The social and educational problems of a deprived population are interlinked and interrelated. Although education has proved to be the best means for their development, it has not reached the majority of the SCs. Besides, education carries inherent handicaps, both structurally and functionally. For example, social problems obstruct the motivation, level, quality and utility of education. However, these issues have not been identified and empirically studied at regional levels or at an all- India level.
There is social hierarchy, practice of untouchability among different SCs in different regions. According to the 1991 Census (India, 1991), there are 1,181 castes among the untouchables (now known as ex-untouchables). The President of India has the power to dischedule or include any caste(s) fulfilling a fixed criteria. It is surprising to note that although the criteria for defining untouchability and SCs have been fixed, an SC in one region is not necessarily an SC in another. This has been one of the major problems in the process of development at the national level.
Education is supposed to lead to upward social mobility and positive Change in modern technological society. It has been revealed by various studies (Chauhan, 1975; Chitnis, 1981; Wankhede, 1978) that the role of education, insofar as the SCs and their development is concerned, despite limitations, is very crucial. For them, other means like political and economic power have proved to be a failure compared to education. But, at the same time, when it must be remembered that education also has its own limitations.
Inherent problems exist within the system. For example, the pattern of education is not uniform, the contents of education have been under severe criticism and its relevance to practical life and indeed the overall development of education is questioned because of the facf that it is not indigenous.
The studies also show that, even today, many of the rural schools in India practice physical segregation and untouchability. Drinking water facilities are not yet open to all and the 'general category' students do not interact with the SC students (Desai, 1976; Kulke, 1983a). They perform badly not because they lack intelligence (as is normally believed), but because their intelligence is suppressed by their low stigmatised social status and utterly poor and adverse conditions.
Further, it is also found to be urban biased and pro-rich. As such, the role of education in developing the lot of the SCs along with special facilities, has not been very significant in qualitative terms. In quantitative terms, education was e This organization attempts to ascertain and analyse the social and educational problems of the educated SCs in general, and the problems of those among them who have achieved social status. This new status is contrary to their traditional stigmatised social status.