Structural inequality and discrimination against socially disadvantaged and marginalised groups (SDG 10)

Why is there a need to focus on structural inequalities experienced by historically disadvantaged social groups like Dalit (Scheduled caste), Adivasis (Scheduled Tribe), and Muslims (Religious Minority).

  1. SDG 10 on reduced inequality is amongst the least prioritized goal:  A survey by World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD) of its members in 2018 showed that SDG 10 reduced inequalities is amongst the least prioritized SDG goal globally with only 18% of companies focusing on it. [1]
  2. The global community has for the first time ever agreed ever on the goal to reduce inequality within and among countries (SDG10)[2].
  3. Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person”[3]. These ideals are clearly integrated in the pathways for SD, aiming to balance economic progress and protection of the environment, but also mindful of social interests[4],[5],[6].
  4. The SDGs consider human development, human rights, and equity in all countries, creating partnerships with the private sector, the public sector, and the civil society organizations, in order to achieve SD[7].
  5. Interlinkages reduced inequalities and discrimination, health related goals, quality education, gender equality, decent work and economic growth; peace justice and strong institutions4.
  6. World Economic Forum has stated that inequalities slow down the progress of sustainable development4.
  7. India is making substantial progress in SDGs4, however, neither all forms of inequalities are visible nor the efforts to reduce inequalities.
  • India is the second most unequal economy in the world after Russia, according to a 2017 Oxfam report entitled ‘An economy for the 99%.’ [8]
  • The latest SDG index (2019) revealed that India ranked 115 out of 162 countries included in the study.  The results indicate that India faces several challenges related to most of the SDGs[9].
  • Despite a fall in global levels of economic inequality, driven in part by the reduction of poverty in India and China, inequality within countries has risen over the past forty years and has recently accelerated further, especially following the 2008 financial crisis. Global economic inequality declined during the first decade of this century, largely due to the reduction of poverty in countries like India and China. This favourable trend could however be reversed if inequality within countries continues to increase. Anti-discrimination legislation such as affirmative action in access to education, employment, political positions in India led to reduction in inequalities (Nazneen 51).
  • According to the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) 2019, most of the 200 companies considered from across the world (including a few Indian companies) are scoring poorly and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) are not being implemented adequately.
    • Around one quarter of companies score less than 10% and a half of companies fail to meet any of the five basic criteria for human rights due diligence. This should be a concern for the governments and investors.
    • Identified 4 high-risk sectors (agricultural products, apparel, extractives, and ICT manufacturing)
    • Around 14% of the sample of companies were from India. These companies were Coal India, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, UltraTech cement, Page Industries, Arcelor Mittal. Key findings indicate that India is among the three countries with the largest number of allegations (19 out of almost 150) [10].  These were considered severe according to the benchmark.
Band range Company’s name Score change from 2018 Company has at least 1 serious allegation Company is non-engaged (formally or informally) Company scores 0 on Human Rights Due Diligence
20-30% Coal India +0.5 Y Y  
Arcelor Mittal N/A     Y
10-20% Oil and Natural Gas Corporation +10.4 Y Y Y
0-10% UltraTech Cement N/A   Y  

Extensive work is being undertaken to understand and value respect for human rights as there are no agreed fundamental units of measurement for human rights. CHRB provides a subjective assessment at a certain point in time.

  • Significant, yet, vulnerable / marginalized / at risk section of the population
  • Dalit (historically considered as untouchables, classified as Scheduled Caste) and Adivasis (Scheduled Tribe) form close to 28.9% of India’s population.
Percentage distribution of persons among different social groups in NSS 61st (2004-05), 66th (2009-2010), 68th (2011-12) rounds and PLFS (2017-18)[11]
Rural + Urban
Social group Male Female Persons
NSS 61st NSS 66th NSS 68th PLFS NSS 61st NSS 66th NSS 68th PLFS NSS 61st NSS 66th NSS 68th PLFS
ST 8.4 8.6 8.7 9.4 8.4 8.8 8.7 9.3 8.4 8.7 8.7 9.3
SC 19.7 19.8 18.8 19.6 19.7 20.0 18.9 19.7 19.7 19.9 18.8 19.6
OBC 41.1 41.5 43.8 42.8 41.2 41.9 44.2 42.9 41.7 41.7 44.0 42.8
Others 30.8 30.1 28.7 28.7 30.5 29.3 28.2 28.1 29.7 29.7 28.4 28.2
All (incl. n.r.) 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Source: Page 91 of Annual Report: PLFS, 2017-18 published in 2019
  • The majority of SC and ST populations live in rural areas, making up 18.4 percent and 11.2 percent of the total rural population of the country. Census 2011.
  • Population of SC is not uniformly distributed among the states. So regional distribution is important.
  • 20.4 % of population residing in slum belongs to SC.

Multidimensional nature of poverty

Breakdown of Multidimensional Poverty across Hindu Castes and Tribes
States MPI % of MPI Poor Average Intensity
SC 0.361 65.8 54.8
ST 0.482 81.4 59.2
OBC 0.305 58.3 52.3
General 0.157 33.3 47.2
Source: Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) India Country Brief, p 5
  • Religious minority (Muslims)
% distribution of persons by religious groups in NSS 61st (2004-05), 66th (2009-10), 68th (2011-12) rounds and PLFS (2017-18)
NSS round (year) Religious groups
  Hinduism Islam Christianity Sikhism All (incl.n.r.)
Rural +urban
PLFS (2017-18) 81.7 12.7 2.2 1.6 100.0
68th (2011-12) 81.4 13.8 2.1 1.7 100.0
66th (2009-10) 82.3 12.6 2.1 1.7 100.0
61st (2004-05) 82.5 12.2 2.1 1.9 100.0
Source: PLFS published in May2019

People of Islamic faith are a religious minority but comprise around 12-13% of the population.

The 4 key important aspects of reduced inequalities (SDG 10) in India from private sector engagement perspective / linked to global value chains are

  1. Representation
  2. Inclusion
  3. Empowerment through skill building / representation in senior positions
  4. Migration


  1.  In the workforce (employed and unemployed) indicated through Labour force participation rate (LFPR) [(no. of employed persons + no. of unemployed persons)/ total population] * 100.

ST/SC have the highest rates of labour force participation.

Social group LFPR (%) according to usual status (ps+ss) for different social groups in 2017-18 (Rural +urban)
Male Female Persons
ST 56.3 26.6 41.8
SC 56.2 18.2 37.6
OBC 54.6 17.1 36.2
Others 56.2 14.7 35.9
All (incl. n.r.) 55.5 17.5 36.9
Source: Annual Report: PLFS, 2017-18 published in 2019 (Page 91)
  • Worker Population Ratio (WPR) = (no. of employed persons / total population) * 100
Social group WFP (%) according to usual status (ps+ss) for different social groups in 2017-18 (Rural +urban)
Male Female Persons
ST 53.4 25.9 40.0
SC 52.4 17.3 35.2
OBC 51.3 16.1 34.1
Others 52.6 13.5 33.5
All (incl. n.r.) 52.1 16.5 34.7
Source: Annual Report: PLFS, 2017-18 published in 2019
  • Unemployment rates SCs have the second highest unemployment rates[12], it exceeds the average unemployment rate.  

Unemployment rate (UR)= [(no. of unemployed persons / (no. of employed persons + no. of unemployed persons)] *100

Social group Social group-wise unemployment rates (in %) in India (rural +urban) over time
1993-94 2004-05 2011-12 2017-18(PLFS, Unemployment rate according to usual status (ps+ss))
        Male Female Persons
ST 4.2 6.5 5.6 5.1 2.6 4.3
SC 8.2 11.8 7.3 6.8 4.9 6.3
OBC NA 7.8 5.3 6.1 5.7 6.0
Others 5.7 6.8 4.8 6.4 8.1 6.7
Total 6 8.1 5.6 6.2 5.7 6.1
Source: NSSO/ PLFS 2019  
  • Religious group-wise
LFPR (%) according to usual status (ps+ss) for major religious groups during 2017-18
Major religious groups Rural +urban
Male Female Person
Hinduism 55.9 18.6 37.7
Islam 52.1 9.9 31.2
Christianity 55.9 22.8 39.2
Sikhism 58.4 12.1 36.2
All 55.5 17.5 36.9
WPR (%) according to usual status (ps+ss) for major religious groups during 2017-18
Major religious groups Rural +urban
Male Female Person
Hinduism 52.5 17.6 35.5
Islam 48.5 9.0 28.9
Christianity 51.6 20.2 35.8
Sikhism 54.6 11.0 33.7
All 52.1 16.5 34.7

Unemployment rates

Unemployment rate in usual status (ps+ss) for different religious groups during 2004-05 (61st round), 2009-10 ()66th  round , 2011-12 (68th round) and PLFS (2017-18)
  2004-05 2009-10 2011-12 2017-18 2004-05 2009-10 2011-12 2017-18 2004-05 2009-10 2011-12 2017-18
  rural male rural female rural person
Hinduism 1.4 1.5 1.7 5.7 1.4 1.4 1.4 3.5 1.5 1.5 1.6 5.2
Islam 2.0 1.9 2.2 6.7 3.8 2.0 3.9 5.7 2.3 1.9 2.6 6.5
Christianity 2.6 2.6 3.4 6.9 6.8 6.0 6.4 8.8 4.4 3.9 4.5 7.4
Sikhism 3.3 2.7 1.3 6.4 3.8 1.7 1.3 5.7 3.5 2.4 1.3 6.3
  Urban male Urban female Urban person
Hinduism 3.6 2.9 2.8 6.9 7.0 5.8 5.2 10.0 4.4 3.4 3.3 7.6
Islam 3.7 2.5 3.8 7.5 5.5 6.8 4.4 14.5 4.1 3.2 3.9 8.5
Christianity 5.6 2.2 4.4 8.9 14.1 4.6 8.8 15.6 8.6 2.9 5.9 11.0
Sikhism 3.4 5.6 3.5 7.2 9.0 8.3 5.5 16.9 4.6 6.1 3.8 9.1
  • Over/ under representation in industrial sector

Dalits were considered as ‘hereditary unfree agricultural labour’, and power dynamics in the social structure is what human rights business approach for private sector engagement needs to consider. Identifying patterns of over/ under representation of SC/ST/ Muslims in particular industries is important to engage in reducing inequalities (SDG 10).

  Industry-wise social group (Rural +Urban)/(Male & Female)
  Industry   ST SC OBC Others
 A 373 A382 A391 A400
Workers (code 11-51) 01-03 Agriculture, forestry and fishing 27.1 15.5 14.9 11.9
05-43 Mining and quarrying; manufacturing; electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning supply; water supply, sewerage, waste management, and remediation activities; construction 7 10.8 8.6 7.6
45-96 wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles; transportation and storage; accommodation and food service activities; information and communication; financial and insurance activities; real estate activities; professional, scientific and technical activities; administrative and support service activities; public administration and defence; compulsory social security; education; human health and social work activities ; arts, entertainment and recreation; other service activities 5.9 8.9 10.6 14
01-96 All of the above 40 35.2 34.1 33.5
Unemployed (code 81)     1.8 2.4 2.2 2.4
Not in the work force (code 91-99)     58.2 62.4 63.8 64.1
all(workers, unemployed not in labour force) (code 11-99)     100 100 100 100
estimated persons (00)    
Sample persons    


  Industry-wise religious group (Rural +Urban)/(Male & Female)
  Industry   Hinduism Islam christianty Sikhism
Workers (code 11-51) 01-03 Agriculture, forestry and fishing 16.5 7.9 13.2 13.1
05-43 Mining and quarrying; manufacturing; electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning supply; water supply, sewerage, waste management, and remediation activities; construction 8.4 10.3 7.7 9.1
45-96 wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles; transportation and storage; accommodation and food service activities; information and communication; financial and insurance activities; real estate activities; professional, scientific and technical activities; administrative and support service activities; public administration and defence; compulsory social security; education; human health and social work activities ; arts, entertainment and recreation; other service activities 10.7 10.7 14.9 11.5
01-96 All of the above 35.5 28.9 35.8 33.7
Unemployed (code 81)     2.2   2.3   3.4   2.5  
Not in the work force (code 91-99)     62.3   68.8   60.8   63.8  
all(workers, unemployed not in labour force) (code 11-99)     100 100 100 100
estimated persons (00)     8772179 1367491 232149 174112
Sample persons     322407 61204 30538 9251
Percentage distribution of workers in usual status (ps+ss) by broad status in employment for major religious groups (rural+urban person)
category of persons self-employed
own account worker, employer helper in household enterprise all self employed regula wage/salary casual labour all
Hinduism 38.1 14.5 52.5 22.7 24.8 100
Islam 43.9 8.7 52.6 20.9 26.4 100
Christianity 35.7 9 44.7 36.6 18.7 100
Sikhism 42 9.2 51.2 27.6 21.2 100
All (incl n.r.) 38.6 13.6 52.2 22.8 24.9 100

The data shows under-representation in some sectors and over representation in others indicating social inequalities are linked to economic opportunities.

  • Sector-wise distribution, social group-wise shows
    • over-representation of ST in agriculture, forestry, and fishing sector (19.7%), under-representation in trade, transport, IT, professional, scientific, technical activities, education, human health public administration and defence services (1.8%); and mining and quarrying …construction (0.9%).
    • Under-representation of SC in agriculture, forestry and fishing (8.4%). Least representation as workers (11,12,21) among the social groups (13.7%). Over representation as workers (51) for all sectors 1-99 (14%).
  • Sector-wise distribution, religious group-wise
    • Highest proportion of Muslims (68.8%) are not in labour force (code 91-99).
    • Under-representation in agriculture, forestry, and fishing sector. Over-representation as worker (11,12,21) in trade, transport, IT, professional, scientific, technical activities, education, human health public administration and defence services (3.7%); and mining and quarrying …construction (5.8%). 
  • Worker type wise distribution, religious group-wise
    • Over-representation of Muslims in own account worker, employer (43.9 %) and casual labour (26.4%) and underrepresentation in regular wage/salary (20.9%).

Within these broad industrial categorizations human rights approach is most needed in industries which are linked to global value chain and employ large number of SC (Dalit)/ST (Adivasis) /Muslims.

Data on SC/ST in private sector

  • Markets are ranked, and the most inferior markets are more caste-linked to occupational pasts. At a macro level, sectors such as mining/quarrying, construction and transport are found to be relatively open to Dalits, while entry into health and education, food hospitality finance and the service sectors, Dalits’ is much harder (Harriss-White et al., 2014,67; Thorat & Newman, 2010).
  • Leather, sanitary ware, cleaning services waste economy dominated by Dalits (Jodhka,2010). Dalits are engaged in the most unclean and menial occupation, based on the concept of purity and pollution. 
    • There are over 1.2 million Indians involved in manual scavenging, of these over 95% are Dalits, who are compelled to undertake this inhumane and degrading task under the garb of traditional occupation[13].
    • There are 1.5 million ragpickers cleaning up 62 million tonnes of waste, collecting sorting, segregating waste. This is a case of engagement in the informal sector because only 75-80% of waste is collected through Municipal bodies[14]. The International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health shows that they have little or no access to protective gear.


SDG10 that ensure reduced inequalities must take note of migrant workers and address the issue accordingly through UN SDG 2030 agenda[15].

Planned and well managed migration target with a focus on equal opportunity for systematic talent movements (Leal et al., 2018).

The issue of internally displaced, migration was not well explored in the 2030 Agenda. Despite the slogan of “leaving no one behind”, little was done to situate migrant in planning(Beardmore,2015).

Landless and marginalized Dalit and Adivasis migrate for seasonal economic sectors. Government data suggests up to 140 million people migrate each year to take up seasonal work in agriculture (e.g., tea, sugar, paddy, wheat), brick kilns and construction, low-end factory works (textiles, paper, leather).  

Tea industry (an agro-based industry)   India’s tea industry is important to global value chain   as India is the 2nd largest producer, and 4th largest exporter of tea globally. Country World Production (Qty in M.Kgs) 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 China 2616.00 India# 1338.63 Kenya 493.00 Sri Lanka 304.01 #Tea is grown mainly in Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Source:  (ITC Annual Bulletin of Statistics,2019)   Country World Exports (Qty in M Kgs) 2018 Kenya 474.86 China 364.70 Sri Lanka 271.78 India 256.06 Source: (ITC Annual Bulletin of Statistics,2019)  India’s tea industry is highly organized and labour-intensive. It is the second largest employer in India with over 35,00,000 people employed across 1,686 estates and 157,504 smallholdings.  Sujata Gothoskar notes that the distribution of tea workers is such that there are over 12 lakh permanent workers and about the same number of casual and seasonal workers. Most of the workers belong to Dalit and Adivasi social groups. Particularly women from Adivasi and Dalit groups form the majority of workers in tea industry, because they comprise over 50% of the workforce, and in some roles, such as tea plucking account for over 80% of the workforce (ref). Caste-based discrimination/ human rights violation on tea plantations[1],[1],[1],[1]: There have been instances of caste-based discrimination of Tamil Dalit in Kerala tea plantations[1] . Tamil Dalit who are seeking protection and work elsewhere, including the Tamil Nadu textile mills are being replaced by Adivasi migrants from Jharkhand. Violations of domestic law and basic rights have been reported on the plantations of Tata Global Beverages, one of the two largest companies in which International Finance Corporation (IFC) private investment arm of World Bank. [1] In Assam and West Bengal, the two main tea growing regions of India, tea plantation workers are descendants of workers forcefully recruited and brought by colonial planters more than 150 years ago from neighbouring states such as Jharkhand, Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, and Madhya Pradesh to work exclusively on the plantations. There is subjugation of landless peoples, women, and people and their bodies in these tea plantations. (exclusion report)Plantation Labour Act of 1951 entrusted the plantation owners to provide education, healthcare, sanitation, and employment for their workers- led to violation of human rights. ‘Indian state of Assam prompted the companies that own Tetley’s, Twinings, Liptons, PG Tips and Yorkshire Tea to commit to improving conditions on the estates they buy from in India. [BBC]World Bank report says that a company amalgamated Plantations Private Limited (APPL) almost 50% controlled by Tata, the giant Indian multinational that owns the Tetley Tea brand violates human rights because of low wages, poor living and working condition for 155000 people. This is leading to high levels of malnutrition and ill health. International Finance Corporation, which is part of the World Bank invested $7.8m to take a 20% stake in APPL in 2009. The investigation by World Bank found that it had failed ‘to respond systematically to issues regarding housing and living conditions’ or to correct serious lapses in the use of pesticides ‘with the result that workers have been exposed to extremely hazardous chemicals’ Tea plantation workers have one of the most prominent poverty rates. Low wages are linked to lack of access to food and medical care, debt and poverty. Inaccessibility to healthcare (4 hr bus ride), high maternal mortality, and inadequate provision of housing and sanitation for tea plantation workers are reported to be linked to acute and high rates of malnutrition, and illnesses.Workers’s right to unionise and express their grievances were not met. Tea plantations have traditionally restricted union membership, and sometimes ban NGOs from operating on their estates, because NGOs sensitize workers about  their rights and build their capacity to articulate their needs effectively. Poor living conditions, malnutrition and poor sanitation. Ethical tea Partnership ‘community empowerment programme has been working with communities to improve conditions for workers.  

India’s tea industry

  • Construction

Migration forms a sizable proportion of construction sector[16]

Text Box: Informal sector has higher representation of SC/ST/Muslims,a large proportion of them are migrants: A look into the Construction sector An analysis of the Employment and Unemployment Surveys carried out by NSSO between 1983 and 2011-12 shows that construction sector is one of the most important source of wage employment .There is an increase in male and female employment in the sector Gender  Male 5.8 million 42.3 million Female 1.02 million 7.58 million For female workers, after agriculture, construction and manufacturing are the next biggest employers. The diversification in employment away from agriculture into construction sector and others (trade and manufacturing) is referred to as distressed diversification and generally female are engaged in less skilled manual work in these sectors. Average rate of growth of construction workers is 7.52% over nearly three decades (1982/2011-12). Socio-religious composition of the construction workers ,2011-12 % of construction workers Hinduism Islam Christianity Sikhism Others All Religions ST 12.9 0.4 31.7 0.5 18.1 11.6 SC 36.5 1.1 3.7 61.9 71.1 31.4 OBC 38.7 53.7 34.1 19.9 2.6 40.1 Others 11.9 44.8 30.4 17.7 8.2 17.0 Source: NSS employment data for 2011-12 Around 80.9% of the construction workers are Hindu, and 14% are Muslims. SC’s form 31.4% of the workforce in the construction sector. SC/ST have low wages and referred as being in neo bondage. Among ST workers 78% had taken advances, average amount of the advances was Rs 5244/- and was primarily to meet the regular family expenses. SC/ST form a small proportion of organized sector workforce. They faced greater deprivation due disadvantages emerging from their social identity. Policy advocacy on SDG 10 reduced inequalities/human rights/private sector: Construction industry is dominated by labour circulation with local workers, commuting workers, seasonal migrants, workers migrating from one area to another, workers staying at the construction site for more than 6 months. • Employment data on them should be collected. • Due to the labour circulation, there is a lack of access to social security for different kinds of workers with different socio-religious backgrounds emerges as a human rights issue for the private sector. o Out of a sample of 250, 87.2% workers did not possess any form of identification and only 12.8% possessed some form of identification, 1.6% reported having bank accounts. • NSS migrant data (2007-08) shows only 7.6% of rural male workers, and 26.9% of urban male as migrant workers in construction sector. This is lower than the total percentage of all male migrants workers (20.1% of rural workers and 35.3% of urban) • Organized construction sector, intermediaries like contractors play an important role in mediating employment as well as in determining the conditions of work. o Low wages most pressing issue (65.2%), irregular payments (18%), long working hours (11.5%) and strenuous work (4.9%). o Low wages and the chain of contractors could be responsible for human rights violation in the construction sector. o Financial inclusion, financial literacy, and transparency in payment of wages in bank accounts could reduce inequalities. • Main production activity on a site that is temporary, uses sub-contracting, workforce comprises of migrants and temporary workers is an important sector for SDG 10/ human rights/ private sector engagement/ sustainability reporting perspective. Laws applicable to informal workers engaged in construction sector to secure minimum conditions of work and social protection. o Minimum Wages Act: payment of adequate wages and overtime rates o Payment of Wages Act : regulates prompt payment o Contract Workers (Regulation and Abolition) Act (CLRAA),1970: recruitment of workers by contractors and registration o Interstate Migrant Workmen’s Act (ISMWA)

Policy Recommendation/ Points for policy advocacy

  • Caste-based inequality and discrimination which is very prominent in India does not feature in intergovernmental commitments such as SDGs[17]. There is a need for policy innovation to address market and non-market discrimination and to remove barriers, especially in the informal and private sector, and to ensure caste has its proper place in global development policy debate.
  • Equality of opportunity and reducing inequality of outcomes. (IGIDR, Mosse)
  • SDG 10.2 does not mention caste when considering inclusion of all.

SDG 10.2 ‘By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status’

  • ‘Indivisibility and interconnectedness of rights’: National Guidelines on Responsible Business conduct Principle 5 ‘Businesses should respect and promote human rights’ also mentions it.

‘human rights are inherent, inalienable, interrelated, interdependent and indivisible’ (p.23)

  • Plantation Labour Act of 1951 entrusted the plantation owners to provide education, healthcare, sanitation, and employment for their workers- led to violation of human rights.
    • Viewing rights as indivisible and interconnected. promote convergent approaches taking cognizance of the multi-dimensional
      • Casual labour among the occupation class and SC, ST and OBC in the social categories in both rural and urban areas are the most vulnerable in terms of per capita per day consumption of energy.
      • Prevalence of low BMI (BMI<18.5) among women aged 15-49 years by background characteristics,2015-16
National average by social category   Prevalence of low BMI among women aged 15-49 years by background characteristics Wealth Index Prevalence of low BMI among women aged 15-49 years by background characteristics
SC 25 Lowest 36
ST 32 Second 30
OBC 23 Middle 23
Other 18 Fourth 17
National average 23 Highest 12
Source: NFHS 3

Prevalence of low BMI among men aged 15-49 years by background characteristics,2015-16

National average by social category   Prevalence of low BMI among men aged 15-49 years by background characteristics Wealth Index Prevalence of low BMI among men aged 15-49 years by background characteristics
SC 23 Lowest 32
ST 25 Second 27
OBC 20 Middle 21
Other 16 Fourth 16
National average 20 Highest 11

‘Food and nutrition insecurity is perpetuated by discriminatory social structures. All forms of malnutrition are higher among ST. So, the specific area, where proportion of SC or ST population is more, are at high risk. This has a negative impact on the nutritional, economic, social and educational status and ultimately overall productivity contribution to country’s economy’ (page 184 of F&N security report 2019).

  • Narrow focus on social discrimination of Dalits and Adivasis of ILO committee of Experts or UN Committee on Economic, social, and Cultural rights as they are considering special disadvantages, such as manual scavengers, prostitution through Devdasi systems, and forced labour.  There is a need to look at the wide spectrum of economic sectors where SC/ST are overrepresented and face discrimination and violation of rights (layered).
  • Respect for human rights is not optional (CHRB)

Empowerment/ Representation

Identity-based discrimination faced by SC/ST/Muslims in the private sector:

  • Cases of unequal opportunities in the private sector despite equivalent qualifications (power to access)
    • For assessing inclusive employment in the private sector, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) undertook a caste census of its members spread   across 22 states and union territories in 2010. The survey covered to 8,250 members of the association, which together employ 3.5 million people. It revealed that except Tamil Nadu, most of the industrial states lag in the proportion of SC and ST employees in the private sector compared to their proportion in the general population in the state. In the private sector, those with Dalit (33%) or Muslim (66%) sounding names (the study covered only SCs and Muslims and did not track STs) are not even called for an interview, even with equivalent educational qualifications.
      • Some example of state -level under-representation in the private sector
        • SC and STs comprise 19.1% of Maharashtra’s population, but their share in private sector is only 5%. In Gujarat and Karnataka, SCs and STs account for 22% and 23%, respectively of the state population. However, form only 9% of the staff strength.
        • In Madhya Pradesh, SCs and STs account for 11% of the private sector’s total staff strength, less than one third of their strength in state’s population.
        • Only in Kerala and Uttarakhand, the % of SCs and STs in the private sector is higher than their share in population.
        • Chhattisgarh has half its workforce comprising SCs, STs, comparable to its total SC, ST population of     43.4%. 
        • SC/ST missing from private sector [18]

Lack of representation in senior decision-making positions (Power over decisions)

‘There is virtually no representation of SCs in editorial or senior positions in the mass media. The picture in the higher echelons of other industries is much the same.  Of the board members of the 1000 top Indian companies 46% were Vaishya and 44.6% were Brahmin. Kshatriyas (0.5%) and other dominant castes (1.5%) bring the dominant caste representation on the boards to a staggering 92.6%. Other Backward Classes (3.8%), SCs and STs (3.5%) were far behind. Nearly 65% of the Indian corporate boards are composed of just one single caste group.’ (p.25)[19].

International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that the incidence of bonded labour remains particularly severe among Dalits and indigenous peoples in Asia. According to Anti-Slavery International, most bonded labourers (around 90%) are predominantly from Scheduled Castes and minority groups.

Despite several promises, including by industry lobbies, reservations in the private sector have proved to be a non-starter. If privatisation policy must be pursued, an inclusive investment clause should be made mandatory on the investors. Th is could be done by making it obligatory that at least 5-10% of the private equity should be raised from SCs and STs. To that extent that they should be represented in the governing bodies and one of the key management personnel at the level of Chairman, MD, CEO, President should be from these communities. This would provide equal opportunity for employment, and therefore innovation, downstream.

Various modalities of enhancing empowerment and reduction in discrimination.

Dalit empowerment[20],[21]

Justification for selecting financial inclusion and empowerment through skill building as indicators of reduced inequalities

NITI Aayog has formulated a scheme called as ‘transformation of backward district in India’ for intervention in backward districts (115 aspiration districts in 28 states) by respective ministries during 2017-18 to 2021-22. Financial inclusion, and skill formation are among the focus areas. A set of five indicators relating to skill development has been identified by NITI Aayog, one of indicator is no. of vulnerable/marginalized youth certified under short term and long-term training (women, SC, ST, OBC, & PWD).[22]

Empowerment through skill development is identified as an important aspect of Business and human Rights because the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights recognizes it for

As a provision of the Companies Act, 2013 and Statutory Recognition of Corporate Social Responsibility

‘promoting education , including  special education and employment-enhancing  vocation skills especially  among children , women, elderly  and the differently abled, and livelihood enhancement projects’

p. 14

Empowerment through skill building, this is an important area of emphasis for the Ministry of MSME, National Skill Development Corporation. Integration of a representative proportion of SC/ST equivalent to their % population to the total population in the training is a criterion. Reporting on the proportion of SC/ST trained in skill development programmes is an indicator of empowerment particularly power to access employment opportunities.

Programmes Achievement No. of persons trained
    SC ST W OBC Others Total
Entrepreneurship Development Programmes (EDPs) 4 22 23 40 74 55 174
Entrepreneurship cum Skill Development Programmes (ESDPs) 54 78 589 1043 690 146 1503
Management Development Programmes (MDPs) 2 3 11 10 9 11 34
Others (Entrepreneurship Orientation Programmes, Training of Trainers, Faculty Development Programmes, Business Incubation Training 47 278 1246 1754 445 392 2361
Total 107 381 1869 2847 1218 604 4072

                                    Trainings conducted by Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship in FY 2018-19 (ref)                                 

Empowerment through higher education, vocational education and skill development

Power to access opportunities/ skill building programmes

(NSDC) where private sector engagement is encouraged. Vocational education and training falls under both regulated (ITIs/ ITCs under Ministry of Labour, Polytechnics under MHRD) as well as unregulated segments (private training schools).

National Policy on Skill Development has the mission to ‘empower all individuals through improved skills, knowledge, nationally  and internationally  recognized qualifications to gain access to decent employment and ensure India ‘s competitiveness in the global market.’ It has a target to skill 500 million people in the labour force by 2022.

  • NSDC skill development in each economic sector
Description: India's population distribution by income tiers, 2001 and 2011 (bar graph)

Analysis of data of 2001 and 2011 by Pew Research Center shows that although the poverty rate fell from 35 % to 20%, there was only a marginal increase in middle income group and rather there was a shift of poor to low -income group. Only $2-10 as daily income indicates that ‘they are at the edge of the global poverty line- one economic or health shock away from slipping back into poverty’[23] (*Defined as between INR 34 and INR 170 per day, per person, or INR 170 to INR 850 per day, per family using a PPP  exchange rate of INR 17 for $1.)

  • India skill report 2020[24] for each of the economic sectors assesses the need for skill building and enormous gender parity in employability even if women are as employable as men, the hiring ratio of male and female is 71:29.
Gender diversity by sector
Sector Male Female
Telecom & Allied 86 14
IT 72 28
Pharma and healthcare 89 11
Other & diversified 76 24
Manufacturing 74 26
Internet business 78 22
Core sector 93 7
BPo,KPO, &ITes 64 36
BFSI 70 30
Automotive 90 10
Source: Indian Skills Report 2020
  • No such assessment is presented social group or religion-wise. Indicating invisibility of the discrimination in selection of candidates belonging to different social groups. Although it mentions that the selection criteria is that proportion of candidates fromSC/ST would be equivalent to their population. Gender diversity only looks at male and female even in the reports of 2020.
    • Absence of discussion on social/religious groups in NSDC reports prepared by KPMG e.g. Human Resource and skill requirements in the agriculture sector[25] (2013-14, 2017-22).
    • Higher education: Indian campuses are more inclusive than before in terms of the presence of women, dalits, tribals and people from Other Backward Classes (OBCs).  However, Muslims are under-represented in higher education[26]. In the five-year period (2010-11 and 2015-16), Muslims’ (comprising 14% of the population), share in higher education increase from 3.8% to just 4.7 %.  In the same period, the share of women increased from 44 to 46%, STs share rose from 4.4 to 4.9%, SCs proportion from 11 to 13.9%, and OBCs from 27.6 to 33.8%[27],[28].
  • Relevant policies:

Raw material for accountability is high -quality data providing the right information on the right things at the right time[29], and especially data on public spending and revenue /aid in budget-related documents will allow civil society to track increases in ‘means of implementation’ for the SDGs [30].

  • The Government of Karnataka has a special focus on the education and skills up-gradation to address the issues of skills development. For the Chief Minister’s Kaushalya Karnataka Yojane (CMKKY), the government has allocated Rs. 90 crores to impart industrial training to 70,000 new candidates, and Rs.37.5 crores have been specially allocated for upgrading the skills of 25,000 women garment workers belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribe communities.
    • Pramod Mahajan Kaushalya and Uddyojakta Vikas Abhiyaan (PMKUVA) is a flagship program of the department that provides free skill training to youth through Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and empanelled private Vocational Training Providers (VTPs). It is a leading state in terms of the number of students trained in vocational courses (150000+) and it puts a special emphasis on empowerment of women and the weaker sections of the society through livelihood and employment opportunities.

Points for policy advocacy:

  • Disaggregated data on SC/ST/ Muslims trained in skill development programs needed to demonstrate/ making visible reduced inequalities in access to such programmes.
  • Advancements towards inclusiveness and equality can be seen through social group-wise, religious group-wise disaggregated data collection be concerned government authorities at the national and state level[31].
  • The solution lies in empowering them through better healthcare, food and nutritional security, basic financial services, education.

Inclusion – leave no one behind

  • A 2015 study of 21 corporate companies conducted by the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, revealed that 98 per cent of the companies did not take any initiatives to make their workplaces more inclusive.
  • Financial inclusion is defined as “the process of ensuring access to financial services and timely and adequate credit where needed by vulnerable groups such as the weaker sections and low-income groups at an affordable cost.” by Dr. C Rangarajan in 2008 who headed the Committee on Financial Inclusion.  Relevance to reduced inequalities (SDG 10) is through access to financial services. Raghuram G. Rajan referred to financial inclusion as “Universal access to a wide range of financial services at a reasonable cost. These include not only banking products but also other financial services such as insurance and equity products.”


Amenity 2001 2011 Variance 2011
SC ST national sc st national Sc% St%
banking 25.17 19.17 35.5 50.94 44.98 58.7 13% 23%
Source: census of India 2011, house-listing data
  • All India Rural Financial Inclusion Survey 2016-17 (carried out by NABARD,2018) revealed 90% coverage of rural households with a bank account. Since 2011, about 1.2 billion adults opened their bank account leading to an increase in banked population from 51% in 2011 to 69% in 2017. It will be apt to highlight that 55% of the new bank accounts opened globally were from India which can be directly attributed to the initiatives taken by the Central Government under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana’ [33]. Despite having relatively high account ownership, India claims the second largest share of the global unbanked population, with over 190 million adults still having no bank accounts. According to the report, growth in account ownership has remained skewed in the favour of male population. Of the total unbanked population in India and China, 60% of unbanked adults were women.
    • One positive outcome is  that Community Development Forums (CDF) established by Tea Ethical Partnership (TEP),  has helped more than 1,200  tea plantation workers to access important identity documents that are needed to open bank accounts. It has helped more than 800 homes to receive government subsidies for power.[34]
    • Several barriers  to financial inclusion have been identified, which include physical exclusion, caused by the problems of travelling to services; access exclusion, caused by processes of risk assessment; condition exclusion, when the conditions attached to products are unsuitable or unacceptable to consumers; price exclusion, where the price of products is unaffordable; marketing exclusion, where certain consumers are unaware of products due to marketing strategies that target others; and, self-exclusion, when people decide to exclude themselves voluntarily on the basis of past rejections or fear that they would be rejected. (Leyshon et al.,2006 161). This is relevant to reduced inequalities as SC/ST/ Muslims face multiple barriers ranges from not having access to a bank account to financial illiteracy. Maintaining that financial inclusion of STs is “necessary” for their economic and social development[35]
    • Access to finance for poor and vulnerable is inextricably linked to livelihoods as it helps the poor build their asset base, supports income generating activities, and expands the range of choices available to them. Availability of adequate finances also act as a security against risks like losses in productivity, exposure to unforeseen contingencies which impact the income generating potential of the poor.
      • A vast majority of households remained uninsured and thus are vulnerable to risks and uncertainties which may ultimately affect their overall well-being.[36]
      • Conducive policies there has been a rapid improvement in access to formal financial services. Now 80% of adults have a financial account, a significant increase from 53% since 2015 due to the technology (Global Findex 2017). [37]
      • Role and contribution of private sector in deepening financial inclusion in India[38]
        • Financial inclusion linked to digital inclusion where private sector has a role and contribution.  The UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA) emphasized that private-sector leaders have a central role in taking India to the next level of financial inclusion through many financial product and service innovations thriving in India.  Reserve Bank of India is a member of UNSGSA.
          • Example is building Agrivalue Chain Ecosystems (India): this partnership between Rabobank and Mastercard is aimed at reaching one million farmers in India and African with a digital interface to help increase their access to markets and financing.
      • Account usage has a scope of improvement, because only 48% of the account holders use it regularly indicating that many people do not find value in their accounts[39].
      • Access to essential business resources (credit, skills, sites supplies) is a factor (Vidyarthee,2016, p.247) discrimination against Dalit business in the southern entrepreneurial region, credited with pro-poor growth, is hard to explain (Harriss-White et al,2014, p59)
      • Entrepreneurship: there are far less business opportunities for SC/ST. MSME forms the backbone of India economy. New age entrepreneurs belonging to SC/ST group form sizeable proportion of MSME.  This is an important step of Government of India  to advance financial inclusion and generation of employment opportunities.[40]
  • Issues of unavailability of adequate and timely credit facility, high cost of credit, lack of training in latest business know-how, inadequate and research and innovations, insufficient training and skill development
  • Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in collaboration with Ministry of MSME focused training on MSME financing for Sc/ST entrepreneurs.
  • Wage rates
Average Daily Earnings across Major Industries (Rs/day), 2004-05 and 2011-12
Industry NSS 61 round NSS 68 Round
Male Female Persons Male Female Persons
Agriculture 51 35 45 136 100 124
Mining 187 60 169 495 210 458
Manufacturing 120 53 110 279 141 259
Electricity 290 207 286 588 740 600
Construction 79 55 76 191 130 183
Trade 88 83 88 214 175 211
Hotels 99 90 99 243 181 237
Transport 147 196 149 327 406 330
Finance 385 310 373 729 649 716
Real Estate 243 263 246 595 671 608
Administration 258 199 251 616 469 598
Education 247 164 213 564 382 486
Health 209 163 189 533 339 440
Community 99 61 93 265 130 212
Household 77 41 52 188 97 127

Points for policy advocacy:

  • Partnership between government and private sector. The goals, agreed by world leaders as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, envisage partnerships between the private sector and governments as a part of efforts to solve the world’s development challenges. The Working Group emphasizes on the private sector’s contributions based on accountability and respect for human rights to support sustainable development. UNSGSA encouraged partnerships that could bring such innovations to scale.
  • At present the data is limited to bank account ownership, however, differential access to financial services for the SC/ST/Muslims is yet not visible through data. This is where there is an opportunity to do policy advocacy.
  • Incentivizing the corporates for promoting inclusion of SC/ST/ Muslims, women, and training programs for skilling people in advanced technologies.
  • Financial inclusion: Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is the world’s largest financial inclusion programme. PMJDY aims at providing universal access to banking facilities, at least one basic bank account to every household, financial literacy, access to credit, and social security cover. The beneficiaries of government schemes will get direct benefit transfers in these accounts.
    • Since its inception and up till 30 October 2017, around 216.51 crore new bank accounts have been opened under PMJDY.

Text Box: Gender Diversity and Inclusivity Policies on LGBTQ+ particularly in services, information and communication sector Inclusion of LGBTQ+ in the workforce for economic gains. • Boston Consulting Group carried out a study in 2018 with employees from 1700 companies across eight countries (India, China, France, Brazil, Austria, Germany, Switzerland and the US) which revealed that increasing diversity in the leadership team leads to better innovation and higher profit margins. It also found that employees in emerging economies such as Brazil, India and China, reported greater progress in bringing in diversity than those in developed economies. • Kochi Rail Metro has employed nearly 23 trans people in its housekeeping and ticketing departments, other companies including IBM India, Accenture, Capgemini India and RBS India also offer various facilities for their LGBTQ employees like sensitisation sessions with the rest of the employees, health care policies and Pride walks, among others. • The India Culture Lab at Godrej has launched a ‘Manifesto for Trans Inclusion in the Indian Workplace’ to highlight how the inclusion of trans -people in the workforce is a ‘win-win situation for the community and the companies involved’. The Lab collaborates with different teams within the company to have meaningful conversations around LGBTQ+ rights. Inclusion through specific healthcare provisions • Aim to reduce inequalities through special provisions such as same-sex adoption leave, and bereavement leave and healthcare provisions. For example, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) broadened the scope of its health insurance policy coverage to include same-sex partners. The new policy has replaced the term ‘spouse’ with ‘partner’ to bring in a more inclusive policy. Another Tata company, Tata Steel also recently introduced a new HR policy whereby it allows employees to disclose details of their partner and get HR benefits such as health check-ups, adoption leave, child care leave and newborn parent leave. References • • • Diversity and inclusivity policies of private sector specific to LGBTQ+

Points for policy advocacy

  • Giving visibility to reduce vulnerability:
    • Making programmes sensitive to structural inequalities: Push for collection of disaggregated data on SC/ST/ Muslims. An indicator of corporate leadership in reducing inequalities that exist in terms of opportunities, access to resources and having an equal voice in the decisions.
    • There are direct and indirect indicators to measure reduced inequalities

Potential sources of data on human rights in private sector engagement

  • Securities & Exchange Board of India (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015 (‘SEBI LODR’) mandates top 500 listed companies (in terms of market capitalization) to prepare Business Responsibility Reports (BRRs) describing the initiatives taken by them from an environmental, social and governance perspective. The BRR, which is part of a company’s Annual Report, seeks to assess the company’s implementation of the 2011 National Voluntary guidelines (NVG) on Social, Environmental and Economic Responsibilities of Business released by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA). This reporting is non‐financial reporting and relates with the Supply Chain Management. Some companies have made a connect to SDG 10 (e.g. Reliance India Ltd. E.g. in table) and have followed the Global Reporting Index (GRI) format.
Sustainable Development Goal Business Responsibility Report Management Disclosure and Analysis Corporate Social Responsibility References of illustration
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities-Reduce inequality within and among countries NVG 5 Businesses should respect and promote human rights Human capital Women empowerment Education for the underpriveledged and specidally-abled Support for the specially-abled Empowerment of the underpriviledged Diversity and Inclusion Changing societal perspective

Policy advocacy on improving the sustainability reporting format to include the data/ statistics on progress in addressing human rights issues.

  • SEBI BRR format which derives principles from the 2011 NVGs.
  • UNGC around 74 Indian companies from public and private sector are signatories of UNGC United National Global Compact.
  • An Indian industry association has released a voluntary code of conduct that may be adopted by its member companies – prohibition of discrimination, promotion of social welfare activities, and sustainability to minimize the adverse impacts of company’s operations on the environment.
  • Sustainability reports annually, as required by Global Reporting Initiative Standards.

MCA[41]  Reporting framework on NVG Principle 5:

1. Does the policy of the company on human rights cover only the company or extend to the Group/Joint Ventures/Suppliers/Contractors/NGOs/Others?

2. How many stakeholder complaints have been received in the past financial year and what percent was satisfactorily resolved by the management?

Text Box: ITC In order to strengthen sustainable procurement processes, Policies on ‘Responsible Sourcing’ and ‘Human Rights Consideration of Stakeholders beyond the Workplace’ have been adopted to address issues of labour practices, human rights, bribery, corruption, occupational health, safety and environment’ A Grievance Redressal Procedure which intends to facilitate open and structured discussions is instituted at all units and locations to ensure that grievances related to labour practices and human rights are addressed and resolved in a fair and just manner. We have received 288 number of grievances, out of which 201 have been resolved and the rest are in progress. In FY 2018-19, there were no cases of discriminatory employment. The Company has in place a ‘Code of Conduct for Vendors and Service Providers’ across Businesses and a Grievance Redressal Procedure to address concerns, if any, pertaining to Human Rights and decent labour practices for its employees. Vendors and Service Providers across Businesses have voluntarily accepted and adopted the Company’s ‘Code of Conduct for Vendors and Service Providers’, which requires compliance with applicable laws relating to, inter alia, human rights, environmental conservation, and quality of products and services. The Company facilitated training workshops for supply chain partners to educate, and create awareness on human rights and decent labour practices. The Company plans to conduct more such workshops in the future to enable salience of human rights and decent labour practices. With a view to building awareness and educating employees on the Company’s Sustainability Policies including Policies on Human Rights and ITC’s Code of Conduct, IT enabled programmes continue to be rolled out across Businesses. Diversity and Equal Opportunity Policy that ensures diversity and non-discrimination across the Company. In FY 2018-19, the Company employed 27,475 number of employees, out of which 2764 were female employees. The Policy provides for diversity and equal opportunities to all employees across the Company, based on merit and ability. It also ensures a work environment that is free from any form of discrimination among employees based on caste, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, race, colour, ancestry, marital status or affiliation with a political, religious or union organisation or majority/minority group. The policy has been communicated to all employees appropriately. In line with our ethos of being an equal opportunity employer, ITC continues to employ differently abled employees in its Hotels Division. It continues to create awareness in this area through comprehensive systems and processes to guide industry action. Last year, ITC employed 68 differently abled employees across Divisions.

Reporting on the basis of social and religious groups in higher positions is not mentione

  • NSE [42]companies also have to report on aspects of business responsibility.
    • Ambuja Cements Ltd in its BR Report did not respond in ‘Yes’ to the question of framing a policy on Principle 5. However, the Company has neither answered ‘No’. Hence it is not clear whether the Company has framed a policy for Principle 5 or not. In absence of such clarity, SES has considered that Company has not framed the policy for the principle 5.”

Ministries for carrying out policy advocacy

Ministry of Rural Development/ Ministry of Urban Affairs for considering social group-wise disaggregated data.

  • Socio-economic Caste census 2011 will be revised, and plans are to keep Caste out of the socio-economic census. The pilot was planned to begin on 2 October 2019.[43]
  • Possible audience for policy advocacy (human rights approach/ private sector engagement/ reducing inequalities (SDG10))
  • Ministry of Rural Development/ Ministry of Urban Affairs/ MOSPI/ CII/ DICCI/ Ministry of Skill Development / MSME

Potential data sources for further analysis

  • A 2018 study titled ‘The role of social proximity in professional CEO appointments: Evidence from caste/religion-based hiring of CEOs in India’ considering the data over the period 2001-2009 suggested that caste/religion plays a crucial role in CEO selection. The dataset covered largest 1,000 listed firms by market capitalization from the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) or the National Stock Exchange (NSE). The authors focused on these firms because their hiring decisions should have the greatest impact on the Indian economy. The accounting data was obtained from Prowess database from CMIE (Center for Monitoring Indian Economy). The data was also collected on family-owned firms, and the castes of both the firm and the newly appointed CEO.[44]
  • Dalit India Chamber of commerce (DICCI).

[1]Business and the SDGs: A survey of WBCSD members and Global Network partners July 2018

[2]Kuhn,H. (2020). Reducing Inequality Within and Among Countries: Realizing SDG 10—A Developmental Perspective,  Sustainable Development Goals and Human Rights, Markus Kaltenborn, Markus Krajewski, Heike Kuhn (Eds.) pp.137-153, Springer.

[3] UN (1948) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Available at:

[4] Leal, W; Tripathi,S K,Guerra, J.& Giné- Garriga, R., Lovren,V., Willats,J. (2018) Using Sustainable Development Goals Towards a Better Understanding of Sustainability Challenges. International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology.

[5] Emas, R. (2015)The Concept of Sustainable Development: Definition and Defining Principles.Brief  for GSDR 2015w

[6] Dempsey, N, Bramley, G. Power, S, Brown, C (2011)The Social Dimension of Sustainable Development: Defining Urban Social Sustainability. Sustainable Development, 19, 289-300.

[7] Kumar S, Kumar N, Vivekadhish S (2016) Millenium development goals (MDGs) to sustainable development goals (SDGs): Addressing unfinished agenda and strengthening sustainable development and partnership. Indian Journal of Community Medicine (Editorial Commentary), 41,1-4.

[8] Addressing inequality in India, April 26, 2018

[9] The 2019 SDG Index

[10] Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (2019) Key Findings Across Sectors: Agricultural Products, Apparel, Extractives & ICT Manufacturing

[11] PLFS (2017-18) data is not a representative sample rather it is indicative

“It may be noted that the scope of the survey being all households without special focus on social groups, sample design was not tailored to netting in special social groups like Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST), etc. Thus, sample size for the social groups in different States/UTs may not be enough to provide sufficiently reliable estimates of the various indicators and therefore, the estimates for the social groups are not presented for different State/UT in the Report”

[12] Thorat,S (2018) Scheduled Castes among worst sufferers of India’s job problem

[13] Dalit were formerly known as untouchables, numerous sub-caste exist such as chamars, arunthathiyurs, pallars, bhangis, malas, madigas



[16] Srivastava,R. (2018) Building India Brick by Brick Labourers in the construction Industry. India  Exclusion Report.

[17] Mosse,D. (2018) Caste and development: Contemporary perspectives on a structure of discrimination and advantage, World Development, 110, pp. 422-436. Available at:


[19] Asian Dalit Rights Forum

[20] Thorat,S. and Sabharwal,N.S. (Eds.) Bridging the Social Gap: Perspectives on Dalit Empowerment

[21] CENTER FOR THE ADVANCED STUDY OF INDIA, University of Pennsylvania


[23] Pew Research Centre

[24]India Skills Report is a joint initiative of Wheebox (a Global Talent Assessment Company), Taggd by PeopleStrong and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in collaboration with UNDP, AICTE & AIU.  The Wheebox National Employability Test (WNET) survey was conducted from July 2019 to November 2019. More than 300,000 students participated across 3500 educational institutions in India’s one of the most notable employability tests conducted nationwide.



[27] The figures are from the annual reports of the All India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE).


[29] Independent Expert Advisory  Group on a Data Revolution for Sustainable Development (2014) A World That Counts: Mobilising The Data Revolution for Sustainable Development [Internet]. New York and Geneva.

[30] Martin, M and Walker, J (2015) Financing the Sustainable Development Goals: Lessons from Government Spending on the MDGs. Washington D.C.


[32] Asian Dalit Rights Forum




[36] NABARD 2018

[37] Annual Report  United Nations Secretary -General’s Special Advocate  for Inclusive Finance for Development, September 2019

[38] The Role of Private Sector in Deepening Financial Inclusion in India


[40]CII and




[44] Damaraju, N L., & Makhija,A K (2018) The role of social proximity in professional CEO appointments: Evidence from caste/religion-based hiring of CEOs in India.Strategy Management Journal; 39, 2051-2074.

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