Census 2021: The central government has reiterated its stand that there is no plan to enumerate caste-wise data in Census-2021 other than the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The Ministry of Home Affairs today said in the Lok Sabha that the decision has been taken as a matter of policy. The ministry also informed that some states have requested the collection of caste data in the Census.
The MHA said that Maharashtra and Odisha have requested the Centre to collect caste details in the forthcoming Census. However, the Government of India has decided not to enumerate caste-wise population as a policy other than SCs and STs in Census.
The Centre had made it clear in March this year as well that it has no plans to release data on caste Census collected as part of the 2011 exercise.
Then Minister of State (MoS) for Home Nityanand Rai, while replying to a written question by RJD MP Manoj Jha in Rajya Sabha, had said that the castes and tribes which are specifically notified as Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes as per the Constitution are enumerated in Census.
Rai had also informed that the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) and the then Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) had conducted Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011 in rural and urban areas.
“The SECC 2011 data excluding the caste data have been finalized and published by MoRD and HUPA. The Office of the Registrar General, India had provided logistics and technical support in conducting the SECC-2011. The raw caste data has been provided to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE) for the classification and categorization of the data. As informed by MoSJE, there is no proposal to release the caste data at this stage. The Census Schedules are designed in consultation with various stakeholders,” the MHA had said.
The Government had decided to conduct Census 2021 under the Census Act, 1948 in two phases – (a) House listing & Housing Census during April-September, 2020 and (b) Population Enumeration during 9th to 28th February, 2021. It had also decided to update the National Population Register (NPR) under the Citizenship Act, 1955 along with the first phase of the Census. Due to the outbreak of Covid-19, the first phase of Census, updation of NPR and other related field activities have been postponed.