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Year : 2017, Volume : 36, Issue : 2and3
First page : ( 174) Last page : ( 191)
Print ISSN : 0970-9061. Online ISSN : 0974-018X.

Role of Equal Opportunity in Educational Attainment: A Case Study of West Bengal State in India

Bagchi Kanak Kanti

Professor, Department of Economics, University of North Bengal, Siliguri, Dist. Darjeeling, West Bengal. E-mail: kkbagchi@hotmail.com

The present paper has been extracted from a commissioned research project titled: “Educational Status of Scheduled Castes in West Bengal: Attainment and Challenges ”sponsored by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi. The project was the part of a national study which was completed in December 2014. The author is grateful to an anonymous referee for comments and suggestions for modifications. However, the usual disclaimer applies

Online published on 9 January, 2018.


The present empirical study is an attempt to explore the role of equal opportunity in educational attainments of students in India with special reference to the state of West Bengal. We have endeavoured to find an answer to the central question: What is the role of equal opportunity in educational attainment of students? The study is based on primary data. The primary data has been collected through sample survey of five districts of the state of West Bengal. A comparison has been made between the Scheduled Caste and non-Scheduled Caste students of upper primary, secondary and college levels of both government and private sector schools. Five socio-economic attributes have been used as indicators of educational opportunity, and exam results as an indicator of educational attainment. The χ2(Chi square) test has been used to analyze the results of the study. After analyzing the results of the study and identifying the role of equal educational opportunities in educational attainments of SC and non-SC students and its consequent impact on the quality of human capital formation, the study finally makes several policy recommendations which can be effective in spreading the opportunities of education more equitably.



Equal educational opportunity, scheduled caste, government and private, human capital.


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