Caste census to begin in Nov

First caste-based survey since 1931; 1.25 lakh enumerators to be used

Caste census to begin in Nov

The much-delayed caste census that is dubbed to throw up the reality of the socio-economic status of communities in the State will be held from November this year.

The two-month exercise, being taken up at budgetary allocation of Rs 117 crore, will cover each and every household in the State covering a total population of 6.21 crore.

The census would be conducted under the aegis of the Karnataka Backward Classes Commission.  This will be the first caste-based survey in the State since 1931. While the caste census was first mooted ten years ago, the survey could not move forward for various reasons.

“We will go ahead with the census from November this year. An estimated 1.25 lakh enumerators will be required for the exercise. We are planning to enrol enumerators who participated in the 2011 general census. Additional requirement will also be met and training programmes for the enumerators will be held. We plan to complete the entire process by December end. In all, 1.25 crore households will be covered,” Karnataka Backward Classes Commission Chairman H Kantharaj told Deccan Herald.

Details of every caste including Brahmins and other communities not coming under the reservation bracket will also be collected. Soon after the Congress government came to power, it removed the then chairman of the commission N Shankarappa and three other members.

It is said the government did not want to go ahead with the census under a chairperson appointed by the BJP as the party government would not have got credit, it is said. 

Besides the caste and sub-caste, other socio-economic parameters to be gathered during the census include annual income, domestic expenditure, household data, occupation of household members, source of drinking water, lighting facility, immovable assets, among others. Kantharaj said the enumerator will ask a total of 54 questions. The questionnaire will be finalised soon, he said.

There has been a perpetual debate that only a section of the communities have been eating away all the reservation benefits in educational institutions and government employment.

Despite the fact that the last caste census was held in 1931, caste has always been politicised in the State and has been part of vote bank politics.

Successive governments have recommended inclusion of different communities in the reservation list. For instance, in 1951, eighteen castes were classified as backward classes and it rose to 165 in 1959.

The Devaraj Urs government dropped Lingayats from the backward classes list based on a recommendation submitted by the backward classes commission headed by L G Havanur.

As per the commission’s recommendations, Kuruba and Agasa communities got a reservation of 10 per cent. The survey will now throw up the reality whether the deprived are getting benefits of reservation.

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