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Journal Articles South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal Year : 2017

When Cracking the JEE is not Enough


Exempted from the application of reservation policies at first, the Indian Institutes of Technology tend to be perceived as institutions that produce a meritocratic elite, freed from the contingencies related to caste and their political exploitation. However, some former students, products of this institution that was marked by a very strong social homogeneity when it was first conceived, see the introduction of quotas for the Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) in 1973, then a new category of reservations for the Other Backward Castes (OBCs) in 2008, as a threat to the meritocratic spirit of the IITs. They believe the “marked down” admission of these new students has weakened the IIT “brand.” Based on fieldwork in one of these elite technical education institutions, we will question this meritocratic model. We will highlight the processes by which the IITs continually and differentially eliminate students from the dominated groups (in particular those belonging to the SC and ST categories), and contribute to a high differentiation in the return on, hence the social value of, educational titles on the job market.



Dates and versions

hal-03982692 , version 1 (10-02-2023)





Odile Henry, Mathieu Ferry. When Cracking the JEE is not Enough: Processes of Elimination and Differentiation, from Entry to Placement, in the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal, 2017, 15, ⟨10.4000/samaj.4291⟩. ⟨hal-03982692⟩
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