Caste census to be released soon: Govt

The government is making all efforts to release the caste census at the earliest, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday while replying to a debate on the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
The Bill, passed by Rajya Sabha, makes some changes in the Scheduled Castes (SC) list of Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Kerala, Odisha and West Bengal.
“One member demanded for reservation provision in proportion to the population of backward classes. We are thinking on that. If you can create an environment, we can do this,” Gehlot said.
On extending reservation benefits to Dalits who had converted to other religions, the minister said, “The Supreme Court as well as governments in 1945 and 1956 have considered such subjects, and every government has disagreed. Scheduled Caste status is given to those who are treated as untouchables. We are not in a situation to implement (something) going beyond the Supreme Court judgment.”
Replying to members who accused the government of being insensitive towards SCs while referring to the Rohith Vemula case, Gehlot said, “Eleven students, including some SCs and STs, had committed suicide (at Hyderabad Central University) before Rohith’s death. How many leaders went and provided relief to their families,” Gehlot asked. “…Who is responsible for the problems of SC/STs? The party which ruled for 60 years did not do much for them. You can find the answers yourself.”
CPI member D Raja demanded extension of reservation to the private sector as well, as private companies take easy loans from PSU banks and yet refuse to accept reservation policy. “What is private about the private sector,” he asked.
Earlier, while debating the Bill, K Somaprasad of the CPM had remarked that the government should consider increasing quota benefits in proportion to the growing population of backward classes.


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