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Centre rejects state’s request to conduct caste-based census

By Surendra P Gangan, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2020 11:43 PM IST

The Centre has rejected the state’s demand for a caste-based census to find out the population of the Other Backward Classes (OBC).

In response to the resolution passed by the Maharashtra Assembly urging the Centre for the implementation of caste-based census, the Centre has said that there is no such provision in the Constitution, and any such practice will adversely affect the integrity of census exercise.

The Assembly on January 8 had passed the resolution unanimously requesting for the caste-based census. The copy of the resolution was sent to the ministry of home affairs urging for an altercation in the practice of census.

In a letter, dated February 17, Vivek Joshi, registrar general and census commissioner of India, has informed the Assembly that the demand cannot be conceded.

“As per the central list, total number of OBCs in the country is 6,285, while the number goes up to 7,200 if the list is prepared by the states, and Union Territories are taken into account. Since the people use their clan, gotra, sub-castes and caste names interchangeably, and the due to the phonetic similarities in the names, it may lead to the misclassification of the castes,” the letter stated. The letter further states, “The enumeration of OBCs, SEBCs will adversely affect the integrity of Census exercise and hence it has not been taken up in 2021 census.”

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