Headline : Census 2021 to collect OBC data, use maps
- In a first, Census 2021 will collect data on Other Backward Classes (OBC).
Key features of Census 2021
- The decennial exercise of Census headcount will begin from February 2021.
- About 25 lakh enumerators are being trained for accurate collection of data.
- For the first time, geo-referencing using maps at the time of house listing might be undertaken.
- While the 2011 included a separate column for Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes, in 2021 OBCs would also be an option in the column.
- Further the Census data will be released within three years after conducting of Census.
- Currently it takes seven or eight years to release the data.
- Besides for the first time the data collected, in the form of ‘schedules’, will be stored electronically.
- Collecting data on OBC will signify caste as an index in population enumeration.
- The last time data on caste was collected was in Census 1931.
- Following this it was decided in 2011 to conduct caste census.
- However the 2011 caste data collected as part of the Socio-economic Caste Census (SECC) is yet to be released because the data was full of anomalies.
- This is because SECC 2011 was a response-based exercise.
- It consists of more than 46 lakh castes, sub-castes, clans etc.
- Thus sub-categorising them has become difficult.
- Thus to avoid this, the government has decided to have a separate column with pre-decided list of castes in 2021 census.
Significance of collecting OBC data
- It will give a correct perspective on the social status of OBCs in the country.
- OBC data of Census 2021 will complement a commission that was constituted in 2017 to examine sub-categorisation of OBCs.
- In 2017, a 5-member commission under Justice Rohini was constituted for sub-categorisation of OBCs in the central list.
- It will help in scientific determination of inequitable distribution of reservation benefits.
- It will also help in scientific approach for sub-categorisation.
Section : Polity & Governance