The concept of growth now focuses on being pro-poor and non-discriminatory in nature, Chairman of Indian Council of Social Science Research, Sukhdeo Thorat said here today.
He said this while delivering a lecture on ‘Inclusive Growth’ organised by the Federation of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FTAPCCI) and Institute of Public Enterprise (IPE).
“Let me summarise then that the journey of the concept of growth is from growth alone to the pro-poor growth and non-discriminatory growth. That is the status of theory at the moment,” he said.
Noting that discrimination is not confined to employment alone, Sukhdeo Thorat referred to a book in which the difficulties reportedly faced by Dalit entrepreneurs was discussed.
“I think, we must, in the Indian context, accept that our economic decisions are determined by our social structures,” he said.
There is literature to suggest that social groups, which are in an advantageous position, have better access to growth opportunities, he said.
Replying to a query, he said discrimination continued regardless of the economic status.
“First thing, theoretically you must understand, discrimination based on identity is neutral to the economic status. Both well-off and worse-off face discrimination. If you face discrimination, you require legal safeguard,” he said.
The discrimination makes a case for reservation and legal protection for economically better off persons as well, he said.
“Can we say that economically better off Scheduled Classes, he is not discriminated in employment and colleges. No, we cannot. He or she faces discrimination. So, they require reservation, they require protection. Legal and otherwise,” he said.
He, however, said economically better-off among the SCs or STs may not need economic benefits like scholarships.