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Govt defends deferment of caste data; 8.19 crore errors found

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New Delhi :Dismissing suggestions that caste census report was not released to “hide truth”, government today said more than 8.19 crore errors were detected in the data of which 1.45 crore faults continue to exist.

A total of 8,19,58,314 errors have been found in caste particulars and all states and union territories have been communicated for rectification.

The states have rectified 6,73,81,119 errors. However, 1,45,77,195 errors are yet to be rectified, a Home Ministry statement said today.

Maharashtra with 69.1 lakh errors in the census data tops the list of states where the faults were detected.

Currently, there are 13.9 lakh errors in census data in Madhya Pradesh, 11.6 lakh errors in West Bengal, 7.2 lakhs in Rajasthan, 5.4 lakhs in Uttar Pradesh, 2.9 lakhs in Karnataka, 1.7 lakhs in Bihar, 1.4 lakhs in Tamil Nadu which are yet to be rectified.

On July 3, the government refrained from releasing the caste-based data in its first Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) released in eight decades.

Union Rural Development Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh had said brushed aside suggestions that government avoided giving the caste count in the survey report due to political reasons ahead of Bihar polls. “There is no such thing. Connecting it with elections is not good,” he had said.

However, opposition parties alleged that government was “hiding the truth from the country” by not releasing the data of SC, STs, Backward Class, Minority and Upper Class in the country so as to “minimise the quota for reserved classes cleverly in future”.

The Home Ministry statement today said the government has reviewed the status of the Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) on July 16 and it emerged that 46,73,034 distinct caste names have been returned in the SECC.

“These include caste/sub-caste names, synonyms, surnames, clan/gothra names, phonetic variations, sections, sub-groups etc. These will have to be classified by experts having domain knowledge on these issues,” it said.

PTI