BENGALURU: Karnataka is set for its first caste census in the post-independence era with the massive enumeration starting from April 11. In all, 1.33 lakh enumerators will fan out into every village, town and street to compile data related to religion, caste, education, social and economic condition of about 6.60 crore people.
The entire process is scheduled to be completed by April 30 by covering about 1.26 crore families.
Considered the most exhaustive census to be undertaken in the country, the enumeration form includes 55 columns of which questions from 1 to 31 are related to personal details of the people.
The census also covers information regarding access to various government schemes, including social security programmes, beneficiaries of merit quota in pursuing both primary and higher education, membership of the co-operative institutions and data on carrying any terminal diseases like TB, cancer and other ailments.
A separate column has been assigned to know from school dropouts the specific reasons for not going to school—whether it was due to caste discrimination, problem of medium of instruction, marriage, non-availability of admission, deficiencies of basic amenities and other related issues.
The state government has notified 1,357 castes and sub-castes of the forward communities and OBCs, notified 101 castes and sub-castes of SCs and 50 castes and sub-castes of STs.
Questions from no.42 to 55 are related to social and economic condition of the people, which includes bank accounts, property details etc. Although filling up these columns is not mandatory, people will be requested to furnish the details as it is their responsibility to provide the data which will be extremely useful in ensuring various government benefits accrue to the deserving
populace, H Kantaraj, Chairman, Karnataka State Backward Classes Commission said.
For the first time, the census is set to reflect vital data on religious conversions too, with columns that will indicate the caste before a person converted to and to which religion he or she got converted.
Reply to some of the questions is optional. For instance, those who do not want to be identified with any religion could do so and they would be enumerated with a separate code in the religion column.
Each enumerator has been assigned 120 to 125 families and average time for completing enumeration of one family is expected to be about 20 minutes. But according to some of the enumerators, it is likely to take more than 30 minutes.
The entire exercise is expected to cost about Rs 170 crore to the state government.