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Telangana Gears Up for Comprehensive Caste Census in July

The Congress-led government in Telangana is set to conduct a detailed Caste Census in July, fulfilling a key electoral promise. This significant initiative aims to gather comprehensive data on the socio-economic and educational status of various castes, including minority communities, across the state.

Preparations in Full Swing

On Wednesday, officials revealed that the Telangana State Commission for Backward Classes would present a report to the government by the end of the month, outlining the methodologies for the upcoming door-to-door census. This move follows a commitment made by the Congress during the 2023 Assembly election campaign, where they assured voters of undertaking this crucial exercise if elected.

Legislative and Financial Backing

After assuming office on December 7, 2023, Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy promptly announced plans for the Caste Census. A decisive step was taken on February 5, when the state Cabinet unanimously approved the proposal during a meeting. The Cabinet also sanctioned a budget of ₹150 crore to support this extensive project. Subsequently, Deputy Chief Minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka introduced a resolution for the Caste Census in the Assembly on February 17. Following an extensive debate that saw active participation from all political factions, the Assembly unanimously endorsed the resolution for a comprehensive door-to-door Caste Census, inclusive of all communities, including Muslims.

Ensuring Legal Robustness

To preempt potential legal challenges, Chief Minister Reddy tasked the state BC Commission with formulating the census’s modalities and questionnaire. The Commission was instructed to study the methodologies adopted by states like Bihar and Karnataka in their caste census exercises, focusing on the factors that led to legal disputes and measures to avoid similar issues in Telangana.

Expert Consultation and Questionnaire Development

The Telangana BC Commission reviewed the questionnaires used in Karnataka and Bihar, which covered socio-economic and educational conditions across castes, to identify questions that previously encountered legal challenges. With these insights, the Commission finalized a robust questionnaire featuring 53 questions addressing the socio-economic and educational status of all castes, including minority groups. 

To enhance the accuracy and effectiveness of the census, the Commission sought the expertise of prominent institutions such as the Centre for Economic and Social Studies (CESS), Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI), Centre for Good Governance (CGG), and the Directorate of Economics and Statistics (DES). These organizations bring substantial experience in conducting similar large-scale surveys, ensuring the credibility and precision of the census process.

A Landmark Initiative

The upcoming Caste Census in Telangana represents a landmark initiative aimed at providing a detailed demographic analysis of the state’s diverse population. This comprehensive data collection is expected to inform policy decisions and promote socio-economic development across all communities. By involving key academic and research institutions, the Telangana government aims to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data collected, ultimately contributing to more informed and effective governance.

Conclusion

As Telangana gears up for this ambitious Caste Census, the state stands at the cusp of a significant socio-political exercise that promises to bring about informed policy-making and inclusive growth. With meticulous planning and expert collaboration, the Congress government is set to deliver on its promise, paving the way for a more equitable and data-driven approach to governance.

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