Policy Impact of IIDS Research

IIDS has had major impact on government policies, plans of multilateral funding agencies, programmes of civil society organisations, and research structure of universities in India and abroad. It has been possible due to interactions, conferences, participation in targeted meetings, and research-based inputs to members of policy-making bodies and NGOs at grassroots levels. In its ten years tenure, the Institute’s research has increasingly been recognised as policy relevant that has targeted governmental planning related to discrimination, social exclusion, and inclusive policy for Dalits, tribals, and religious minorities. The Institute through its research and timely inputs has assisted the government in the development of the following:

Affirmative Action in Public Procurement Policy

IIDS’ research emphasised the need to support enterprise for SCs and STs. This led to certain policy formulation that mandates union ministries/public sector units to make 20 per cent of their purchases from micro and small enterprises (MSEs) owned by SCs and STs.

Prevention of Caste-based Discrimination /Harassment, Victimisation and Promotion of Equality in Higher Educational Institutions Regulations, 2012, by UGC

IIDS’ research emphasised that there is a need to ensure that SC and ST students are protected from harassment in higher education institutions. Academic support provided by the Institute enabled the formulation of Prevention of Caste-based Discrimination/ Harassment, Victimisation, and Promotion of Equality in Higher Educational Institutions Regulations, 2012, by UGC. This led to a formal gazette notification from the Ministry of Human Resource Development, directing all central universities to develop ‘Equal Opportunity Cell’.

Guidelines against Caste-based Discrimination Experienced by Dalit Children Inside Schools and Classrooms

Taking note of discrimination experienced by Dalit children as detailed in IIDS’ research on food security programmes, such as mid-day meal, the Ministry of Human Resource Development issued guidelines against caste-based discrimination in schools. These guidelines ask States to take corrective measures and set up redressal mechanisms to address caste-based discrimination experienced by Dalit children inside schools and classrooms.

Sarva Shiskha Abhiyan (SSA)—Framework for Implementation

The Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development, has developed an SSA Framework based on the rights of children to education under ‘Free and Compulsory Education Act of 2009’. This policy document has referred to IIDS’ study on caste discrimination in education faced by Dalit children and has developed specific mechanisms to tackle discrimination against SC and ST students in education sector.

National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and Teacher Training Module to Address Caste-based Discrimination

On the basis of IIDS’ research on discrimination faced by Dalit children in classrooms, IIDS and NCERT have developed a module on ‘Master Trainers to Address Caste-based Discrimination and its Implications’ in primary schools jointly with the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Inclusive Planning for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Eleventh and Twelfth Five Year Plans

In the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007–12) titled ‘Towards Faster and More Inclusive Growth’ IIDS’ research inputs were included to highlight the gap between SCs and STs, minorities and others in educational sector including participation in higher education in India. The Institute’s research informed the strategies to address this gap in the Eleventh Five Year Plan Period for universities and colleges. The Institute has been actively engaged in discussions on the Twelfth Five Year Plan. This has been through research work on ‘Has Growth been Socially Inclusive during 1993-94–2009-10’ published in the Economic and Political Weekly.

Strengthening and Leveraging Panchayat Raj Institutions for Effective and Non-discriminatory Delivery of Public Goods and Services, 2013

The Ministry of Panchayati Raj took cognisance of IIDS research on problems of the excluded groups in accessing public services and rural governance to make policy suggestions for non-discriminatory delivery of services in Panchayat Raj Institutions.

In addition to the above, the institute has provided policy inputs to Post-MDG 2015 discussion. The publication of the findings of the IIDS research on “Discrimination of Dalits and Muslims in Urban Housing Market” in 2015 generated a lot of debate at various levels, drawing attention of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. This also led to filing of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court demanding to frame law against discrimination in urban rental market. The Government of India passed the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill in Dec 2015. Sharing of IIDS’ research findings from a series of research studies on caste-based atrocities with the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, and further knowledge support to civil society organizations over last few years at various national consultations organized under the umbrella of ‘Nation Confederation on the Amendments Bill’, in which IIDS is a member, had partly contributed towards this Bill.


Impact of IIDS’ Research on Funding Agencies, Grassroots-level Organisations, and Academia

IIDS’ research has played a significant role in decision-making of funding organisations and policy and planning of bilateral and multilateral organisations, such as UNICEF, UNDP, IDRC, DFID, World Bank, and FAO. The engagements with these development agencies have made an impact on their approach and policies to focus on marginalised groups.

  • IIDS prepared a concept paper on ‘Social Exclusion Linked Poverty’, sponsored byDFID, which ultimately led to a policy document by the latter, and brought out a programme titled ‘Poorest Area Civil Society’ (PACS). The PACS programmes’ focus is on social exclusion and poverty in India among the excluded 
  • IIDS undertook research studies on discrimination in schools and healthcare serviceswith support from UNICEF which has facilitated to bring about some modifications in the policies framed for school education in India by 
  • IIDS’research on labour-market discrimination in rural areas sponsored by International Labor Organization (ILO) has influenced the policy of the ILO towards labourforce in 
  • The World Bank published IIDS’ research on malnutrition and its link with caste andreligion as their policy 
  • IIDS has influenced the World Bank Country Program Strategy (2013–16) for India.This now includes planning for the challenges faced by unequal benefit distribution based on caste and gender among others.
  • IIDS’research on agricultural productivity in India has influenced the Food and Agriculture Organization Country Programme Framework (2013–17) for agriculture and rural development.
  • IIDS’research has enabled NGOs to develop approaches and strategies towards discriminated groups at the grassroots