In a first, Census 2021 to collect data on OBCs; BJP likely to redeem move in 2019 polls

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New Delhi:

In a move that could have a large bearing on the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections, census 2021 will collect data on Other Backwards Castes (OBCs) for the first time in the history of independent India. The government's decision to collect the OBC data was revealed after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the preparation for the Census 2021.

“It is envisaged to collect data on OBCs for the first time,” news agency PTI quoted a Home Ministry spokesperson as saying.

In 1990, the then VP Singh government had announced 27 per cent reservation for the OBCs based on the Mandal Commission recommendation, whcih was prepared on the basis of the castes data collected in the 1931 census.

According to the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) report on India's population in 2006, the OBC population in the country was around 41 per cent of the total population.

The National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), a wing of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, had announced a sample survey report on the country’s population in 2006 and suggested that the OBC population in the country is around 41 per cent of the total population.

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BJP likely to redeem the move in 2019 Lok Sabha elections

Several OBC groups across the country have been demanding OBC data collection in Census 2021 for a long time. The BJP, who took the decision, is expected to redeem the move in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

In 2011, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had conducted the Socio-Economic and Caste Census and its findings were released on July 3, 2015, by the ruling Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

However, on July 28, 2015, the ruling government claimed that there were as many as 8.19 crore errors in the Caste Census. It said that of the total errors, as many 6.73 crore were rectified but 1.45 crore errors still remained.

"The census 2021 will be finalised in three years after conducting the census instead of the current seven to eight years period," the Homey Ministry spokesperson said.

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At present, it takes seven to eight years to release the complete data. Nearly 25 lakh enumerators are trained and engaged for the gigantic exercise. Accurate collection of data will be ensured in Census 2021, an official said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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