Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot announced the state will conduct a caste based census after Bihar has released caste based census data.
At the year-end, Rajasthan will have assembly elections.
- A few days back, the Bihar Government released a caste-based census of the state's population.
- The legality of caste-based census is challenging as Conducting census is solely part of the Union List under the 7th Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
Reason of Rajasthan Caste-Based Census
- Social Security: A Caste-Based Census is necessary to identify the weaker section in a particular caste to ensure social security.
- Schemes: Caste Based Census can be helpful to provide benefits of schemes.
- Duplication of beneficiaries: A Caste-Based census can be useful to identify the particular section of caste that needs government support in case of economical, social, and educational cases. It allows the government to reduce duplication of beneficiaries enjoying multiple benefits at a time.
Bihar Caste Based Census
The Bihar government has released a caste-based census 2023, which is against the constitution as conducting a census is a Union subject.
- According to the Bihar government, the caste-based census aims to collect data from an estimated 12.70 crore people across 38 districts in Bihar, covering people of all castes, sub-castes, and socioeconomic conditions.
- The recently released results of the caste-based census show that Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and Extremely Backward Classes (EBCs) make up more than 63% of Bihar's population.
- The government has reaffirmed its commitment to uplift Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBCs), and OBCs in accordance with constitutional provisions and applicable laws.
- But, the Central Government has also filed an affidavit with the Supreme Court, emphasizing that the Census Act 1948 grants exclusive authority to the Central Government to conduct census-related activities.
The SECC was initially conducted in 1931. Its purpose is to reach out to every Indian family in rural or urban areas and inquire about their economic status.
- This will enable the Central and State authorities to establish various indicators of deprivation and combinations that can be used to identify impoverished or deprived individuals.
- The Census aims to gather information on caste to evaluate economic status. Ultimately, SECC has the potential to provide a broader view of inequalities and facilitate the mapping of these disparities.
- The decadal census's responsibility (every ten years) rests with the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.
- The census was conducted in 1872 during Lord Mayo's tenure, and a regular census was organized by Lord Ripon in 1881.
- The first census of independent India was conducted in 1951, the seventh in its series.
- The Census Act was enacted in 1948.