Inequality of Opportunity among Indian Children

Ashish Singh, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research

Equality of opportunity seeks to level the playing field in terms of access to basic facilities (services) like access to immunization, minimum nutritional levels, education, basic housing necessities and so on, services necessary for a child to blossom into a healthy competent youth, so that circumstances such as gender, ethnicity, birthplace, or family background, which are beyond the control of a child, do not influence a child’s life chances. Success in life should depend on individuals’ choices, efforts and talents, not on their circumstances at birth. So, the inequality arising out of unequal access to basic services is unacceptable and there must be policy interventions to reduce it in the society. Using the concept of Human opportunity Index which itself depends on the notion of dissimilarity index, this paper systematically measures the extent of inequality in access to basic services in Indian children and how it has changed over time.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 4