Spare 45 minutes for caste census next month

Survey of socio-economic status of communities to have 54 queries in 5 parts

 You will need to have some patience when enumerators arrive at your doorstep next month to conduct ‘caste census’, for the process is going to take as long as 45 minutes per household.

Social and Educational Survey -2014 or what is more popularly known as the caste census will be as comprehensive as it can get with 54 main queries in its questionnaire spread over five parts. 

The survey, being taken up at a budgetary allocation of Rs 117 crore, will cover every household in Karnataka covering a total population of 6.21 crore and is expected to throw up the reality of the socio-economic status of communities in the State.

All the 54 questions spread over five parts will have to be answered in one sitting. This will be the first caste-based survey in the State since 1931 and will be conducted under the aegis of the Karnataka Backward Classes Commission.

“Inputs from a pilot survey being conducted indicate that an enumerator will on an average require 45 minutes per household. An enumerator will cover six to seven households per day,” Commission Chairman H Kantharaj said. An estimated 1.25 lakh enumerators will be required for the exercise. 

The survey questionnaire is divided into five parts starting with address and geographical location of the household and then moving on to personal details of head of the family and members. Part -3 of the survey will include household schedule, then moving on to educational and employment details of the household members. Part-4 and the concluding part of the survey will have questions on economic, political representation and social aspects, respectively.

Details pertaining to all these aspects of each and every member of the household will have to be taken. 

The survey may take your time but it will help putting an end to the debate that only a section of the communities have been eating away all the reservation benefits in educational institutions and government employment.

The survey would also help analyse the socio-economic progress of each caste and prompt the government to tweak its reservation policy. The  survey will commence in November and will be completed in two months. Kantharaj said the exact date of launch of the survey will be finalised at a meeting next week.

Specifications

As per the questionnaire, citizens will have to state their caste, sub-caste (they can decline to provide the information, if they wish to), state their religion, specify whether they have been converted, state their mother tongue, marital status and age of marriage.

The enumerator will then ask a series of questions on educational qualifications of the members of the household and reasons for discontinuing education after schooling. The enumerator will proceed to ask questions on the employment of the members of the household and business details. Under the economic and political schedule, the migration details, if any, will have to be provided. 

Details of land holdings, agricultural activities (in rural areas) will be sought. The social schedule will have questions on living environment, source of drinking water, source of lighting, property details and benefits obtained from the government. 

For the record, as many as 1,076 castes in the State have been categorised besides 101 sub-castes of Scheduled Castes and 49 sub-castes of Scheduled Tribes. 

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