GoM likely to okay inclusion of caste in census
Notwithstanding divisions in the Cabinet, Government is likely to give a green signal for inclusion of caste in census.delhi Updated: Jun 30, 2010 19:29 IST
Notwithstanding divisions in the Cabinet, Government is likely to give a green signal for inclusion of caste in census.
Sources said the meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM), constituted to go into the controversial issue Thursday, could decide on the modalities for such an exercise.
The GoM headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee may have to decide on the issue as the second part of the census exercise is scheduled to begin in September.
Besides, the Monsoon Session of Parliament is expected to commence next month and a decision on the issue is vital given the fact that the last session saw virtual unanimity among the political class for inclusion of caste in the exercise.
Government had last month decided to set up the GoM on the controversial issue after consensus over the issue eluded at two meetings of the Union Cabinet.
Several political parties, including Samajwadi Party, RJD and JD(U), have been pressing for inclusion of caste in the census.
Inclusion of caste in the census was last done in the country in 1931.
Other members of the GoM are Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, New and Renewable Energy Minister Farooq Abdullah, Urban Housing Development Minister S Jaipal Reddy and Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee.
The issue of inclusion of caste in census has triggered a debate with a section opposing it saying that it would divide the society on caste lines while others advocate that it would ensure fairer distribution of resources to the backward and downtrodden sections of the society.
Reports had it that Chidambaram had suggested that the caste-based census should be included in the second phase of the ongoing census exercise and clubbed with the biometric card data to ease the logistical constraints.