NEW DELHI: The Central government has decided against enumerating caste-wise population other than Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the upcoming Census, despite requests from the state governments of Maharashtra and Odisha for the same.
The decision has been taken as a matter of policy, the government informed the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
“The state governments of Maharashtra and Odisha have requested to collect caste details in the forthcoming Census. The government of India has decided as a matter of policy not to enumerate caste-wise population other than Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the Census,” Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai stated in a reply.
The BJP MP was responding to questions posed by party colleague Raksha Khadse, who asked whether the government proposes for the first time to enumerate the population based on socio-economic and caste status during the proposed Census of India in 2021.
Rai said that according to the provisions of the Constitution, seats are reserved for SCs and STs in Lok Sabha and in the Assemblies in proportion, as nearly as may be, to their population.
The minister added that in the Census, the castes and tribes which are specifically notified as Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes as per the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order 1950 and the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950 (as amended from time to time) are enumerated.
Replying to another question in the house, Rai said the intent of the government for conducting a Census in 2021 had been notified in the Gazette of India on March 28, 2019, but due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Census activities were postponed.
According to the last Census of India conducted in 2011, Scheduled Castes constituted about 16.6 per cent of the country’s population. In the case of Shceduled Tribes, this figure was 8.6 per cent.