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Bihar to launch caste census from April 20

Bihar,Business/Economy,Human Interest/Society, Thu, 19 Apr 2012 IANS

Patna, April 19 (IANS) Bihar is all set to begin caste census from April 20 under a central government scheme. It's a gigantic exercise undertaken across the country after a gap of 80 years which will also identify households living below poverty line (BPL) in the state, officials said here Thursday.


Rural Development Minister Nitish Mishra said the state administration is fully ready to begin the much awaited caste census from panchayats to district level.


Mishra said the state cabinet last week gave its approval for socio-economic and caste census under a central government scheme. A sum of Rs.189.23 crore will be spent for this purpose.


"The census would have the provision of automatic inclusion and exclusion of families below poverty line (BPL)," Mishra said. It would be completed in six months.


All the concerned district officials have been directed to take the census work seriously, Mishra said. The state government has also decided to use photography and videography during the exercise.


Bihar will be the first state to employ such technology, Mishra said, adding that it will be a paperless exercise to be carried out with hand-held electronic devices developed by the Bharat Electronic Development Corp.


It will drastically reduce data entry errors and enumerator discretion.


The caste census is being conducted after eight decades. In the general census undertaken every 10 years, only religious groups as well as Dalits and tribals are enumerated.


The comprehensive caste census is conducted in the country for the first time since independence, billed as Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC).


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