu-majority India discriminates against Muslims; the study uses data from the India Human Development Survey (IHDS) rounds in 2004-05 and 2011-12. Whether the study is right in its assertions or not, it points out that urban areas are significantly more mobile than rural areas and that “village assets like roads and schools are........

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