8 crore errors found in caste data: government

States told to rectify errors, says Home Ministry.

July 29, 2015 01:48 am | Updated 01:48 am IST - New Delhi:

Amid political uproar over the unreleased data from the Socio Economic and Caste Census 2014, government on Tuesday said that more than 8.19 crore errors had been detected in the data of which 1.45 crore faults continue to exist.

A total of 8,19,58,314 errors have been found in caste particulars and all States and Union Territories have been informed for rectification of these errors. The States have rectified 6,73,81,119 errors. However, 1,45,77,195 errors are yet to be rectified, a Home Ministry statement said.

Maharashtra with 69.1 lakh errors in the census data tops the list. Currently, there are 13.9 lakh errors in data from Madhya Pradesh, 11.6 lakh errors for West Bengal, 7.2 lakhs for Rajasthan, 5.4 lakh for Uttar Pradesh, 2.9 lakhs for Karnataka, 1.7 lakhs for Bihar, 1.4 lakhs for Tamil Nadu, which were yet to be rectified.

On July 3, the government withheld the caste-based data from the first Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) released in eight decades.

Union Rural Development Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh had brushed aside suggestions that government avoided giving the caste count in the SECC 2014 report due to political reasons ahead of the Bihar polls. “There is no such thing. Connecting it with elections is not good,” he had said.

However, Opposition parties alleged that government was “hiding the truth from the country” by not releasing the data of SC, STs, Backward Class, Minority and Upper Class so as to “minimise the quota for reserved classes cleverly in future.”

Caste names

The Home Ministry statement said the government had reviewed the status of the SECC on July 16 and it emerged that 46,73,034 distinct caste names had been returned in the SECC.

“These include caste/sub-caste names, synonyms, surnames, clan/gothra names, phonetic variations, sections, sub-groups etc. These will have to be classified by experts having domain knowledge on these issues,” it said.

Further, the government noted that the field work of collection of data has been completed and that the data relating to socio-economic features of households in rural areas was released by the Ministry of Rural Development on July 3. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, however, did not release any data relating to urban areas.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced the formation of an expert group to classify and categorise the caste information under the chairmanship of Arvind Panagariya, Vice Chairperson, NITI Aayog.

The members of the expert group would be finalised by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in consultation with the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

“The government is fully committed to completing the SECC and requests the State/UT governments for its fullest cooperation to complete the rectification of errors. In the meanwhile, the classification of the available caste/tribe data will be taken up by the expert group,” the statement said.

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