Odisha joins Maharashtra, Bihar to demand OBC enumeration with Census 2021
After Maharashtra and Bihar, Odisha has become the third State to write to Centre urging for holding enumeration of Socially and Educationally Backward Classes and Other Backward Classes along with the general census in 2021.
In a letter to cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba, Odisha chief secretary, Asit Tripathy, said, that the census of these communities can be done either by inserting suitable columns in the Census format or by prescribing a separate format for a simultaneous enumeration of the SEBCs and OBCs.
Tripathy pointed out that no formal census including caste details of the population has been undertaken since 1931.
“Non-availability of reliable and authentic data about the exact number of SEBCs and OBC population has become an impediment for taking up focussed planning for these communities. Odisha government has an abiding commitment for inclusive growth,” Tripathy wrote.
Last week, the state Cabinet had passed a resolution to request Centre for the census of OBC and SEBC.
The chief secretary’s letter to Centre came on the day Union petroleum and natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan questioned the Odisha government’s move of seeking enumeration of Socially and Educationally Backward Classes and Castes.
In a letter to chief minister Naveen Patnaik, Pradhan said the move to pass the resolution was “a dilatory and step trying to mask the extant policies of the state Government denying state-wide reservation for OBC and SEBC categories.”
Mentioning about central government’s 27% reservation to OBCs in government jobs as well as in educational institutions, the union minister questioned why Odisha was not implementing it.
“Even after nearly 30 years of central government’s 27% reservation to OBCs in government jobs as well as in educational institutions, it is difficult to decipher why Odisha government is not providing any such reservations to OBCs in public employment or in educational institutions and to SEBCs in educational institutions,” Pradhan wrote.