Tag Archives: Caste discrimination in private sector

Research Shows Caste Discrimination in Indian Private Sector


Discrimination on the basis of caste endures in the formal labor market of contemporary India, according to Paul Attewell of the City University of New York Graduate Center and Katherine S. Newman of the Johns Hopkins University Department of Sociology.

Check also – Caste Discrimination in Jobs at Private Sector. What is the caste of your company?

Speaking at the Institute this month, Attewell and Newman outlined three of four discrimination studies collaboratively undertaken by Princeton University and the Indian Institute of Dalit Studies: a field experiment based in employer-employee correspondence, a study focusing on employer attitudes toward caste, and a prospective cohort study of lower-caste university graduates in elite institutions.

Read also – Caste Discrimination in Public Distribution System (PDS)

The origin of the overarching project, Attewell said, lies in the recent debate in Indian English-language press over extending the reservation system currently operating in India into the country’s private sector. The Indian reservation system allots a percentage of public sector jobs and places in higher educational institutions to minority applicants, including those of religious minorities and Dalits, a group traditionally regarded to be of low caste. Representatives of the private sector expressed overwhelming opposition to the possibility of extending reservation, citing an ostensible lack of evidence of discrimination against Dalits in the modern private sector, Attewell said.

Check also – Caste Discrimination at UGC

In order to correct the “dearth of research [speaking] to these issues,” the project employed a series of empirical techniques developed by social scientists in the US to investigate “enduring discrimination against African Americans,” Attewell said. The studies aimed to determine whether modern inequalities are “based on caste or community leftovers from the past,” whether these inequalities are “reflections of low education or working in an economically ‘backward’ sector,” and whether discrimination continues to take place “even in the most modern, dynamic sectors of the Indian economy.”

Read also – What is the caste of your food?

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The field experiment focused on the correspondence between job applicants and prospective employers in the modern private sector, including both Indian and multinational corporations. Only first-stage discrimination was taken into account: whether or not applicants received an interview invitation.

Report Caste Discrimination – Facing Caste Discrimination at an Education Institution? Now, report online at www.castediscrimination.com

Researchers submitted multiple sets of fabricated resumes by mail in response to job advertisements aimed at recent university graduates. All fictitious candidates shared strong credentials and differed only in names, which were “recognizably affiliated by caste or religion,” Attewell said. Three groups of candidates were set up: those with names associated with a high caste, those with typically Dalit names, and those with typically Muslim names.

Check also – Caste at College

Researchers found a clear statistical pattern, according to Attewell. Applicants with names associated with a low-caste background faced odds of a positive outcome only 0.67 as large as those for an application with a typically high-caste name. Muslim applicants were at an even greater disadvantage, with odds of a positive outcome only 0.33 as large as those for a high-caste name applicant. These findings clearly imply that discrimination against applicants based on name association occurs even in the very first stage of the job search. “Social exclusion is not a residue of the past; it is alive and well even in modern, high-tech India,” Attewell said.

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Filed under Caste Discrimination, Casteism, Dalit, Dr B R Ambedkar, Equal Rights, Reservation

Caste Discrimination in Jobs at Private Sector. What is the caste of your company?


For those who say there is no caste discrimination in private job market.

Book “Blocked by Caste: Economic Discrimination and Social Exclusion in Modern India” published in 2010 reports an experiment – 

Thorat and Attewell ran an experiment to test caste discrimination in the urban labour market. For one year, researchers collected advertisements from leading English language newspapers for jobs in the private sector that required a university degree but no specialised skills. The researchers then submitted three false applications for each job. The applicants, all male, had the same or similar education qualification and experience. One of them had a recognisable upper caste Hindu name, another a Muslim name and the third a distinctly Dalit name. The expected outcome was a call for interview or further screening.

An analysis of the outcomes, using regression methods, showed that, although there were an equal number of false applicants from three social groups, for every 10 upper caste Hindu applicants selected for interview, only six Dalits and three Muslims were chosen. Thus, in modern private enterprises (including IT), applicants with a typical Muslim or Dalit name had a lower chance of success than those with the same qualification and an upper caste Hindu name.

For more detail read book named – BLOCKED BY CASTE, ECONOMIC DISCRIMINATION IN MODERN INDIA: Edited by Sukhadeo Thorat, Katherine S. Newman; Oxford University Press

On companies

Here is what Dr. Ambedkar noted almost a century ago, nothing has changed since then.

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Filed under Caste Discrimination, Casteism, Dr B R Ambedkar, Equal Rights, India, Reservation