In 2019, Mint reported that “across most key fields of study, however, Dalit (SC) enrolment in 2018-19 fell short of the mandated quota of 15%, as did scheduled tribe (ST) enrolment (mandated quota of 7.5%). In many large states, including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, fewer than 20% of students enrolled in higher education in 2018-19 were Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe.
The activist group Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle (APPSC) filed a petition requesting information from the Indian Institute of Technology, one of India’s premier engineering colleges, and found that between 2015 and 2019, out of 26 departments, 11 of them did not admit a single Scheduled Tribe student. These departments include Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Climate Studies, Mathematics, etc. This was reported in the New Indian Express on December 8, 2020, which also noted that “out of the 8,827 SC students who applied, only 216 were admitted in the last five years. Three departments admitted only one SC student and two did not admit any SC students. And out of 1,522 ST students who applied, only 47 were admitted in the last five years.”
A similar story was repeated in the Right to Information (RTI) data obtained byEgalitarians for PhD admissions at IIT, Delhi during 2018 to 2021. According to this data, the admissions given to students belonging to SC, ST and OBC categories were much lower than guaranteed to them by the affirmative action policies.