Par panel unhappy over absence of population data of SCs

A Parliamentary Panel has asked the government to prepare the necessary caste-wise details at the earliest.

New Delhi: Pulling up the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry for not having population data of schedules castes for purpose of amendment in Scheduled Castes Orders Bill, a Parliamentary Panel has asked the government to prepare the necessary caste-wise details at the earliest.

The Constitution (SC) Orders (Amendment) Bill 2012 was introduced in the Lok Sabha in May this year to insert certain castes from states of Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Tripura in the SC list.

Parliamentary Standing Committee on "The Constitution (SC) Orders (Amendment) Bill 2012" observed that the caste-wise data could be obtained by the government from 2011 Census records and can be used in preparing the Financial Memorandum of the Bill.
"The Committee was constrained to note that data on the estimated population of communities proposed to be included in SC list through the Bill was not available with them," the report prepared by the Committee said.

The Committee also pulled up the Registrar General of India "for referring to old literature of pre-independence era in determining socio-economic status of castes for clearing proposal for inclusion/exclusion of castes and there was no new literature on demographic and economic status of castes."

Strongly recommending for updating the data on economic and social status of castes, the committee said, "Government should collect and use updated data on economic and social status of various castes for processing new proposals for inclusion/exclusion of castes."

It also prescribed strict time schedules for all the agencies involved in the process including the Social Justice Ministry so that the benefits could reach the intended populace in shortest possible time.

The Committee also noted that the state governments` reports regarding certain castes say that these were socially, educationally and economically backward but no such information was available with the Union Ministry.

"The Bill seeks to introduce inclusion of synonyms of two castes in Kerala, one in Madhya Pradesh, four in Odisha and three in Tripura and deletion of a caste... And also the change of name of the state of Orissa to Odisha," the report said, adding that the Committee has approved the amendments in the Bill in its entirety.

Regarding preparation of the financial aspect of the Bill,
the Committee also noted that the "exact amount of expenditure on the inclusion of synonymous of 10 castes had not been shown in the Financial Memorandum of the Bill."

During the course of examination, the Committee was also informed by the Ministry that in the Financial Memorandum, "It was not possible to estimate with any degree of precision the likely expenditure which would have to be incurred on this account due to non-availability of caste data."