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Odisha To Move Centre For Socio-Economic Caste Census In 2021


11 January 2020

Debashish Maharana


Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Cabinet on Saturday unanimously decided to move the Centre to conduct a Socio-Economic Caste Enumeration simultaneously along with the General Census in 2021.

It can be conducted simultaneously along with the General Census, either by inserting suitable columns in the Census format or by prescribing a separate format for a simultaneous enumeration of Socially and Educationally Backward Classes and Other Backward Classes/Castes. It will also be impressed upon the Central Government to ensure that these enumeration details are published without any delay.

This shall enable State Government to accelerate the pace of development of these communities leading to inclusive growth with greater momentum which will be a fitting tribute to Mahatma Gandhi’s idea of India guided by his Talisman in which the welfare of the poorest and the weakest becomes the core objective of the State, the Cabinet observed.

Citing various Articles of the Indian Constitution which empowers the State to work in favour of socially, and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, the Cabinet mentioned that while Odisha has made appreciable progress in improving the Human Development indicators of these sections of society, especially during the last two decades, there is a need to further accelerate this process of inclusive growth and transformation.

In this context the Cabinet observed that no formal census including the caste details of the population has been done since 1931. Unavailability of reliable and authentic data about the exact numbers of the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes and Other Backward Classes/Castes, geographical areas of their spread and density has been a huge challenge in ensuring focussed and outcome specific planning.

The Cabinet asserted that the necessity of having such data was well appreciated by the Government of India as evident from the Socio-Economic Caste Census of 2011. It also took note of the fact that in the proposed formats for 2021 census, there is no provision to capture the details of the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes and Other Backward Classes/Castes despite having done such exercise in the SECC 2011, the full data from which is yet to be released.

Pratap Jena, Minister, Law, Odisha