House panel raps govt for using old data on SCs

A Parliamentary committee has rapped the government for referring to “literature of pre-independence era” and “old anthropological studies” while modifying the list of Scheduled Castes.

In its report tabled in Parliament this week, the Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment, headed by Bahujan Samaj Party MP Dara Singh Chauhan, said the government should “collect and use updated data on economic and social status of various castes.”

 “The committee is unhappy to note that the Registrar General of India (RGI) is referring to
old literature of pre-independence era in determining the socio-economic status of castes for clearing the proposals for inclusion/exclusion of castes and there is no new literature on the demographic and economic status of castes,” the report stated. Concurrence of RGI is essential for inclusion or exclusion of castes from the SC list.

The committee wondered why RGI does not conduct field studies for getting updated information and recommended that the government should collect and use updated data on economic and social status of various castes.

“The government should make available caste-wise data as per the caste Census conducted in 2011, as early as possible,” the committee stated. The data is expected to be released by March, 2013.  

Recently, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Tripura have proposed inclusion of certain communities in the list, while Sikkim proposed an exclusion.

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