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No Caste Census Since Independence, Except for SC & ST Populations: Govt in LS

The Home Ministry told the Lok Sabha that the 2021 census was postponed due to the prevailing COVID-19 situation.

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India
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No Caste Census Since Independence, Except for SC & ST Populations: Govt in LS
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"The Government of India has not enumerated caste wise population other than SCs and STs in Census since independence," the Ministry of Home Affairs informed the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, 30 November.

The written statement by the Union government was filed by Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai, in response to a question concerning caste-based census in India.

"The castes and tribes which are specifically notified as Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) as per the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order 1950 and the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950, as -2- LS.USQ.NO.427 FOR 30.11.2021 amended from time to time, are enumerated in decadal Census," the government stated in the response.

The Home Ministry further said that the 2021 census was postponed due to the prevailing COVID-19 situation.

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"The Census Schedule is designed in consultation with various stakeholders including Central Ministries. The intent of the Government for conducting Census 2021 was notified in the Gazette of India on 28th March, 2019. However, due to outbreak of Covid-19, the Census activities have been postponed."

In September, the government had informed the Supreme Court that the "caste Census of Backward Classes is administratively difficult and cumbersome."

"The population census is not ideal instrument for collection of details on caste... there are two separate OBCs lists viz. Central list and state list. Unlike SCs and STs lists, the lists of OBCs are not exclusively central subjects," it had told the court, news agency IANS has reported.

A number of political leaders, including Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, have urged the Centre to conduct a caste-based census "in the interests of the country."

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