The Bihar Assembly on Monday passed a resolution recommending to the Centre to conduct caste-based census in 2021, when the next head counting exercise would be held in the country. The caste-based census was required to remove the present cap of 50 per cent on reservation and increase the quota for reserved categories of SCs, STs and OBCs on the basis of the increase in their population, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had said in the House last week.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shrawan Kumar moved the proposal in the assembly amid din by Rashtriya Janata Dal members who demanded Nitish Kumar's resignation in the wake of an order passed by the special POCSO court at Muzaffarpur last week. Shrawan Kumar read out the proposal for the caste-based census in 2021, an issue that has been raised on several occasions by the chief minister.
The resolution was passed five days after Nitish Kumar stressed the need for a caste-based census on February 13, while replying to a discussion on the Motion of Thanks for the governor's address. The only caste-based census in the country had been conducted way back in 1931, he had said.
The parliamentary affairs minister also moved another resolution to implement a roster system at university level by abolishing the department-wise roster system in varsities as asked by the University Grants Commission (UGC). Following an Allahabad High Court order in April last year, the UGC had announced that an individual department should be considered as the base unit to calculate the number of teaching posts to be reserved for SC and ST candidates.
The Supreme Court had last month upheld the Allahabad High Court's judgement. Later, Nitish Kumar announced a hike in monthly emoluments of Vikas Mitras, Shiksha Sewaks, Talimi Markaj Sewaks and cooks who prepare food under the mid-day meal scheme.
Vikas Mitras, who work under the Bihar Mahadalit Vikas Mission, help the Mahadalit community in availing the benefits of several government welfare schemes. Their monthly emolument has been increased by Rs 2,500 from the existing Rs 10,000 per month and it would benefit 9,875 Vikas Mitras across the state, Nitish Kumar said.
Shiksha Sewaks, Tola Sewaks, Talimi Markaj Sewaks work to motivate people belonging to SC, ST and minority communities to get their children enrolled in schools. The emolument for 30,000 such sewaks was raised from Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000, the chief minister said.
The cooks who prepare food under the mid-day meal scheme in primary schools will now get Rs 1,500 per month instead of the current Rs 1,250, Nitish Kumar said. He said the hike would be implemented from this month.
(With inputs from agencies.)