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'Odisha to approach Centre for caste-wise enumeration of SEBCs, OBCs during 2021 census

'Odisha to approach Centre for caste-wise enumeration of SEBCs, OBCs during 2021 census
The Cabinet also resolved to impress upon the Centre to ensure that these enumeration details are published without any delay, the minister said. Image Credit: Blue Diamond Gallery

The Odisha government on Saturday decided to approach the Centre to conduct a socio-economic caste enumeration during the general census in 2021. The state government made the decision during a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

During the meeting, the Cabinet unanimously adopted a resolution to move the Centre so that an enumeration of Socially and Educationally Backward Classes and Other Backward Classes (SEBC/OBC) be conducted along with the general census, Law Minister Pratap Jena said. This can be done either by inserting suitable columns in the Census format or by prescribing a separate format for a simultaneous enumeration of the SEBCs and OBCs, he said.

The Cabinet also resolved to impress upon the Centre to ensure that these enumeration details are published without any delay, the minister said. This will enable the state government to accelerate the pace of development of these communities, leading to an inclusive growth with greater momentum, he said.

"As we are commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, this will be a fitting tribute to his idea of India guided by his Talisman in which the welfare of the poorest and the weakest becomes the core objective of the state," added Jena. The cabinet passed the resolution, noting that no formal census including caste details of the population has been undertaken since 1931.

Due to the non-availability of reliable and authentic data about the exact number of SEB Cand OBC population, the geographical areas of their spread and density, ensuring focussed and outcome-specific planning is becoming a challenging task, Jena said. The Cabinet meeting pointed out there is no provision to enumerate details of the SEBC and OBC population despite such an exercise having been conducted in 2011, said Jena.

The full data of the 2011 census is yet to be released, he said. "Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation, considered economic equality to be the master-key to complete independence. He said my idea of society is that while we are born equal, meaning that we have a right to equal opportunity. The makers of the Indian Constitution took cognizance of this reality and sought to address the challenges through enabling Constitutional provisions," the resolution, seeking a caste-wise enumeration of the SEBC and OBC population, read.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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