Social Divisions in School Participation and Attainment in India: 1983-2004

Niaz Asadullah, Mohammed;
Kambhampati, Uma;
Aug 2009
This study documents the size and nature of boy-girl and Hindu-Muslim gaps in childrens school participation and attainments in India. Individual-level data from two successive rounds of the National Sample Survey suggest that considerable progress has been made in decreasing the Hindu-Muslim gap. Nonetheless, the gap remains sizable even after controlling for numerous socioeconomic and parental covariates, and the Muslim educational disadvantage in India today is greater than that experienced by girls and Scheduled Caste Hindu children. A gender gap still appears within as well as between communities, though it is smaller within Muslim communities. While differences in gender and other demographic and socio-economic covariates have recently become more important in explaining the Hindu-Muslim gap, those differences altogether explain only 25 percent to 45 percent of the observed schooling gap.