No OBC Census, Union government makes it clear

In response to a question posed by YSRCP Rajya Sabha MP V. Vijaysai Reddy, the minister of state for Home affairs, Nityananda Rai, said taking up enumeration of Backward Classes as part of the Census is not possible.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  15 Dec 2021 2:47 PM GMT
No OBC Census, Union government makes it clear

Vijayawada: The Union government on Wednesday said it is not possible to take up caste-based Census in the country. In response to a question posed by YSRCP Rajya Sabha MP V. Vijaysai Reddy, the minister of state for Home affairs, Nityananda Rai, said taking up enumeration of Backward Classes as part of the Census is not possible.

Mr. Rai said the National Sample Survey (NSS) is not specifically designed to estimate the population of the country or that of any social group. The information on household social groups is collected during the NSS household-based survey for the purpose of categorization only.

He also said the ministry is aware that a resolution to conduct a caste-based Census has been passed by the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly. The Census schedule is designed in consultation with various stakeholders, including Central ministries, he said adding that the population Census is not an ideal instrument for caste-wise/Other Backward Class (OBC) Census.

The government of India has not conducted a caste-wise Census, other than for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs), since Independence.

It may be recalled that the Andhra Pradesh Assembly in November 2021 had unanimously adopted a resolution requesting the Centre to take up a caste-based Census to enumerate the population of OBCs.

There has been a growing demand for caste-based Census. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar led an all-party delegation from his state that met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in August to raise the demand.

The British enumerated castes in the decadal censuses from 1881 to 1931 but the practice was discontinued thereafter. The Census has since counted the number of people belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. OBCs are believed to account for over 50% of India's population.

The AP government claimed that there is a need to take up a caste-based Census in order to ensure equal justice to all sections of people as envisaged in the preamble of the Indian Constitution. However, the Union government has washed away the hopes of the YSRCP government.

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