Why in news?
Bihar chief minister announced to undertake a socio-economic survey of all castes and communities in Bihar
What is Caste-Based Census?
- Inclusion of caste-wise tabulation in India’s population Census exercise
- Caste-based census was last collected in 1931 during the colonial period
- In 1941, caste-based data was collected but not published
- From 1951 to 2011, every census published the data of only Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (including Dalits and the Adivasis)
- All other castes are counted under General Category
Why India needs it?
- Lack of documented data on OBC population
- 1931 caste census included present-day Pakistan and Bangladesh
- National Commission for Backward Classes and different states are demanding to measure the socio-economic well-being of all castes
How it will benefit?
- Promotes good governance. For effective governance, data of the governed is necessary
- Helps in improving the position of Dalits and OBCs in the society
- Serves as an alternative to faulty and unreliable existing data (experts claimed Socio-economic and caste census 2011 has errors)
- Ensures independent research on identifying the needy
- Promotes effectiveness of the reservation system
- Uproots reservations originating from caste politics
- Strengthens the social rifts
- Identity-based public policy may not be effective in addressing social challenges (universal approach is the hallmark of social democracy)
- Beneficial to vote bank (except for politicians, this move is of no use to public)
- Enhances inter-caste differences
- Spurs demands for more quotas (OBC population according to Mandal Commission is more than 52%)
- Reduces India’s chances of becoming a global superpower
- To take forward the caste-based census, aspects like equitable distribution of wealth and power, social stability, should be taken into consideration rather than the partisan political gains