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Priority design for engineering colleges in India

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India has implemented the most comprehensive affirmative action program since 1950 via a reservation system. The Supreme Court of India (SCI) granted 27% reservation to the members of Other Backward Classes (OBC) in Ashoka Kumar Thakur vs. Union of India (2008). In the same decision, the SCI enacted the OBC de-reservation policy, according to which unfilled OBC positions must be provided to others. The lack of a well-defined de-reservation policy in SCI’s decision has led to the implementation of ad-hoc de-reservation procedures with inferior theoretical and practical properties. Aygün and Turhan (Manag Sci, Forthcoming, 2022) propose the backward transfer choice rule to implement OBC de-reservations. This paper introduces a new choice rule that is computationally simpler than the backward transfer choice rule, yet it is outcome equivalent. We further discuss cutoff scores induced by these choice rules.

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  1. The judgment can be accessed at See Sönmez and Yenmez (2022) for the discussion of this case from a market design perspective. The authors relate the Indian judiciary to matching theory.

  2. The judgement is available at See Aygün and Turhan (2022) for the detailed discussion of this judgement.

  3. \(\emptyset \succ _{t}^{s}j\) means applicant j is unacceptable for category t at institution s.


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Correspondence to Bertan Turhan.

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Aygün, O., Turhan, B. Priority design for engineering colleges in India. Ind. Econ. Rev. 58 (Suppl 1), 5–15 (2023).

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