Caste Census in Bihar 2023: Important things to know

Caste Census in Bihar 2023: Important things to know

One of the most discussed schemes by the Bihar government in 2022 was Jati Janganana. It was one of the dream projects of the CM of Bihar to validate and upgrade the current form of reservation.

This survey will be conducted in two stages, the first stage of which started on 7 Jan 2023 in all districts. In the first stage, there will be a counting of houses in which people are living. The target is to complete the first stage on 21 Jan 2023 covering approximately 2.5 crores houses with 5 lakhs employees.

Why caste census Bihar 2023?

  • The basic need for this program is reservation as it is based on the predicted population of different castes. However, it is easier to validate it with actual data.
  • The last time the caste census was performed was in 1931. This is one of the reasons why it is facing opposition since its implementation.
  • There have been several protests across the country to add specific castes under reservation for example - Jats in Haryana, Patels in Gujrat Gurjar in Rajsthan, etc.
  • The central government made it clear to not conduct any caste census as they feel it will create more problems among communities and more protests for reservations.
  • However, the government of Bihar made it very clear before their demand from the central government to conduct a caste census.
  • Their argument was similar to that for the census of religion as it helps to identify minorities and then frame laws for them. Jati Janganana will also help to identify deprived castes and then launch schemes for their upliftment.

Caste census in different states

  • It was launched in Karnataka in 2015 as a Socio-Economic survey. It served approximately 1.2 crore families and a total population of 6.6 crores with 1.3 lakh employees. The data is securely stored and never made public.
  • The government of Maharashtra also asked the central government to conduct a caste census with the 2021 census. But after refusal, they launched another survey in 2021.
  • A similar survey was also started in Chhatisgarh by the state government and the same is still going on.
  • Odisha has requested a caste census from the union government, although the state of Odisha has not yet made any pronouncements about conducting one.

The Union government, however, is not willing to alter the Constitution to permit state-led censuses. It previously stated that it has no intention of making the Socio-Economic Caste Census - 2011 caste data public. Additionally, it has been said that caste will not be counted in the upcoming census.

First Stage of Bihar Caste Census 2023

  • To complete this survey, the government has appointed an enumerator to each 700 population or 150 houses.
  • There will be one supervisor for every 6 enumerators who will guide them in data collection.
  • These enumerators will be teachers, Aanganvadi sevika, Jivika Didis, etc. Approximately 2 lakh such enumerators will be assigned.
  • After the completion of the first stage target, the data will be submitted and further plans for stage 2 will be planned.

Second Stage of Bihar Caste Census 2023

  • A questionnaire of 10 to 12 questions will be prepared for this stage and then tasks would be assigned according to the planning.
  • Every village will be covered which may take a year to be completed.
  • The government of Bihar also has to prove it in the supreme court as a petition is filed in the apex court against this survey.