If critics of caste-based reservations are sincere, they should demand more data about education opportunities and economic conditions by caste. It must be welcomed if they sincerely believe that educational and job opportunities are spread well or are not based on caste but rather on economic class. In addition to counting, the census generates data on a range of factors such as educational attainment, occupation, household assets, and life expectancy for each group enumerated at each level.
Myths & Politics On Caste Census
Caste enumeration should be of concern to those who benefit most from caste-based reservations. The census may provide solid evidence that some castes are too privileged to be on the OBC list [officially called SEBC, or Socially and Educationally Backward Classes]. The caste enumeration concept has good arguments for both supporters and opponents.
Inclusion within OBC lists would become unnecessary once a complete data set is available. As a result, to be included on the OBC list, people would simply use census data to prove their ‘backwardness’. Otherwise, they would be forced to remain silent. Over the years, the courts have been insisting that reservations be based on verifiable evidence.
There is something odd about a country with such a large affirmative action program based on caste failing to collect information on caste’s educational and economic profiles. Caste census opponents make arguments that are either uninformed, illogical, or ill-intentioned. India has not collected caste data since 1931, so this would be a significant change in our national policy. This isn’t true.
All Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes have been represented in the census ever since Independence. You can locate, if you want, the regional or block-level numbers of Balmikis, agricultural laborers, two-wheeler owners, or graduates for your chosen district or block. A complete enumeration of all jatis has not been carried out since 1931.
You should not experience any operational difficulties enumerating OBCs, as is the current practice for SCs and STs. The Census proforma could be amended to include an additional column. State and national lists of OBC jatis exist. This can be accomplished by selecting the central list and enumerating it. There would be some difficulties in conducting a full caste census since there is no official list of all castes in the country.
Several years after the Census has taken place, some of the census tables are released. A caste census isn’t needed to prove that the number of OBCs in jobs and academic institutions is much higher than the 27 percent allotted. OBC makes up 52 percent of the total population of the country, according to the report. It has nothing to do with the population share; it is the maximum feasible while respecting the 50 percent cap.
Having a 45 percent population of OBCs has no bearing on their usage in the job market. In the latest demand, the all-party delegation has political motivations. The truth is, of course, that. The demand is still valid, despite such a circumstance. In the same way, the politically charged demand for free Covid vaccinations for everyone does not make it wrong. In the past, the Registrar General of Census, the National Commission on Backward Classes, and other governmental agencies have urged the inclusion of OBCs in the census.
Demand & Impact
Census 2021 can include a caste column for enumerating OBCs until a full-blown caste census is conducted. There are roughly 177 million other backward class people in India, referred to as OBCs. OBCs make up approximately 8 percent of the worldwide population if, as estimated by the Mandal Commission, they account for 52 percent of India’s population.
The population of the enumerated group is probably the largest human group and has a common social denominator. Unlike other populations, OBCs are technically counted every ten years as mandated by the Census of India. In reality, unlike Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST), they are combined and included in a category called “Other”.
One cannot accurately determine the size of their population or their sociodemographic characteristics. There is a government opinion that caste should not be counted in the census. Currently, the government does not want caste to be included in the census. It is being demanded that India’s population be tabulated based on caste in the upcoming census. There are no detailed data available on castes in the Other Backward Classes (OBC) in India and other classes.
Caste should be included in censuses since the 1980s. Around the time of the activity, many debates heat up. A discrepancy was found with data from almost 25 percent of the participants in the study. Data were eventually released, but only for different castes in India and not by population. Although caste is said to have been removed from the census activity because it leads to division, advocates of its inclusion believe the exercise will benefit the poor and facilitate better and more targeted welfare schemes in the country.
A caste census may also help reservation policymakers determine the necessary affirmative action. There is no data on the OBC population as of yet, but the Mandal Commission report noted 52% for SC and ST residents. Due to the nature of data variables, the survey coverage, the degree of veracity (compared to the census), and the lack of reliability, public policy purposes are limited.
SECC 2011 & Census Of India
In several ways, it failed to fulfill its purpose. Upon closer scrutiny, SECC questionnaires are characterized by the incomprehensibility of data variables, inaccurate data capture (especially for caste variables), as well as a lack of structure. As expected, the data remain off-limits to public access and therefore to wider scrutiny.The demand for a caste-based count (or adding a caste column) in the Indian census is growing day by day without SECC 2011 data. Caste should be included in the census; nonetheless, in its current form, it may not present the data necessary to address the needs of inclusive social policymaking. The measure wouldn’t resolve many endless questions, particularly to the representation of OBCs. However, the data will still exclude key issues such as level of income, wealth, representation in top jobs, professions descended from caste, etc.
People from distinct social categories would remain unaware that their socio-economic status is backward in the nation. A caste-based census in its current format plus a caste column will provide only limited information and fail to address most of the pertinent questions that those who advocate caste-based censuses want to be answered.
To solve the problem, a full-scale caste census along the lines of the SECC 2011 needs to be well-conceived, detailed in design, and comprehensive to socio-economic variables. In 2021, caste-based counts will, however, not be considered as part of the Census of India. Until a full caste census is conducted by the government, at least a caste column could be included in the count of OBCs.