SECC 2011: Arvind Panagariya to head panel on caste data

By: | Published: July 17, 2015 12:32 AM

Amid the delay in release of caste data collected by the states under the Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC), 2011...

Amid the delay in release of caste data collected by the states under the Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC), 2011, the Cabinet on Thursday approved setting up of an expert group headed by Niti Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya to classify the data and publicise it.

However, no time line has been set for release of the data on caste/tribe as most of the states are yet to submit their report to the Centre on clubbing of various sub-groups of castes.

States have yet to complete the consolidation of 46 lakh castes,sub- castes,sub-caste names, synonyms, surnames, clan and gothra names enumerated by the census.

“About 9-10 months back the data on caste was sent to states for groupings. Most of the states have not yet submitted their responses,” finance minister Arun Jaitley said.

Caste data is a sensitive issue with political importance. This is the first time such a data would be available for policymakers after the 1932 census.

Other members of the Panagariya committee would be nominated by the ministries of social justice & empowerment and tribal affairs.

The Centre’s move comes after opposition parties demanded release of the caste data immediately.

The government has already released the socio-economic data generated by SECC on rural areas on July 3. It showed that almost 75% of households earn less than R5,000 per month; nearly 60% of them are deprived in some way or the other; 56% are landless and close to 36% of the rural people are illiterate even 68 years after independence.

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