New Delhi: A Group of Ministers today gave
its nod to include caste in census from biometric stage of
The GoM, headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee,
recommended to the Union Cabinet for inclusion of caste in
census from biometric stage, sources told agency.
The GoM, which met here this evening, was unanimous
in the decision, they said.
The biometric phase, expected to start sometime in
December, covers photographing, fingerprinting and iris
mapping of citizens for the National Population Register
The cabinet will take a final call on the issue soon,
the sources said.
In June, the government had decided to set up a GoM on
the controversial issue after consensus eluded at two meetings
of the Union Cabinet.
Parties like SP, RJD and JD-U are strongly in favour
of including caste in census and disrupted proceedings of
Parliament in the last Budget Session by pressing their
In its first meeting on July 1, the GoM was divided
over whether caste should be included in census.
Mukherjee had written to political parries to elicit
their views on the issue. "The GoM discussed the response of
the political parties and decided to recommend to the Cabinet
to include caste in the ongoing census exercise," a source
Besides Mukherjee, the GoM includes Home Minister P
Chidambaram, Law Minister M Veerappa Moily, HRD Minister Kapil
Sibal, Renewable Energy Minister Farooq Abdullah, Agriculture
Minister Sharad Pawar, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee and
Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran.
Chidambaram, who was replying in the Lok Sabha on
discussion on Bhopal Gas Tragedy, reached the meeting just in
time before the decision was taken. Census comes under the
Home Ministry`s domain.