Caste-based Census data should be made public: Nitish Kumar

Caste-based Census data should be made public: Nitish Kumar

Patna, June 24 (IANS) Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday reiterated his demand that caste-based data of the Census of India 2011 should be made public to “ensure the empowerment of all those lagging behind in development”.

“People have a right to know it and every caste should know its strength and weakness in terms of population and other things,” Nitish Kumar, who is also President of Janata Dal-United (JD-U), said at a conference on social statistics here, hosted by think tank Asian Development Research Institute.

The conference was inaugurated by Vice President M. Hamid Ansari.

Nitish Kumar said “real information” about the socio-economic development of all sections of the population must be made publicly available.

The caste-based Census data will explode several myths about development of backward and marginalised people and help formulation of schemes for their socio-economic progress, he said.

The Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011 was the first caste-based census since 1931, he noted.

Last year during the Bihar assembly polls, Nitish Kumar joined Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad in demanding that the central government should make the caste-based statistics public instead of withholding the data on numerical strength of different castes.

In July last year, the central government released Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011, but reportedly withheld the caste-based data, saying it was concerned with economic data which will help in effective implementation of its programmes.

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