Odisha Channel Bureau
Bhubaneswar: In order to bring about a meaningful and comprehensive development for the people belonging to backward classes in the State, Odisha government will conduct a survey of social and educational conditions of the people belonging to the backward classes.
In order to achieve this objective, the Odisha State Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993 was amended by the State Assembly on Monday to enable the State Commission for Backward Classes to make survey of the people belonging to the backward classes.
Moving a resolution for survey of social and economic condition of the people belonging to backward classes in the State Assembly, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik that in pre independence India the emergence of Odisha as the first modern State on linguistic basis was the result of continuous and prolonged demand, articulated by the Odia speaking people, living in various provinces of British India.
Stating that formation of Odisha on a linguistic identity served as a model for the States of post independent India, Patnaik said since then the State has navigate its path of growth, keeping inclusiveness as its guiding principle.
The Chief Minister stated that to further accelerate inclusive growth it is important to have reliable data about the backward classes of the State. “Unfortunately, we do not have access to any recent data on this.”
The last caste census was in 1931 which is now almost 90-year-old, said Patnaik. “With Century old data in hand, we cannot make an accurate and focussed planning to reach out to the backward classes of the society,” he said.
Patnaik informed the Assembly that realising this need Government of India conducted a socio-economic caste census in 2011. “In 2017, Government of India released only part of this data, which is being used as a basis for identification of beneficiaries for few government schemes.”
“However, the survey data relating to the backward classes was not released. This has put a serious handicap for giving focussed attention towards welfare and empowerment of backward classes,” said Patnaik.
He said that there were media reports about the then Home Minister Rajnath Singh mentioning about the backward classes survey being included in the Census 2021. “However, this has not been done in the latest census format which has been circulated.”
“It is in this backdrop the State Cabinet resolved on January 11, 2020 to move the Central government to include backward class survey as part of the Census 2021. This has been formally moved by the State government to the Central government. Further this issue has been raised both in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha by out Members of Parliament. However, there has been no response,” observed Patnaik.
The Chief Minister further informed the House that on February 12, the State government has constituted the Odisha State Commission for Backward Classes with retired High Court judge Justice Raghunath Biswal as its Chairperson.
“In a historic move today (Monday), this August House has resolved to amend the Odisha State Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993, to enable the Commission to make survey of the social and educational conditions of the people belonging to the backward classes.
“I am thankful to each and every Member of this August House who has been part of this very significant moment which will have a transformative impact on the backward classes of our State,” observed Patnaik in his statement.
“We are commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. His idea of India had the empowerment of the vulnerable as the core objective of the State. As a fitting tribute to Mahatma and his ideals, it is important that the State takes up the survey of backward classes,” he said.