Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday announced Census 2021 will count OBCs (Other Backward Classes), nearly three decades after implementation of Mandal Commission gave them reservations.
The enumerators will collect the data of OBCs, and it is expected to be finalized in next three years, i.e., 2024.
Previously, such an exercise took 7-8 years, a spokesperson of Ministry of Home Affairs said.
The MHA reached the decision with a motive that it will give a correct perspective on the country's social status.
It is reported that over 25 lakh trained enumerators will participate in this decennial exercise.
The Ministry plans to improve design and technology for quick data release. "Maps /georeferencing at the time of house listing is also under consideration," the spokesperson said.
Earlier, the UPA government collected data as part of Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC), in 2011, but it is yet to be released.
In this exercise, Rs. 4,893.60cr was spent but Registrar General of India found 'certain errors' in the data, stopping its release.
The Central list of OBCs has 2,479 entries, according to the National Commission for Backward Classes.
While the ministry spokesperson said the idea was to understand how much a society progressed, he remained quiet when questioned if this was done to extend benefits of reservation to OBCs.
The Census of 2021 will have a column for OBCs, similar to one which SC/STs had in 2011.
The house listing is expected to begin in 2020, and headcount in February 2021.
Apart from OBCs data, Singh also spoke about improving Civil Registration System, especially, birth and death dates, in remote areas.
In the meeting, strengthening the sample registration system, for estimating data like infant mortality, maternal mortality ratio and fertility rates, was also discussed.
"Accurate collection of data will be ensured in Census 2021," the spokesperson added.
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