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Naveen Patnaik-led Odisha government is going to conduct a first-of-its-kind survey on the social and educational conditions of the people from backward classes.
The New Indian Express reported that the Odisha State Commission for Backward Classes (OSCBC)'s proposal for conducting the survey was approved on February 26. The process will, however, be held between May 1 and May 20. The final data is expected to be available on June 11.
The publication further reported that the chairperson of OSCBC, Raghunath Biswal, on Monday held a meeting to evaluate the preparedness for undertaking the survey. As many as 209 communities identified as socially and educationally backward classes amount to more than 50 per cent of the state's population.
"The state government had approached the Centre demanding that a socio-economic caste survey be conducted simultaneously with the general census in 2021. But that proposal was turned down and in 2020 we had decided to conduct the survey ourselves. The state government recently approved the proposal. The move will have a transformative impact on the backward classes of the state," said Odisha Minister for SC/ST development, Minorities and Backward classes, Jagannath Saraka.
However, the government's decision has attracted sharp criticism from the other political parties who have accused the survey as another instance of vote bank politics.
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