The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC), on Friday, April 2, urged the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to gather information on the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) population in the country as a part of the Census of India 2021.
The secretary of the NCBC, Anand Kumar, sent the recommendation to the Social Justice Ministry Secretary on Thursday, April 1.
According to a report by The Indian Express, the NCBC confirmed that the communiqué was sent to the Ministry.
Although a petition in the matter was filed by G Mallesh Yadav, a social activist and chairman of the Telangana State Backward Classes Front, which is pending before the Supreme Court, the NCBC wrote that it "desired that the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment defend the writ petition" in the Supreme Court.
The NCBC had recently held an entire meeting to resolve the matter, and the decision was made unanimously.
The Narendra Modi-led central government accorded the NCBC constitutional status and established a commission, chaired by former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court Justice G Rohini, to sub-categorise OBCs in order to provide benefits of reservation to weaker sections among them. The Rohini Commission is, however, facing difficulty due to the shortage of data on different communities classified under OBCs.
The Rohini Commission was granted a fresh term on January 22, 2020, with the task of evaluating "various entries in the Central List of OBCs and recommending correction of any repetitions, ambiguities, contradictions and errors of spelling or transcription."
On December 12, 2018, Thawar Chand Gehlot, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, had received a letter from the panel seeking adequate budget provision for a proposed all-Indian survey to estimate the caste-wise population of OBCs. However, Justice Rohini wrote to Gehlot on March 7, 2019, stating, "We have now decided not to undertake such a survey at this stage."
The Odisha government recently decided to conduct its first state survey of people's social and educational conditions from backward classes. The survey was approved by Odisha State Commission for Backward Classes on February 26 this year, and it would take place between May 1 and May 20.