Caste, Class and Gender in Determining Access to Energy: A Critical Review of LPG Adoption in India


Patnaik, Sasmita, and Shaily Jha. 2020. “Caste, Class and Gender in Determining Access to Energy: A Critical Review of LPG Adoption in India.” Energy Research & Social Science 67. doi:10.1016/j.erss.2020.101530.

Authors: Sasmita Patnaik, Shaily Jha


Complex interrelationships between caste, class and gender in India define opportunities and access to energy for certain social groups differently than others. An understanding of access to energy through these lenses allows us to design energy policies differently, accounting for the socio-economic inequality in pricing, subsidies and implementation of policies. This paper attempts to evaluate access to energy through the lens of caste, class and gender. We use an integrated framework (Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) ) to analyse Government of India's most recent and possibly the largest initiative for the provision of clean cooking energy - Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), and assess the extent to which PMUY is able to enhance use of LPG by overcoming the existing caste, class and gender-based exclusion. The analysis of PMUY has been supported through theoretical insights from the literature and empirical evidence from India's largest multidimensional energy access database – ACCESS 2018. Though the scheme recognises the pre-existing inequities, our analysis suggests a focus on caste, class and gender in the implementation procedures would be imperative for the scheme along with others focused on LPG access to achieve its objective.

Topics: Caste, Class, Gender, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2020

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