The reserved social groups, Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and Other Backward Classes constitute about 70 per cent of India’s population, a National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) study released on Friday says.
The NSSO estimation shows that SC population is 19.59 per cent as compared to 16.6 per cent in 2001 census.
However, the ST population is almost the same – 8.6 per cent as per NSSO and 8.2 per cent as per the census. The census does not give figures for the OBC population, which NSSO has estimated to be close to 41 per cent.
In the first ever indication of concentration of other backward classes, the NSSO has found that there are four states – Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh, where the OBCs constitute more than 50 per cent of the population.
This can be the probable reason for OBC politics being so vociferous in these states.
Tamil Nadu tops the list with 74.4 per cent of the total population in urban areas and 74.4 per cent in rural areas being OBCs. Bihar has the second largest concentration of OBC population with rural areas accounting for 59.94 per cent and urban areas 57.64 per cent.
In Kerala, 62.88 per cent in urban areas and 59.39 per cent in rural areas are from OBC category. Uttar Pradesh, the most populated Indian state, has 54.64 per cent OBC population in rural areas and the figure for urban areas is less than 50 per cent.
Although the OBC share in the country’s population is about 41 per cent, in states like Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttranchal, north-eastern India and West Bengal, the concentration of the OBC population is less than 25 per cent.
Therefore, these states have more than 50 per cent population of people from general category and other social groups. But, in central India, the concentration of the general category population is less than 25 per cent.