Socio-economic caste survey on the cards after Census 2021 | India News - Times of India

Socio-economic caste survey on the cards after Census 2021 | India News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: The government is considering undertaking another socio-economic caste census (SECC) after the culmination of the decennial Census 2021, an exercise that will include collection of data of OBCs — a growing demand from the political class and Mandalite outfits.
The then UPA government had conducted the SECC in 2011 which merged the collection of data on socio-economic status of rural households with their caste identity. The NDA government did not form the expert committee required to analyse the caste data even as the Centre used the information for welfare schemes. The caste-related information was seen to suffer from deficiencies as had been noted even during the UPA government.
Well-placed sources said there is a renewed consideration to undertake the SECC again since the 2011 data is old and outdated. Many expert committees related to rural development ministry have also recommended that the survey be done afresh to update the data. “There was no decision yet on the proposal but it was being discussed seriously,” said an official.
However, SECC will only follow the 2021 census which has already been delayed by over one and half years because of the Covid pandemic. Hence, even if a decision is taken in favour of SECC, it is a long-term project.
Political parties are growing more and more vociferous in demanding an OBC head count, which they feel is necessary for targeting of welfare measures for the backward castes. However, many feel the data on backward castes will be used by Mandal outfits to push for a hike in 27% quota for the OBCs. Some quarters feel that since OBC population is bound to be upward of around 42%, the data will provide strong ammunition to lobby for removal of the long-standing 50% cap on reservations which is the main barrier to a hike in backward quota.





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