Andhra becomes 2nd State to take up ‘caste census’.

Syllabus: GS-II

Subject: Indian Polity

Topic: Functions and Responsibilities of the Union and the States.

Context: Andhra Pradesh government kicked off its comprehensive caste census to enumerate all communities in the State.

Caste Census:

Enumerating the population based on their caste and sub-caste alongside other demographic details.

Benefits Issues / Concerns:
Identifying disadvantaged groups Complex task and prone to errors
Addressing social inequality Potential misuse for political gain or social discrimination.
Policy formulation- evidence-based policymaking Social tensions and divisions
Historical and sociological insights Legality is questioned


  • Introduced in 1881 and continued till the 1931 census.
  • Independent India’s governments abandoned full caste enumeration on the apprehension that
  • it would strengthen caste divisions and perpetuate the caste system.

Even the OBC reservation, which was based on the Mandal Commission report, had extrapolated from the caste/community-wise population figures of the 1931 census and estimated OBCs to be 52% of India’s population.

Bihar Caste census:

  • The Bihar government conducted a two-phase caste-based survey in 2023.
  • However a PIL was filed because only the Union government can undertake a census, as per the Union List of the Seventh Schedule and Census Act, 1948.
  • The Patna High Court upheld the validity of the survey and held that the state government is competent to conduct caste-based surveys.

Statements (Mains): “There is equality only among equals. To equate unequal is to perpetuate inequality.” – B.P Mandal Commission.

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