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Experts Welcome Caste Survey Findings | Patna News – Times of India

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Patna: Academics and social scientists have by and large welcomed the findings of the Bihar caste survey released on Monday and expressed the hope that the state initiative will lead to a national voice for the country-wide caste census.
Most of them appeared quite optimistic of the survey report as it would help the government formulate development plans for the economic upliftment of the weaker sections of the society. They, however, cautioned that the findings must not be used only for the purpose of elections.
Vidyarthi Vikas of A N Sinha Institute of Social Studies observed that the Bihar caste survey indicates that the share of economically backward class (EBC) in state’s population is 36%.
“The Mungeri Lal Commission had also reported the EBC’s share as one-third of the total population. However, the political representation of the EBC in the 2020 Assembly elections was only around 11%,” he said.
There was murmuring among social and political leaders of EBCs that the extremely backward castes have been deprived of their political and social rights to a greater extent and that the OBCs have benefited from the political base of EBCs. They may reclaim their rights as the elections are approaching, he said.
“As the EBCs and OBCs together constitute 63% in Bihar, reservation may be reclaimed around 63% for them at the national level,” Vikas said.
Economist Sudhanshu Kumar of Bihar Institute of Public Finance and Policy said that the survey suggests that the population of Bihar has rapidly increased and has now crossed 13 crore, making it one of the most densely populated regions in the country.
“This should be a matter of serious deliberations at the policy level, as the limited natural and fiscal resources make it challenging to deliver through the welfare schemes to improve the standard of living of the people at the desired pace,” he said.
Kumar said a big exercise after this caste survey is to examine the information related to economic well-being at the individual and the household levels in the state.
This will not only reveal the current economic status but also highlight the need to go beyond the rhetoric. “Also, most importantly, now that the caste-based information collection has started, it should be frequently carried out, initially at the interval of five years, to track the progress or achievements based on the targeted policy initiatives,” he added.
General secretary of the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations of Bihar, Sanjay Kumar Singh, MLC, said the findings of Bihar caste survey may prove useful, if implemented judiciously for the socio-economic development of the backward regions of the state.
Retired sociology teacher of Patna College and former president of the Patna University Teachers’ Association, Randhir Kumar Singh, apprehended that ahead of elections, the caste survey findings may create greater demand for caste-based reservation and thus create social tension.

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