Division for Studies in Social Inclusion

Division for Studies in Social Inclusion

Completed Studies

 (i) Assessment of Performance of Ambedkar Overseas Vidya Nidhi (AOVN) Scheme of Telangana Government This is the first comprehensive evaluation of the overseas education scholarship (Ambedkar Overseas Vidya Nidhi) awarded to Scheduled Caste students by Telangana Government. Employing a specially designed online app, the study collected primary data from the AOVN beneficiaries spread across eight countries. The respondents represent beneficiaries who received the scholarship since the inception of the AOVN scheme. The study mapped the current status of the beneficiaries, documented the impact of the scheme on the beneficiary households, and elicited beneficiary feedback in order to make the scheme more effective and inclusive; additionally, the assessment identified the areas for improvement and made detailed recommendations towards making the scheme more effective and inclusive – including the best features from similar schemes implemented by other States and the Government of India. The scholarship had a positive impact on the socio[1]economic status of the beneficiary households with 80% of the beneficiaries reporting that their socio-economic status improved as a result of the scholarship. The remittances from the beneficiaries are used for a variety of purposes such as paying off loans, medical treatment, education, and wedding of family members. At the same time, the study recommends that the scheme needs to be more inclusive and flexible with the ultimate objective of providing greater representation to the SC students among overseas students from India targeting the scheme at those from outside the State capital area, especially from rural areas. The initial step in this direction should take the form of a massive awareness campaign to expand the pool of applicants for the scholarship. The AOVN scholarship of Rs 20 lakh is insufficient to meet the total cost of overseas education. On average, there is a shortfall of Rs 10 lakh per beneficiary. Therefore, there is a need to enhance the scholarship amount to Rs 30 lakh so that the beneficiaries would be able to complete their education without the burden of indebtedness. Supported by: Scheduled Castes Development Department (SCDD), Government of Telangana Team: Sudhaveni Naresh, Laxman Rao Sankineni, K Bhasker

 (ii) Evaluation of Centrally Sponsored Schemes Implemented by Tribal Welfare Department of Government of Telangana This is a follow-up study (the first study evaluated the Scheduled Tribes Special Development Fund) focusing mainly on the assessment of Centrally Sponsored Schemes. targeted at the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs). The empirical study covered 325 households belonging to the PVTGs spread across three ITDA areas – Mannanur, Bhadrachalam and Utnoor. The assessment found that in terms of the coverage the CCDP (Conservation-cum- Development Plan) is by far the leading intervention which is aimed at livelihoods enhancement of the PVTGs. The study assessed the impact of the selected schemes on the PVTGs. Based on the findings and the feedback from the beneficiaries, the study placed detailed recommendations for the government. It also examined the quality and utility of the selected “non[1]divisible” assets created under the CSSs. Under the CCDP most beneficiaries (80%) were extended financial assistance in agriculture sector. As for the returns from the CCDP (annual mean net incomes), transport sector yields higher returns across the locations, that is, Rs 50,563. This is followed by self-employment ventures yielding Rs 23,214. By stark contrast, farming and livestock related activities reported only Rs 17,442. Close to a fifth of the beneficiaries reported various constraints in managing the unit. The beneficiary feedback flags the following suggestions: Delays in approving and grounding the unit should be avoided; total support under the scheme should be provided as subsidy (grant) without loan component; and the level of financial assistance should be enhanced. The report also contains a reality check on the entrepreneurship promotion schemes that are under implementation in the scheduled areas, such as MSME schemes and CMSTEI interventions. In this context, the following results are noteworthy: (1) Setting up the units was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic; (2) Most units reported constraints with the bank loan component; (3) Closure of schools and Anganwadi centres deprived most units of their marketing avenues; (4) The forward linkages envisaged through the GCC proved unreliable; (5) The groups do not have direct marketing arrangements; (6) Most ventures have not yet entered the profit-making trajectory. Supported by: Tribal Welfare Department (TWD), Government of Telangana Team: Laxman Rao Sankineni, Madhukar Sidam, Mr Balsingh Mood and Ms T Ashwani

(iii) Socio-Economic Status of the Kummari Community in Telangana State: Findings of An Empirical Study The detailed empirical study – first of its kind in the State – covered a representative sample of 150 Kummari households spread across six representative erstwhile districts. The purposive sample represents both rural and urban areas. The study assessed the socio-economic status of the Kummari households pursuing the traditional occupation; it examined the level of access the community has to government schemes; documented the challenges encountered in adopting new technologies; and assessed the role of community co-operatives and their Federation. The study makes evidence-based recommendations towards the enhancement of the community’s socio[1]economic status. The focus of the survey was on how to make the traditional activity sustainable and remunerative for the community and what role that the government can play in this regard. Key recommendations include: Existing regulatory policies need to be amended to enable the community to access locally available raw materials; mobile and gas-run bhattis (kilns) should be provided to address the issue of air pollution; common processing, production, and storage centres or yards should be constructed in both rural and urban areas; MoUs need to be signed with other States that have implemented innovative models for technology transfer, capacity building, and collaboration; the option of involving village-level caste co-operatives and the state[1]level Kummari Federation in the procurement and marketing of finished products needs to be explored; pottery workers should also be recognized by the Department of Labour so that they can be provided social security and insurance benefits through official ID cards; and establishment of a research and development (R&D) centre on earthenware and related products should also be treated as a priority and capacity-building interventions should be integrated with R&D initiatives. Supported by: MLR Institute of Technology and Science, Hyderabad Team: Laxman Rao Sankineni and Harinath Siluveru

 (iv) Socio-Economic Status of the Vaddera Community in Telangana State: Findings of An Empirical Study This study was carried out on the basis of the same terms of reference as the study on the Kummaris (see above). It was also based on the same methodology, sample size and objectives. The Vadderas are among the poorest and numerically minor backward castes in the State. Seasonal migration and their status as a denotified tribe contribute to their poverty and vulnerability. The Vadderas are grouped into two categories: Banda Vaddera (stone workers) and Matti Vaddera (earth workers). Close to 90% of the Vaddera workforce is engaged in the traditional activities (stonework and earthwork) which, on average, account for 78% of the household incomes. Residential segregation of the Vadderas can be seen in both rural and urban areas. Modern technology in the form of earth[1]moving equipment has adversely impacted the livelihoods of the Vadderas. Owing to the financial incapacity the community is unable procure modern equipment. They have limited access to institutional finance. Key recommendations include: The Vaddera co-operatives and the Vaddera Federation need to be strengthened, both institutionally and financially; Coverage under social protection schemes needs to be expanded coupled with amending certain regulatory policies that adversely affect their livelihoods; eligible members of the community should be covered under social security pensions on par with other Backward Castes such as weavers and toddy[1]tappers since the Vadderas retire from work early in life; civil contractors from the community should be waived from the EMD (Earnest Money Deposit) requirement up to Rs 10 crore; although the State Government allows the Vadderas to exploit quarries by allotting some royalty[1]free quarries to them, the community is unable to benefit from the policy due to a variety of constraints; so there is an urgent need to allot more rent-free quarries to the community and follow it up with financial assistance. Supported by: MLR Institute of Technology and Science, Hyderabad Team: Laxman Rao. S, Anjaneyulu Parupally

(v) Analysis of the Scheduled Castes Special Development Fund (SCSDF) of Telangana Government (2014-15 to 2019-20) The report, second in the series, contains the results of a detailed analysis of the SCSDF implementation in the State using the data related to budget allocations and actual expenditure since the first year of Telangana formation. The analysis is updated each year by incorporating the SCSDF implementation data for the latest available financial year. The analysis highlights the trends and patterns in the implementation across the Departments, schemes and sectors. The results document the changing priorities of the State Government in the context of the socio-economic upliftment of the Scheduled Castes in the State. On the basis of the SCSDF data analysis and relevant secondary data the report identified the priority areas for investment for the Government. The analysis highlights that the proportion of the actual expenditure to the budget estimates has improved substantially over the years. The number of high-spending Departments (> Rs 100 crore) has also risen from 7 in 2014-15 to 12 in 2019-20. In recent years, welfare and self-employment interventions involving direct benefit transfer have taken precedence. Education has emerged as a priority sector under the SCSDF accounting for nearly a fifth of the aggregate expenditure. This has made positive and visible impact on the educational outcomes of the SCs. Having said that, health sector merits a higher priority in the light of the widening health gaps between the SCs and others. Team: Pradeep Kamble

(vi) Analysis of SKS data on Scheduled Castes related to Agriculture in Telangana The assignment involved analysis of 2014 census data collected under Samagra Kutumba Survey (SKS) by Telangana Government. The survey covered all households of the State. The two rounds of analysis carried out by CESS covered the SC household data from Gram Panchayats where SC population is concentrated (with 40% and higher SC population). The core objective of the analysis is that targeted interventions can be made for accelerated development of the SCs. The results of the analysis show that landlessness is relatively high among the SCs in the State. Dryland ownership is higher than wetland ownership among the SCs. The average agricultural landholding is 2.53 acres. They mostly depend on tank irrigation followed by borewells, canal irrigation and wells. Close to 40% of them depend on rainfed farming. Livestock ownership among SCs is relatively low – reported by only 18% of the households. Close to 90% of the SC farmers are smallholders (belong to marginal and small categories). Team: S Laxman Rao, Pradeep Kamble Funded by: Scheduled Castes Development Department (SCDD), Government of Telangana.

Ongoing Studies

(i) Addressing Labour Migration and Preparation of Development Plan for Adoni Division of Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh Adoni Division of Kurnool district in Andhra Pradesh is among the drought-prone and underdeveloped areas of the State. On account of dependable livelihood opportunities locally, migration has emerged as an important livelihood option for the poor of the area – with all 17 mandals of the division witnessing seasonal migration to different locations within the state and outside. The mandate of the study includes preparation of a comprehensive development plan (taking a 3600 view of the situation) for the area, in addition to a holistic analysis of migration from the area in terms of its trajectory, patterns and importance in the local livelihood systems. The policy options for the development of the area will be evidence-based. The study completed the collection of primary data from a sample of 1000 households spread across all 17 mandals of Adoni Division. The study also entails detailed consultations with all stakeholders and collection of administrative data related to program implementation. Data analysis, secondary data collection and draft report preparation are in progress. A preliminary report has been submitted to the government on the basis of initial field visits and consultations. Team: S Laxman Rao, S Naresh, P Anjaneyulu, and S Harinath Funded by: Rural Development Department, Government of Andhra Pradesh

(ii) Study on Enrolment, Performance and Placement Status of Scheduled Caste Students of Professional Colleges in Telangana State Professional education is a critical component of higher education. There has been a growing demand for professional courses across India and Telangana state is no exception. Higher education, including professional education, has witnessed rapid growth over the years. Better employment prospects have been the main driver of the rising demand for professional education. In this context the present study endeavors to fill an important research gap by assessing the enrolment, performance, and placement status of Scheduled Caste students at professional colleges in the State. It compares the status of SC students vis-à-vis their peers from other social groups (OCs, STs and BCs). The main objectives of the study are to examine the performance of SC students in professional courses vis-à-vis other social groups; to identify factors that contribute to the performance variation between SCs and others; to study the extent of placement of SC students vis-à-vis others; to examine the variations in placement levels, if any, between SCs and others and to identify the factors influencing the differences; and to come up with policy recommendations to enhance the performance and placement levels among SC students. The sample size of the colleges is 30 (representing engineering, management (MBA) and education (B.Ed.) courses). A phone survey was also conducted to assess the post-placement status of the alumni of selected sample colleges. Data analysis is completed, and draft report is in progress. Team: S Harinath, S Laxman Rao, M Bhaskar, P Anjaneyulu

 (iii) Socio-Economic Status of Scheduled Castes in Telangana State Work on the original report (socio-economic status of SCs) started more than two years ago. The team working on the report includes the entire team of the SCSDFRU and the Director, CESS, and senior faculty members of CESS are advisors who also provide their domain-specific inputs. Working drafts of three chapters of the original report have been prepared and shared with the Scheduled Castes Development Department, Government of Telangana. The chapters cover the following themes: (1) Basic Demographics, (2) Educational Status, (3) Health Status. The Development Report attempts to capture the relative status of the Scheduled Castes in Telangana vis-à-vis other social groups (STs, BCs and OCs or Others) and/or state level values with respect to the selected indicators or dimensions. Because the primary mandate of the SCSDF Research Unit is to identify development or well-being gaps between the SCs and other social groups and the overall state-level status and to make recommendations to the State Government which, on the basis of the “gap analysis”, can make either course corrections or initiate new interventions to bridge the development gaps. The report will also computee a human development index of Scheduled Castes vis-à-vis other social and economic categories in Telangana State. As for the data the report will rely on secondary sources and administrative data – mostly periodic surveys conducted at the national and state levels. Tentative chaptalization is as follows: 1. Introduction 2. Demographic status 3. Educational status 4. Health status 5. Livelihoods – trends and issues 6. Human development index 7. Political empowerment of SCs 8. Recent micro studies to capture emerging trends 9. Trends and policy perspectives on key social issues 10. Conclusion and policy implications Sponsor: Scheduled Castes Development Department (SCDD), Government of Telangana Team: The research team of the SCSDFRU and senior faculty members as respective domain specialists under the overall coordination of the Director, CESS.

(iv) Opportunities and Challenges of Gulf Labour Migration: A Household Study in Telangana State India ranks second on the planet with 28 million Indian diaspora spread across the globe including 8 million in the Gulf countries – of whom about one million migrants are from Telangana. More than 80% of these migrants in the Gulf countries are unskilled or semi-skilled workers, working as housemaids, cooks, drivers, gardeners, and construction workers. Saudi Arabia is the leading destination for Indian workers, followed by the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, and others. Most migrants are from SC, ST, OBC and minority communities whose traditional occupations have ceased to be reliable, unemployment, economic disparities, distress in the agriculture sector, and lack of job opportunities especially in post[1]liberalization period. However, labor migration studies are currently receiving much less attention from scholars and policymakers than they used to command. First of all, the prevailing recruitment system of India, particularly in Telangana has a lot of shortcomings. No study has been done in the lines of the vulnerability of the women migrants in the Gulf countries as well as the problems of women left behind at home in a detailed manner particularly in the Telangana context. Therefore, the proposed study would look into these above-mentioned lines. The main objectives of the study include – to explore costs and benefits of the Gulf labour migration; to document the socio-economic impacts of remittances and Gulf migration on the migrant household in Telangana state; to examine the impact of engendered migration on the family members left behind back at home; to analyse NRI policies adopted by various States and suggest measures to protect the rights and interests of blue-collar emigrants from Telangana state. The study will cover five districts of the State with relatively high incidence of Gulf migration. From each district 100 Gulf migrant households (a total of 500) will be selected for detailed primary data gathering. Consultations will be conducted with all stakeholders to explore their experience in recruitment process, conditions in destination countries and government initiatives. Based on the findings, the study will make policy recommendations to minimize the risks and maximize the returns from the Gulf migration. Supported by: ICSSR, IMPRESS Team: Sudhaveni Naresh