New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: A 10-party delegation from Bihar headed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 23 amid demands of a caste-based census in India. The 10-party delegation also included Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav.

Following the meet, Nitish Kumar said that PM Modi will take a final call regarding a caste-based census in India and claimed that it will "help in formulating various development plans effectively".

"The prime minister listened to all members of the delegation on caste census in the state. We urged the PM to take an appropriate decision on it. We briefed him on how resolutions have been passed twice in the state assembly on caste census," Nitish was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

The calls to conduct a nationwide caste-based census have increased in India over the past few years as political parties believe that it will strengthen the demand for raising the quota for the OBCs, which are estimated by them to be over 50 per cent of the population and get 27 per cent of reservation.

As the demand to hold a nationwide caste-based census picks up pace in India, we at Jagran English will take a look at what it is and why political parties are demanding it:

What is the caste-based census?

Caste-based census means including the caste-wise tabulation of India's population in the census exercise that is held every 10 years. Since India started the census exercise, it has included Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Scheduled Castes (SCs) with data about religions, languages, etc., but it never counted OBCs.

It must be mentioned that all other castes apart from SCs and STs are included in the general category.

Why the demand for a caste-based census is increasing in India?

Since its independence, India has never conducted a caste-based census. However, several political parties argue that the census exercise should include OBCs as well if it can collect data about SCs, STs, Dalits, Adivasis and people's socio-economic status.

Politicians believe that it will be a "historic" step to conduct a caste-based census and will help the poor and the most deprived sections of the society. "Once caste census is carried out, then we will get to know actual information about all castes. Development work for them can then be taken up effectively," RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma