Publication: Affirmative Action in India and the United States
Caste in India and race in the USA are often compared for their institutional similarities, and also because these categories form the social basis on which the affirmative action program in the two countries is based. While disadvantage and discrimination produce similar outcomes for certain groups within caste- or race-divided societies, it is important to understand the differences between the two systems. In India, affirmative action policies have a much longer history than the US, are constitutionally guaranteed, and take the form of quotas in government jobs, educational institutions, and electoral seats at each level of government. In the US, the program is around 40 years old, not constitutionally guaranteed, and quotas are ruled out. Pro-active policy measures such as affirmative action must be backed by strong political will in order to successfully reduce inter-group disparities.
“Deshpande, Ashwini. 2005. Affirmative Action in India and the United States. © Washington, DC: World Bank. http://openknowledge.worldbank.org/entities/publication/67dc705f-1612-5049-a7cd-8f4d28a90fe8 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”