Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Bihar, Odisha and Maharashtra have demanded caste census: MHA

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) informed the Lok Sabha on Tuesday that Bihar, Maharashtra and Odisha have requested to collect caste details in the forthcoming Census.

However, the caste details other than that of Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) have not been enumerated in Census since Independence, said the MHA.

“The State Governments of Bihar, Maharashtra and Odisha have requested to collect caste details in the forthcoming Census. The Government of India has not enumerated caste wise population other than SCs and STs in Census since independence,” in a written reply to a question by member Thalikkottai Rajuthevar Baalu, Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said.

“The intent of the Government for conducting Census 2021 was notified in Gazette of India on 28 March, 2019. Due to outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, the Census 2021 and related field activities have been postponed,” Rai added.

The forthcoming Census is to be the first digital Census, Rai added.

Five months ago, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced that the state government will conduct the caste Census, saying that it will enable the government to work for the development of various sections of the society.

The caste-based Census has not happened in India since the British period. In July last year, the Union government had told Parliament that it had decided to not conduct a caste census. The only caste-wise data that the next census would collate would be on Scheduled Castes and Tribes, the same as every census in independent India’s history. India’s largest caste bloc – the Other Backward Classes – would not be included in this exercise.

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