HYDERABAD: The Budget session of the state legislature is expected to commence in the second week of February. The government is likely to introduce a Bill that may pave the way for conducting a caste census across the state.
Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy on Saturday announced that the government would conduct a BC caste census, as was assured in the Congress manifesto in the run-up to the recent Assembly elections. He has reportedly asked officials to prepare a draft Bill for introduction in the Legislative Assembly. Additionally, officials have been directed to study the process being followed in Bihar and other states where caste-based surveys have been undertaken and adopt the best procedures.
According to sources, Revanth has entrusted BC Welfare Minister Ponnam Prabhakar with supervising the process.
The grand old party has already announced that it would undertake a caste census as part of its national agenda before the elections, aiming to benefit the weaker sections.
The Bihar government completed a two-phase caste survey four months ago, revealing that 63% of the state’s population belonged to Backward Classes (BCs). Taking inspiration from this, state officials will analyse Bihar’s model.
Additionally, the Karnataka government conducted a caste census under the banner of socioeconomic and education survey last year. The sibling state of Andhra Pradesh has also initiated a similar process.
It may be recalled here that the former British government conducted the caste census as part of the population census in 1931. Successive governments in independent India are still considering the 1931 census data as the standard. No caste census has been carried out on a national level after Independence.
Ponnam to supervise
According to sources, Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy has entrusted BC Welfare Minister Ponnam Prabhakar with supervising the process of preparing the draft Bill that will be presented in the Assembly