Many Dalits pass India’s toughest exam–without quotas

The World

Slowly but surely, India's controversial system of quotas in jobs and education is working, the Times of India reports, citing the latest results from what may be the world's most competitive entrance exam.

While suicides by students from the Dalit castes — once known as untouchable — suggest that discrimination on campus is still a serious problem, and anger about India's rigid affirmative action system persists among upper caste parents and students, for perhaps the first time these test results suggest that Dalit students are making headway.  Most likely, the improved economic status of the previous generation, many of whom benefited from the quota system, has much to do with the success of this one.

According to officials from the Joint Entrance Exam that is the gatekeeper for the hyper-competitive Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), 10-15% of the students from the reservation categories scored well enough to make the cut in the general category, where no quotas apply.

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