Caste census data to be keyed in electronic devices in Himachal

Shimla: The Himachal government intends to use hand held electronic devices for putting together the caste based census that is to be conducted in two phases and would be based on AADHAR and national population registrar, Jai Ram Thakur, minister for rural development disclosed here, today.

Census that will take into account the caste population as well social and economic standing of below poverty line families (BPL) would be held between 12th October to 17th November in tribal areas and from 14th November to 19th December in rest of the state, the minister stated in a communiqué.

Such a census was being conducted in rural and urban areas jointly for the first time, he added.

By using electronic tablets, lists of BPL persons would be prepared by undertaking a door to door visit and information would be collected about caste, education qualification and socio-economic status. The information gathered would be verified by the local panchayat assemblies.

Thakur disclosed that planning commission data showed that the state had 22.9% BPL families.

Objecting to the criteria of defining an per day income of Rs 32 and Rs 26 for fixing urban and rural populations at above poverty line category, he said, the state supported the central government decision to review the decision.

Certain parameters like having Kissan Credit Card with more than Rs 50000 credit limit, houses with pucca roofs and those having land line phone laid down for being included among poor families were not practically applicable for the state as standard of living here was comparatively better than other states, said the minister. The planning commission would be asked to review the matter, he added.

District deputy commissioners have been made principal officers for the socio-economic and caste based census, a total of 175 data centers and 24,893 census blocks have been formed for the purpose.

Those families who were living in kachha or one room houses or families headed by female members with no male member between the age 16 to 59 years, SC and ST families, landless families who were daily wagers or families with illiterate members above 25 years would be given preference in the BPL list, said Thakur.

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