The determinants of educational and occupational access of younger people in India are still attributed to their socio economic background. This study is conducted to explore the problems in access to higher education among backward class students of India. The two dimensions of social capital namely:  family social capital and social networks are considered as social capital in this study. Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC) are the three social groups dealt as backward classes.   A Social Capital Scale and a Socioeconomic and Educational Status Schedule were used to collect data for the study. This paper investigates if there is any difference in the social capital of the students who accessed prestigious professional programmes such as Medical, Engineering and Paramedical courses and the students who accessed less prestigious programmes such as Arts and Science courses. This paper also investigates if there is any association between social origin and choice of different higher educational programmes by backward class students. Data were collected from 523 backward class students. The results shows that social background of the backward class students has significant role in getting admission to higher educational courses they have accessed. The study also reveals that social capital plays significant role in certain situations, to get access to higher education. Education of mother and parental income are significant predictors of accessing professional education by backward class students.




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