Ground Report | New Delhi: 2011 caste census data; India’s regional political parties are pressurizing the Modi government at the Center for the caste census, but on Thursday, the government seemed to be running away from it.
The Center has told the Supreme Court that the caste enumeration of backward classes is administratively very difficult and complicated. The Center has said this while responding to the petition of the state of Maharashtra. The ruling BJP was silent till now on the rising demand for a caste census. The Center has said in its reply in the Supreme Court that even before independence when the castes were counted, questions were raised on the completeness and veracity of the data.
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2011 caste census data
- The Center said that the 2011 socio-economic and caste census data has all kinds of technical flaws and is unusable for any use.
- The caste-based socioeconomic status details in the 2011 census were not released by the Modi government. Moreover, the G Rohini Commission, set up to look into the status of less dominant castes with respect to a reservation in jobs and educational institutions within OBCs, has not come despite 11 extensions being granted since its formation in 2017.
- Among the regional parties, the demand of the Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, and Nationalist Congress Party are that the BJP should give the correct number of OBCs and then increase the limit of 50 percent reservation. If BJP doesn’t accept this then it will be easy for them to say that BJP is cheating other backward castes when it came to power with its own votes.
- The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in its affidavit in the court said, “This issue was looked into earlier also. During that time also it was felt that the caste enumeration of backward classes is administratively very complex and difficult.
- There are many issues. With the completeness and veracity of our data. The failure of the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) of 2011 is a testimony to this. It is unusable to us because of its flaws and we cannot use it for any purpose.
caste-wise census was abandoned in 1951
- The Center said the policy of caste-wise census was abandoned in 1951. It was then said that the official policy was not to encourage castes.
- On collecting the caste data in the 2021 Census, the Center said that the census is not the ideal method for this.
- The counting of castes can also seriously jeopardize the basic integrity of the census. It will also affect the original number of the population.
The Center said that the demand for inclusion of caste count in the 2021 census is difficult as it is too late now. The preparation for the census starts four years in advance. The phases of the 2021 census have been set. Its preparation has already been done. Census questions were finalized in August-September 2019 itself.