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Year : 2023, Volume : 42, Issue : 4
First page : ( 760) Last page : ( 776)
Print ISSN : 0970-9061. Online ISSN : 0974-018X.

How do Students from Socially Backward Caste Groups Perform in Engineering Education? Evidence from India

Choudhury Itishree1, Singh Seema2

1Research Scholar, Department of Humanities, Delhi Technological University, Delhi, Email: shreeeconomics17@gmail.com

2Professor, Department of Humanities, Delhi Technological University, Delhi, respectively

Online Published on 09 February, 2024.


Literature available on the academic performance of students in higher education is sparse, particularly in India. Limited research exists that precisely examines the academic performance of engineering students and the factors that contribute to their success. Utilising primary survey data of 2288 fourth-year engineering students in Delhi, this paper specifically examines how the academic performance (Measured by Cumulative Grade Point Average) of students from socially disadvantaged caste groups (SC/ST and OBC) varies in India and what factors determine this. In this context, the study revealed a considerable performance gap among engineering students of different social groups. Especially, the findings indicate a significant gender and caste disparity in academic performance in engineering education. Females exhibited about 16.5 per cent lower performance compared to males, and SC/ST students demonstrated around 38 per cent lower performance in comparison to their OBC counterparts. We find that various aspects of the socio-economic background and factors related to the educational environment such as the type of institution, scholarships, and past academic experiences, are significantly determining the academic performance of engineering graduates from socially backward caste groups. Given the poor linkage between engineering education and the labour market, the findings of the study have considerable policy implications.



Engineering, Socially backward students, Academic performance, Delhi.


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