The long-pending proposal of the Karnataka State Permanent Backward Classes Commission to conduct a State-wide caste census will be taken up and completed within a year, as soon as the government releases the promised funds, said commission chairperson S. Shankarappa.
Speaking at a public hearing organised by the commission here on Monday, he said the government had, in principle, agreed to give Rs. 100 crore for the mammoth exercise.
He was responding to a complaint during the hearing that delay in caste census and absence of proper data on various backward classes in Karnataka was responsible for many communities not getting their due in reservation quota.
G.K. Satya, representing the Kshatriya Maratha community, said in the course of his submission to the commission that the population size of communities and extent of their backwardness are unknown because of the inordinate delay in holding the census.
Mr. Shankarappa admitted that there had been a delay though the census was first proposed in 2004-2005 and the Centre had released money for the purpose. He said that the costs had since then gone up and the exercise would now require Rs. 100 crore.
“We have held a meeting on this, passed a resolution and submitted a proposal to the government. The government has agreed to release funds,” said Mr. Shankarappa.
The commission had also prepared a financial estimate, he added. The exercise will entail a door-to-door survey of 1.18 crore households by one lakh enumerators.
At the hearing on Monday, three communities — Maheshwari, Kshatriya Maratha and Shivarchaka — made submissions to the commission. While some communities demanded re-classification within the Backward Classes list, others demanded inclusion. Three more — a Sooryavamsha Kshatriya Hindu Kalal, Hadapada Appanna community and Bellalla Okkaliga — will be heard on Tuesday.
Mr. Shankarappa said that all the submissions will be recorded and some of the claims would be verified through spot inspections.