The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) informed the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday that there was “no proposal at present to release the report of the caste census” carried out in 2011.
Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said the Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC), 2011, was conducted by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) and the then Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) in rural and urban areas respectively.
The SECC 2011 data, excluding the caste data, had been finalised and published by the MoRD and the HUPA. The Office of the Registrar General had provided logistics and technical support in conducting the SECC-2011.
“The raw caste data has been provided to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE) for classification and categorisation of the data. As informed by MoSJE, there is no proposal to release the caste data at this stage,” he said in a written reply to a question.
The Minister stated that the intent of the government for conducting Census 2021 had been notified in the Gazette of India on March 28, 2019. The census schedule was designed in consultation with various stakeholders.
In census, the castes and tribes that were specifically notified as Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes as per the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950, and the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950, were enumerated.
After Independence, India decided, as a matter of policy, not to enumerate caste-wise population other than the SCs and STs, Mr. Rai said.
Data on OBCs
The MHA said in 2018 that Census 2021 (now postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19) would, for the first time, collect data on Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
As per the National Commission for Backward Classes, there were 2,479 entries in the Central list of the OBCs.
The government set up the Justice Rohini Commission in 2017 to look into the issue of equitable redistribution of the 27% quota for OBCs. The panel has been given several extensions and is yet to submit its report.