Patna: In a significant development, the Nitish Kumar-led Bihar government has released the findings of its much-awaited caste survey on Monday.
The survey revealed that OBCs (Other Backward Classes) and EBCs (Extremely Backward Classes) together constitute a significant 63 percent of the state’s total population. The state’s overall population is slightly over 13.07 crore people.
The breakdown of the population by different categories includes the backward classes (OBCs): They make up 27.13 percent of Bihar’s total population. Extremely Backward Classes (EBCs): This group comprises 36.01 percent of the state’s population. General Category: The General category accounts for 15.52 percent of Bihar’s population and Scheduled Castes: 19 percent of the population belongs to Scheduled Castes.
Additionally, the Brahmin population is 3.65 percent, Kurmi is 2.87 percent, Bhumihar is 2.86 percent, Rajput is 3.45 percent, and Yadav is 14.26 percent. In terms of gender distribution, there are 6,41,31,992 males, 6,11,38,460 females, and 82,836 individuals in the “Others” category, resulting in a male-to-female ratio of 1000:953.
The survey also stated that Yadavs, the OBC group to which Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav belongs, were the largest in terms of population, accounting for 14.27% of the total.
Release of this data comes as the Supreme Court hears petitions challenging a Patna High Court’s August judgement that paved the way for Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s controversial “caste-based headcount”.
In August, after the exercise was completed, Kumar said the survey would be “beneficial for all” and will enable the development of various sections of society, including the deprived.
Savarnas are people who fall within the caste system: in the four main castes of Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra. Avarnas are people who were not even given a place in the caste system. These are the outcasts and Dalits.
Earlier, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed his support for the Congress party’s proposal for a caste-based census across the country, highlighting its potential benefits for all segments of society.
The survey was ordered last year after the Narendra Modi government led Government of India made it clear that it would not be able to undertake a headcount of castes other than SCs and STs as part of the census.
Even BJP unit in Bihar endorsed a resolution in favor of such a census initiated by the state government. However, there was no response from the GoI.
Kumar has said the caste-based survey – a topic that has divided the country’s political landscape, even to the extent of creating rifts within parties – would identify areas that need development.