Together with land reforms, ‘supplier diversity’ was one of the important policies initiated by the Digvijay Singh government specifically aimed at improving the conditions of dalits/tribals in the state. While this new and innovative policy formed the heart of the Dalit Agenda put forward by the authors of the Bhopal Document, it has its roots in the ongoing debate in the country since the 1990s on the need to move beyond traditional policies of reservation to new ones based on affirmative action. Two significant developments have been responsible for this debate. The liberalization of the economy in the early 1990s led to the retreat of the state re-defining its relationship with dalits and tribals. Simultaneously, the decade witnessed the rise of a new, educated generation of dalits/ tribals—a product of both protective discrimination (PD) and democratization—who questioned the continued relevance of the older established policies and directed attention towards the desirability of bringing in new ones better suited to the new polity and economy. The emergence of a market economy and an expanding private sector made policies such as SD attractive to this younger generation, many of whom were responsible for the drafting of the BD or took part in the deliberations at the Bhopal Conference.