Recently there is a demand for caste-based census. Caste based census is the enumeration of people or families on the basis of caste identity. This helps in identifying the real status of different sections of the society and their share in the society.
- For the first time the caste-based census was started by the British in the year 1881 census. The 1931 census is the last published caste-based census of India with population data on the basis of caste.
- It was stopped from the year 1951 under the policy of discouraging community discrimination on the basis of caste. Caste or tribe-based questions were confined to ‘Scheduled Castes’ and ‘Scheduled Tribes’ (since 1961) only.
- In the year 2011, the Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) was conducted under the supervision of the Registrar General (RG) of India and the Census Commissioner of India along with the caste-based census under the administrative control of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Why the demand for caste-based census?
- To identify the actual demographic composition of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in the population of India.
- To identify each group’s share on national assets for better redistribution.
- Targeted welfare interventions or linking government jobs and educational institutions etc. to the reservation policy.
Issues: adverse effect on national unity and harmony between different castes; procedural issues; Misclassification of castes etc.
Source – The Hindu