Nitish Kumar, the chief minister of Bihar, stated on Monday that the country’s need for an updated caste census would benefit all facets of society.
According to the chief minister, the survey result would enable the government in better implement welfare programs for socially and economically disadvantaged populations.
“From the very beginning, we have supported the caste census. We made the decision to carry out the caste survey on our own when the central government declined to do so. It’s happening in the state. According to Kumar, the initiative would give the government information it may use to implement projects that will benefit society’s most vulnerable groups.
From April 15 to May 15, Bihar will conduct its second phase of the caste counting, which will last a month. By May, the enumeration exercise, which began on January 7, will be finished. In Bihar, the Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) administration is in coalition with the Congress.
On April 16, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge sent a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting an updated caste census. He claimed that without it, effective social justice and empowerment measures would be lacking.
Rahul Gandhi, the leader of the Congress, challenged Prime Minister Modi on Sunday to make the 2011 caste-based census data public while also calling for the removal of the 50% quota on reservation while speaking to a crowd in Kolar, Katnataka.
The “50% ceiling” refers to Supreme Court rulings that declare that overall reservations for different communities in government positions and education should not exceed the threshold, albeit there are exceptions with some states exceeding the number.
“The caste census in 2011 was not made public, and it was later discovered that it was improperly conducted. We started putting pressure on them to do it right. When we decided to conduct a caste-based poll, which is presently taking place in the state of Bihar, all parties in the state shared the same opinion.
The Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) was created by the UPA-led by Congress in 2011. Except for the caste data, all census reports have been made public.
“The grand alliance government’s ongoing caste survey is a good endeavour. The state government would be able to determine how many individuals are poor and what kind of actions should be made to integrate them into society by gathering information about people’s economic position and caste during the headcount, Kumar added.
The recognition of people’s economic position, regardless of whether they come from upper castes, lower castes, or really weaker sectors of society, will be extremely beneficial, he stated.
The Bihar Cabinet decided to carry out a caste survey on June 2, 2022. The Bihar bicameral legislature had twice passed resolutions in support of a caste census, in 2019 and 2020. In this context, the Prime Minister had also met with an all-party delegation from the state.