The Home Ministry Friday announced that the Census 2021 will for the first time collect data on Other Backwards Castes (OBC). A home ministry spokesperson told PTI that the Census 2021 will be finalised in three years after conducting the census instead of seven to eight years now. “It is also envisaged to collect data on OBCs for the first time,” he said.
The announcement came after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the preparation for the Census 2021. Rajnath Singh discussed the road map for undertaking the census in 2021. It was emphasised that improvements in design and technological interventions be made to ensure that the data is finalised within three years of the census being conducted.
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. The use of maps and geo-referencing at the time of house listing is also under consideration.
The minister stressed the need for improvement in the civil registration system, especially registration of births and deaths in remote areas and strengthening sample registration system for estimating data such as Infant Mortality Rate, Maternal Mortality Ratio and Fertility Rates.
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.
The NSSO had enumerated 79,306 households in rural areas and 45,374 in urban regions. The ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) is expected to highlight the decision to collect OBC data in the 2021 census in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls as several OBC groups have been demanding for it for long.