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House Favors Caste Census

Bhubaneswar: On the last day of the monsoon session, the State Assembly on Thursday passed a resolution to ask the State Commission for Backward Classes to urge Centre to conduct a caste-based census and increase the reservation ceiling cap to above 50 per cent.  

SC & ST Development, Minorities & Backward Classes Welfare Minister Jagannath Saraka moved the resolution, which was passed without participation of the opposition BJP and Congress members.

Mr.Saraka said the population of SC and ST is 22.5 per cent and 16.25 per cent of the entire population of Odisha while the OBC/SEBC population has a major share in the remaining population.

As per the existing reservation policy of the State government, he said, reservation is providing 22.5 per cent reservation to SC, 16.25 per cent to ST and 11.25 per cent to SEBC people to keep the ceiling within 50 per cent, in accordance with the Supreme Court direction.   

The reservation for SEBC is not in proportion to their population. As a result, they are deprived of getting suitable reservation in government jobs and other facilities, he said.   

Various including the State Administrative Tribunal, Orissa High Court and Supreme Court had quashed State reservation policy due to lack of a detailed scientific database, Mr.Saraka said.

Based on the Resolution of the State Cabinet, state Chief Secretary, in January 2020, had intimated the Cabinet Secretary for considering the proposal for conducting Census for SEBC and OBC category in General Census 2021.  

However, the Registrar General and Census Commissioner India has rejected it on the ground that the collection of data of OBC/SEBC/other castes etc. will adversely affect integrity of Census exercise, he informed.

He appealed all members of the House to unanimously resolve to ask the Odisha State Commission for Backward Classes to urge on Government of India to increase the reservation ceiling cap to above 50 per cent in order to accommodate the OBC reservation quota and to conduct an OBC caste-based census to enumerate the OBC.  Only treasury bench members supported the resolution and Speaker SN Patro announced passing of resolution in the House.