Nitish reiterates demand for caste census, says it’s in interest of all

Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Monday once again reiterated his demand for caste census, saying it would be in the interest of the country and it was for the Centre to decide
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar during “Janata ke durbar me mukhyamantri” programme in Patna on Monday. (Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar during “Janata ke durbar me mukhyamantri” programme in Patna on Monday. (Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)
Published on Aug 09, 2021 09:42 PM IST
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By, Patna

Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Monday once again reiterated his demand for caste census, saying it would be in the interest of the country and it was for the Centre to decide.

“I have always been advocating it for a long time. My letter has also reached the prime Minister on August 4 itself in this regard,” he said, after his weekly “Janata ke durbar me mukhyamantri” programme to listen to people’s problems directly and address them.

“If the PM gives time, we will also meet him. Other states are also discussing it. Our MPs also wanted to meet PM, but they were asked to meet the home minister and they met and presented their views,” he said.

Kumar said only the Centre could decide on a caste-based census . “If we have to do it, it will be counting, not Census to get information. Census is done only at the national level. Some states have done it at their level. Karnataka did it. If we have to decide on caste census in Bihar, we will do it later after discussing. But we want it to be done at the national level so that it happens across the country,” he said.

The last caste census was done in 1931, as per which backward castes consisted of 51.3%population in the state.

In 2017, the Centre had set up Justice Rohini Commission, which favoured sub-categorisation of reservation for other backward castes (OBCs) in the government sector by splitting 27% quota into different categories of OBCs for equitable distribution of benefits among different sub-castes. After several extensions, it submitted its report, dividing 2633 OBC sub-castes in the central list into four sub-categories with 2%, 6%, 9% and 10% quota to add up to 27%.

Before that, in 2011, socio-economic and caste census was done in 2011, though caste data could never be made public due to several discrepancies. To date, Census only makes count of population based on religion and of SC/ST population.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Arun Kumar is Senior Assistant Editor with Hindustan Times. He has spent two-and-half decades covering Bihar, including politics, educational and social issues.

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