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  • DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS:Bihar government approves caste based survey, allocates Rs 500 crore

Bihar government approves caste based survey, allocates Rs 500 crore

Tags: State News

The Bihar Cabinet in a meeting held on 2 June 2022, chaired by the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has approved to conduct a caste based census of the other backward castes (OBC) in the state.

The entire expense of the caste census will be borne by the state government and the state government has allocated Rs 500 crore for this purpose  

The Chief Minister had earlier organised an all party conference on this issue on 1 June 2022, where all political parties agreed on the need to conduct a caste census in Bihar.

Nodal body for caste census 

The nodal body for the caste census at the state level will be the Bihar Government’s general administration department. At the district level, block level and at the panchayat level District Magistrate will be the nodal body.

Demand for Caste census 

Demand for caste census of the other backward caste (OBC) in Bihar has been demanded by political parties in Bihar. The Bihar legislature passed a resolution in 2018 and 2019 for conducting caste based census.

Caste Census in India 

  • In India the last caste census was conducted in 1931.
  • After Independence, census data included the  census of the Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Caste in the general census of India held after every ten years  
  •  For the first time after Independence, caste census for all castes were held in the 2011 census. 
  • The 2011 caste census was titled as “Socio Economic Caste Census 2011(SECC)”.
  •  Due to discrepancy in the data, the Government of India has decided not to accept the data.
  • The 2021 census will only include the census of the Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Caste along with the general population.

Why there is a demand for Caste census 

Multiple arguments are given for the OBC census. Some of them are as follows:

For efficient welfare Programmes:

  • Welfare schemes run by the government are based on caste identity. Reservation in educational institutes and government jobs are provided on the basis of caste identities.
  • Therefore, enumeration of population of each caste group would help the government formulate more accurate welfare programmes.
  • It is important for poverty alleviation, ending unemployment, and equitable distribution of resources for the OBCs.

Political representation in Local bodies:

  •  In the Local bodies there is a provision for   reservation of OBC under the 73 rd and 74th constitutional amendment. 
  •  Due to absence of accurate data the reservation for OBC has become a politically sensitive issue.

Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar has argued that the current caste benefit system (through reservations in education, jobs and election) does not give representation in accordance with caste demography. This means that the OBCs are under-represented in public office.

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