Topic: GS2 – Indian polity
- Caste and religion have been dominant factors in Indian politics for decades.
- Bihar’s recent caste survey signifies a new political strategy within the existing paradigm.
- Critics see it as a return to “Mandal versus Mandir” politics.
Importance of caste census:
- To provide accurate and up-to-date data on the caste composition of the population.This data is essential for designing and implementing effective policies and programs to promote social justice and equity.
- To identify and address the specific needs and challenges faced by different caste groups.For example, the census data can be used to identify caste groups that are lagging behind in terms of educational attainment, employment, and income.
- To monitor the progress of social justice initiatives. The census data can be used to track changes in the socio-economic status of different caste groups over time, and to assess the effectiveness of government policies and programs.
- To ensure fair and equitable representation in government and other institutions.The census data can be used to determine the appropriate representation of different caste groups in legislative bodies, government jobs, and educational institutions.
- The accuracy and reliability of the data.Some critics have questioned the accuracy of the census data, arguing that it may have been manipulated for political purposes.
- The potential for social unrest. Some experts have warned that the caste census data could lead to social unrest, as different caste groups compete for resources and political power.
- The impact on the Supreme Court’s 50% ceiling on reservations.The Supreme Court has set a 50% ceiling on reservations in government jobs and educational institutions. The caste census data could lead to demands for increasing reservations for OBCs and EBCs, which could challenge the Supreme Court’s ceiling.
- The privacy concerns. Some people have raised concerns about the privacy of the caste census data, arguing that it could be used to discriminate against certain caste groups.
- Politicisation of data: Critics argue that caste census data can be used for political gains by the parties.
Conclusion: The issues raised by the caste census in Bihar are complex and multifaceted. It is important to have a thoughtful and informed discussion about these issues in order to ensure that the census data is used in a positive and constructive manner.
Question: Critically analyze the importance of the caste census as done in the state of Bihar, highlighting the issues it raises and the potential implications.