Global conference to discuss exclusion of marginalized


New Delhi : The many ways in which people at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder in India face discrimination — especially in the labour market — will be discussed at a high-level conference here Friday.

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The conference on ‘Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy’ will feature Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Arjun Singh and B.L. Mungekar of the Planning Commission as key speakers. It is being organised by the Indian Institute of Dalit Studies and Princeton University in the US.

According to a spokesperson of the HRD ministry: “This is the first conference of its kind which will discuss through presentations the economic discrimination faced by discriminated groups in various market and non market transactions. This will include employment market in rural and urban areas, occupation and business, besides education and health.”

A special discussion on discrimination in the labour market and in occupations in villages of Haryana, Orissa and Gujarat will also be held. The experiences of Dalits in educational institutions and in seeking health services in primary health centres and from private doctors will be discussed.

“For the first time, the inequality in ownership of private enterprise by lower and higher castes will come up for discussion. Some papers will discuss the discrimination faced by religious groups such as Muslims in economic spheres,” the spokesperson said.

He added that the conference would address the most important problems being faced by a vast section of population — Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes (OBCs), women and Muslims — and currently being discussed in academic and government circles.