Structural Inequalities

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Material inequalities in India continue to be denied the attention it deserves. When it is
addressed the meanings of inequality are diluted such that the responsibilities of policy
makers rarely extend beyond ensuring a floor minimum of basic needs. Consequently, while
the formerly indigent sections experience marginal improvements in living standards, the rate
of concentration of wealth continues unchecked. The piling evidence of rising inequalities
fuelling resentments that can be destabilizing for societies remains ignored in policy circles.
The Centre for Policy Studies intends to raise inequality as a central issue in policy dialogues
in India. In addition to the problem of unethical variation in access to basic needs in unequal
societies, material inequality in India is made more resilient by the membership in
overlapping categories – gender, caste, religion, urban/rural, sexuality, age, and political

Ongoing Work

2.1 Gender

Within policymaking contexts, gender is an integral category in the discourse of ‘inclusion’. The links between material inequalities and gender injustices are very rarely made; often gender becomes a term for virtue-signalling for policymakers. Under this research area CPS hopes to reveal this link between gender injustices and wealth inequalities. CPS is keen on developing gender-based critiques of existing policies and collaborating with scholars and rights-groups for making state-agencies more sensitive to well-being of sexual minorities.

2.2 Age

CPS intends to bring ageing to policy attention and create a society that accommodates
without discriminations the inevitable frailties of ageing. Social policy analysts have noted
the demographic changes resulting from the reducing fertility and rising longevity is bound to
require more focused policy attention on ageing. A ‘life-cycle approach’ is adopted, that
traces the well-being of older persons to factors that influence the earliest stages of human
life – maternal health, childhood, youth, middle age and old age. Like gender, ageism gets
compounded with other forms of discrimination like sexism, casteism, and wealth


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