The Odisha Legislative Assembly on Monday resolved to amend the Odisha State Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993, to enable the Commission to survey the social and educational conditions of the backward classes.
Media advisor to state government Manas Mangaraj claimed “A survey pending for ninety years got done (was resolved to be executed) in ninety minutes”.
Earlier this month, the state government had constituted the Odisha State Commission for Backward Classes and appointed retired judge Raghunath Biswal as its chairperson.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s office shared his statement while moving the resolution. It read: “I am thankful to each and every Member of this august House who has been part of this very significant moment which will have a transformative impact on the backward classes of our state.”
Evoking the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the statement read, “As fitting tribute to the Mahatma and his ideals, it is important that the state take up the survey…”
Patnaik also took a swipe at the Central government. “The last census was carried out in 1931 which is now almost 90 years old. With century-old data in hand, we cannot make accurate and focused planning to reach out to the backward classes of the society.”
“Government of India.conducted a socio-economic and caste census in 2011. In 2017, the Government released only a part of this data, which is being used as a basis for identification of beneficiaries for few government schemes. However, the survey data for the backward classes was not released. This has put a serious handicap for giving focused attention towards welfare and empowerment of the backward classes,” the statement added.
Referring to “media reports” about then Home Minister Rajnath Singh mentioning a backward classes survey in Census 2021, the statement continued “This has not been done in the latest census format which has been circulated. It is in this backdrop the state cabinet resolved on January 11 to move the Central Government to include backward class survey in Census 2021.”
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