Looks like affirmative action in higher education in India does work in reducing inequities in access to higher education. However, as suspected it does so at the cost of having less number of open category students being admitted. Clearly the solution lies in the problem- increase the number of higher education institutions. But we have experienced a continuous decline in planned allocation spending on university and higher education over the subsequent five year plans.

Here is the link to the article from AER: https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/aer.20140783

and to the article in the Hindu that is based partially on the above article: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article8701809.ece