'Missing signature delaying K'taka caste census report'

Missing signature delaying Karnataka caste census report, says Kota Srinivas Poojary

But former chairman of the Commission H Kantharaj dismissed Poojary’s claims

Kota Srinivas Poojary. Credit: DH File Photo

One missing signature is all that is keeping the Rs 170-crore Socio-economic and Educational Census, popularly known as the Caste Census, from becoming public.

According to Minister for Social Welfare and Backward Classes Welfare Kota Srinivas Poojary, the “technical problem” that has hindered the release of the report was that the then member-secretary of the Karnataka State Commission for Backward Classes had not signed the final report.

Speaking to DH, Poojary said, “The member-secretary of the Commission, who is also the commissioner of the Backward Classes Welfare Department, hadn’t signed the final report.”

According to Poojary, one of the Commission’s members had not signed the report as well. “I don’t know why it was not signed. But, for that reason, we have asked them to review the report,” he said, adding that a review did not mean that the survey would be carried out all over again. 

Also read: 'Census will bring out evidence on caste inequalities'

All these issues are being addressed, Poojary said. “Once the Commission submits the report to the government, the Cabinet will decide whether to release the report or not,” he said.

But former chairman of the Commission H Kantharaj dismissed Poojary’s claims. He said the problem could easily be sorted out if the government had any inclination to release the controversial report.

When contacted, Kantharaj dismissed the claims made by the minister, saying that pending signature was not the reason why the report was not submitted to the government.

“If the government wants, they’ll get the report,” he said.

He said that the report was forwarded to the member-secretary when the term of the Commission ended on September 21, 2019. “I had asked the secretary to submit it to the government,” he said.

Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah said that he would raise the issue of implementing the Caste Census in the upcoming legislature session scheduled to begin on September 13.

“All the programmes of the government are based on outdated census data of various communities. Conducting a caste census every decade will help in designing and implementing welfare programmes better,” he said. 

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