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Raw caste Census data not to be refined and published, says Ministry


NEW DELHI: The raw caste Census data that was shared with the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment by the Ministry of Home Affairs would not be made public. The ministry would not be categorising or classifying the data further. 

Earlier, there were contentions on making the data public.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Home Affairs told Parliament that the raw caste data were handed over to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for classification and categorisation of data. This was in response to a question if the government proposed to make the figures public and when.  

The Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011 was conducted by the then Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) and Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) in rural and urban areas. The data excluding the caste data were finalised and published by MoRD and HUPA.  

With other backward classes (OBC) not classified in the list and the data being haphazard, especially in terms of Aadhaar cards, the ministry would not undertake classification and categorisation of the data, said a ministry official.

Since the data dates back to the SECC 2011 and the next round of Census due shortly, the ministry would not undertake the exercise to refine the data.

“There are thousands of caste in the document as OBCs have not been classified. An expert committee was proposed to be constituted under the chairpersonship of Arvind Panagariya (former vice chairperson of NITI Aayog). This was to look into what can be done to make this data useful for policymaking,” said R Subrahmanyam, Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment when asked about the data classification.

The constitution of the pandel remained pending.

“The exercise will now be futile with us being on the verge of the next Census and the data being old,” he added.