Andhra becomes 2nd State to take up ‘caste census’

Andhra becomes 2nd State to take up ‘caste census’


The Andhra Pradesh government has initiated a comprehensive caste census, making it the second state after Bihar to undertake such an enumeration.


GS-02 (Polity, Government policies and interventions)

SECC (Socio-Economic and Caste Census):

  • The SECC was first inaugurated in 1931 aimed to gather economic information about Indian families in rural and urban areas, identifying indicators of deprivation.
  • It also documented specific caste names to assess the economic conditions of different caste groups.

Difference Between Census & SECC:

  • While the Census provides a broad overview of the Indian population, SECC is utilized to pinpoint beneficiaries of state support.
  • Census data is confidential under the Census Act of 1948, whereas personal information in SECC is accessible to government departments for granting or restricting household benefits.

The History of Caste-based Data Collection in India:

  • Caste-based data collection in India dates back to 1931, with caste information included. Post-1951, the decision to discontinue collecting caste data aimed to move away from divisiveness and promote national unity.
  • However, changing socio-political dynamics and the need for accurate information have renewed calls for a caste census.

Significance of Caste Census:

  • A caste census can identify disadvantaged groups, aiding policy formulation to address social inequality and uplift marginalized communities.
  • Accurate data on OBCs and other groups is crucial for equitable resource distribution. It provides insights into socio-economic conditions and needs, guiding policymakers in inclusive development.
  • It facilitates evaluating the impact and outcomes of such policies, informing decisions on their continuation and modification.
  • Caste influences Indian society profoundly, it offers a comprehensive view of societal diversity, shedding light on social fabric and interplay between different caste groups.
  • Article 340 of the Constitution mandates a commission to investigate the conditions of socially and educationally backward classes, supporting the case for a caste census.