NEW DELHI: The Centre set the National Data Base (NDB) ball rolling by convening a two-day interactive session involving bureaucrats, economics and academicians this week, and set 2013 as the deadline for its formation. In other words, the NDB would in place just before the 2014 general elections.
Originally mooted by the Sachar Commission, the NDB would be an autonomous, apex body that collates data from all existing sources, including the ongoing socio-economic caste census, Population Census and the NSSO survey. Its writ would run over all the departments of both the Central and State governments and it would be obligatory on their part to supply information to the NDB. The NDB is likely to be under the control of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
As per the concept note on the NDB, the government’s move is “in the background of demand for job reservation by SC/ST in the private sector, by OBCs in government jobs and education, by women in Parliament, demands by nomadic and denotified tribes, dalit Muslims, dalit Christians, and other subcastes in OBC and SC/STs’’.
Though the Sachar Committee had suggested the NDB way back in 2006, the government kept sitting over it till recently. But with the UP elections on the radar and the talk of Rahul Gandhi leading the Congress in the 2014 Parliament elections looming large, the Congress wants to use the NDB as a trump card.
As per the understanding, the data from the Population Census and Caste Census would form the benchmark data of NDB. To this would be added the NSSO survey results and the outcome of National Family and Health Survey. Another major source would be the data bases maintained by various ministries in charge of beneficiary oriented programmes. The NDB would also be a repository of special reports and studies commissioned by various arms of the government.