Andhra becomes 2nd State to take up ‘caste census’
The Andhra Pradesh government has initiated a comprehensive caste census, making it the second state after Bihar to undertake such an enumeration.
GS-02 (Polity, Government policies and interventions)
SECC (Socio-Economic and Caste Census):
- The SECC was first inaugurated in 1931 aimed to gather economic information about Indian families in rural and urban areas, identifying indicators of deprivation.
- It also documented specific caste names to assess the economic conditions of different caste groups.
Difference Between Census & SECC:
- While the Census provides a broad overview of the Indian population, SECC is utilized to pinpoint beneficiaries of state support.
- Census data is confidential under the Census Act of 1948, whereas personal information in SECC is accessible to government departments for granting or restricting household benefits.
The History of Caste-based Data Collection in India:
- Caste-based data collection in India dates back to 1931, with caste information included. Post-1951, the decision to discontinue collecting caste data aimed to move away from divisiveness and promote national unity.
- However, changing socio-political dynamics and the need for accurate information have renewed calls for a caste census.
Significance of Caste Census:
- A caste census can identify disadvantaged groups, aiding policy formulation to address social inequality and uplift marginalized communities.
- Accurate data on OBCs and other groups is crucial for equitable resource distribution. It provides insights into socio-economic conditions and needs, guiding policymakers in inclusive development.
- It facilitates evaluating the impact and outcomes of such policies, informing decisions on their continuation and modification.
- Caste influences Indian society profoundly, it offers a comprehensive view of societal diversity, shedding light on social fabric and interplay between different caste groups.
- Article 340 of the Constitution mandates a commission to investigate the conditions of socially and educationally backward classes, supporting the case for a caste census.