BCs, MBCs constitute 45.5% and 23.6% of T.N. population respectively: Sample Survey

October 13, 2022 10:06 am | Updated 10:06 am IST - CHENNAI

The Backward Classes (BCs) and the Most Backward Classes (MBCs) constitute 45.5% and 23.6% of Tamil Nadu’s population respectively, according to a Tamil Nadu Household Panel Survey’s Pre-Baseline Survey (TNHPS-PBS) 2018-19 funded by the State government. The sample survey showed that the percentage of population practising Hinduism had increased to 89.2%.

The State government’s Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Department initiated the TNHPS–PBS, which was coordinated by the Madras Institute of Development Studies (MIDS) in collaboration with the Survey Research Center of the University of Michigan and Tamil Nadu’s Department of Economics and Statistics.

The Scheduled Castes (SCs) constitute 23.7% and Denotified Communities (DNCs) and the General Categories constitute 3% each of the total population, according to the Summary Report of TNHPS-PBS 2018-19 released earlier this week. The Scheduled Tribes (STs) constitute 0.7% of the population.

As for various religious groups, the report said, “For the period from 2011 to 2018, estimates from Census (2011) and PBS (2018-19) show that the percentage of population practising Hinduism increased from 87.6% to 89.2%, as opposed to other religions that recorded a decline.” This percentage drop was especially apparent for Christianity in rural areas and alternatively for Islam in urban areas, it said.

Compared with the data in the NFHS 2016, the Scheduled Caste population has decreased from 26.8% to 23.74% in 2018-19, said the PBS survey which was carried out by Principal Investigator and Project Coordinator Kripa Ananthpur and her team, including Principal Investigators L. Venkatachalam, K. Jafar, William G. Axinn and Narayan Sastry. The data were collected by the Department of Economics and Statistics.

As for literacy, Tamil Nadu improved from 80.1% during Census 2011 to 85.4% during PBS 2018-19. However, only 50% of the population was employed, it said. Compared with the NSS (2011-12), TNHPS PBS (2018-19) pointed to about 3% decrease in the percentage of working population (53.2% to 50. 1%).

The data collected from a sample size of over 2.12 lakh people across the State showed that the General Category had the highest percentage of people with a bachelor’s degree and/or a higher degree. “A higher share of persons with primary education from the STs, the MBCs (excluding DNC) and the DNCs indicate the educational backwardness of these communities.” Compared with this, the threshold level of education moves higher for the SCs and the BCs (more persons with high school education).

Explaining the significance of the report, Dr. Ananthpur said, "The report is important from three aspects. It is the first State-level panel survey initiated by a State government. Given that the 2021 Census still has not taken place and the last proper database for socio-economic and other demographic indicators is the 2011 Census, this almost comes at a endpoint. So, it is pointing to a trajectory of where the State was heading prior to the pandemic".

The PBS is only pre-pandemic dataset that is available for the State and once the Census is conducted it will be a post-pandemic database.

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