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Overview

As the Millennium Development Goals’ target date of 2015 approaches, this paper assesses the progress made by India’s Muslim population on indices of social development and the plausibility of meeting the MDG targets. The MDGs have been criticized for ignoring the specific vulnerabilities that minorities are faced with: discrimination, powerlessness and susceptibility to violence. Drawing on a variety of sources, the paper points to inequities in education, income and health. It recommends addressing security concerns and adopting disaggregated goals for a post-2015 framework that take into account the specificities of disempowerment and marginalization faced by minority groups. Given India’s entrenched social hierarchy and complex cultural diversity, it is important to evaluate group-specific performance in assessing the framework’s achievements and relevance.

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