CASTE CENSUS (Syllabus: GS Paper 1– Society (Population)

News-CRUX-10     4th October 2023        
output themes

Context: The Bihar caste survey was recently released by the state government.

  • Given that Bihar's coalition government primarily consists of Other Backward Classes (OBCs), they have recently experienced marginalization within the existing reservation system.

Caste Census

  • About: The caste census entails the categorization of India's entire population by caste, with a focus on Other Backward Classes (OBCs), rather than solely on Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs).
  • The initial separate data for SCs and STs was published in the 1952 census.
  • The first-ever caste census data became available in 1931.
  • Despite the inclusion of caste data in the 2011 census, the information was not made public.
  • Caste Survey: As only the central government can conduct a census, states like Bihar and Odisha have been conducting socio-economic caste surveys to inform policy-making by assessing the social and economic conditions of various castes.

Key Findings of the Survey

  • The largest social group in Bihar, the Extremely Backward Classes (EBCs), comprises 36.01% of the population.
  • Other Backward Classes (OBCs) make up 27.12% of the population.
  • Scheduled Castes (SCs) account for 19.65%.
  • Scheduled Tribes (STs) represent a minority at 1.68%.