Nitish Kumar cabinet greenlights caste census, sets February 2023 deadline

Updated on Jun 02, 2022 09:26 PM IST

A senior Bihar government official said the actual enumeration process for the caste-based census is likely to start from October or November once the floods and festivals are over.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar addressing a press conference after the all party meeting on the caste-based census in Bihar in Patna, Bihar. (HT Photo/Santosh Kumar)
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar addressing a press conference after the all party meeting on the caste-based census in Bihar in Patna, Bihar. (HT Photo/Santosh Kumar)

PATNA: The Nitish Kumar-led cabinet on Thursday cleared a proposal to conduct the caste-based census in Bihar, just a day after the plan received the complete support of the state’s political parties at an all-party meeting.

“The general administration department (GAD) will be the nodal agency at the state level while district magistrates have been made the nodal officer at district level,” chief secretary Amir Subhani told reporters after the cabinet meeting.

The state’s top bureucrat said the census work will be completed by February 2023.

Asked when the actual enumeration work would start, the chief secretary said, “The ground work will start immediately while the enumeration process will start within two-three months or even sooner than that.”

A senior state government official said the actual process is likely to start from October or November once the floods and festivals are over.

The chief secretary said that the district magistrates will chalk out a detailed plan who will be involved in the task.

“The caste census will cover all caste and their sub-caste and state government will spend 500 crores from its Contingency Fund.

On Wednesday, chief minister Nitish Kumar said the caste census will take into account all the aspects related to every caste and sub-caste within all religious groups to get a clear picture of their actual status for help in planning for their uplift.

“The government will publish advertisements to make everyone aware of it and train personnel for the specific job so that nobody is left out. With Bihar assembly having passed two unanimous resolutions favouring a caste-based census, there has always been unanimity on the subject in the state,” said Kumar.

The last census to count all castes dates back to 1931, though several estimates have been made since then, most notably in the 1990 Mandal Commission report to grant reservation to other backward classes (OBCs).

A similar exercise conducted at the national level in 2011

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Vijay is chief of bureau, Patna. He has spent 21 years in journalism and covers political beats and public affairs.

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