The Centre on Wednesday told the Parliament that it will not collect fresh data for caste census.
“The raw caste data collected during Socio-Economic Caste Census in 2011 is with Registrar General of India but no proposal to release the data as many technical problems noticed in it by RGI and the data has also become very old & is not usable," said the Centre
The Census 2021 exercise, when carried out, will enumerate only those SCs and STs that were notified through the constitutional orders of 1950, the government informed Parliament on Tuesday. Union minister Nityanand Rai said this in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha on whether the government is planning to undertake a caste census along with the General Decennial Census 2021.
“In Census, the castes and tribes which are specifically notified as Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) as per the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order 1950 and the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950, as amended from time to time, are enumerated," he said. Rai said the Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011 was conducted by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) and the then Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) in rural and urban areas respectively and the SECC 2011 data, excluding the caste data, have been finalised and published by MoRD and HUPA.
“The Office of the Registrar General, India had provided logistics and technical support in conducting the SECC-2011. The raw caste data have been provided to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE) for classification and categorisation of the data. As informed by MoSJE, there is no proposal to release the caste data at this stage," he said.
The minister also said the census schedule is designed in consultation with various stakeholders, including the state governments.
The intent of the Centre for conducting Census 2021 was notified in the Gazette of India on March 28, 2019 but due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the census activities have been postponed, he informed Parliament.
Rai said during the census exercise, data is collected on demographic and various socio-economic parameters such as education, SC and ST, religion, language, marriage, fertility, disability, occupation and migration of individuals.
He said the forthcoming census will be the first digital census and there is a provision for self-enumeration. A mobile application for data collection and a census portal for the management and monitoring of various census-related activities have been developed, he added.
The individual data are not used for the preparation of any other database, including the National Register of Citizens (NRC), and only the aggregated census data at various administrative levels are released, the minister said.