Odisha’s first survey of backward classes

The Odisha government will start the first state survey of “social and educational conditions” of people belonging to the backward classes from May 1 to May 20, 2021.

Highlights

In the state of Odisha, there are around 209 communities which are identified as the socially and educationally backward classes (SEBCs). They account for 54% of the Population in Odisha.

Background

The proposal to carry the survey on SEBCs was approved by the Odisha State Commission for Backward Classes (OSCBC) February 26, 2021.

About the Survey

The Survey will be conducted with respect to the social and educational conditions of the people who belongs to the backward classes in the state. It will cover the details like their occupation, and education standard etc. The state minister for SC/ST development stated that this move will be of transformative nature and it will have a transformative impact in the backward population in the state.

What is centre’s take?

The state government had reached out to the Centre and demanded to conduct a socio-economic caste survey along with the general census in 2021. However, this proposal was turned down by the central government.

Significant of the move

The decision by the Odisha government is significant in the light that there is a growing demand of the “Caste-Based Census”. A commission headed by former Delhi Chief Justice G Rohini is working towards the sub-categorisation of the OBCs. But this is unscientific and illegal without obtaining such backward class data or the caste census.

Growing demand of Caste Census

The supreme court of India recently agreed to examine a plea that seeks for directions to the central government to conduct “caste-based” census in the year 2021 in order to collect data on the other backward classes. Following this, the bench comprising of Chief Justice of India, S A Bobde and others have issued notice to centre and the national commission of backward classes.

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