Caste-based census a revolutionary process: Education minister Pradhan

Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday said caste-based census is a ''revolutionary'' process and some states have already implemented it.
Caste-based census a revolutionary process: Education minister Pradhan
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan (File Photo)

New Delhi

He also said that the parliament system is supreme and it has the right to decide on policies for the country and frame laws for the welfare of the people. 
The minister was speaking during a debate in Rajya Sabha. 
He accused the opposition of having “double standards” on OBC reservation and said there should be no confusion about the core policy and intention of the Centre. 
The Upper House was debating the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2021 that seeks to restore the states' power to prepare their own OBC lists. The Bill has already been cleared by the Lok Sabha. 
''Caste census is a revolutionary process in the country. It is not that caste census has not happened. Many states have considered it as the basis,'' the education minister noted. 
The Modi government is trying to give all the castes their rights, he said. 
''It is therefore, unnecessary to doubt our intention,'' he said. 
Some Lok Sabha MPs from the DMK party had recently met him and raised the issue of reservation in higher education institutions such as IITs and central universities for SC, ST and OBCs. 
''It was news for me,'' Pradhan said, adding that he enquired about the matter and found that the provision was there till 1989 that there will be reservation, but it will get lapsed if the vacancy was not filled up. 
''... if the desired candidate is not available, the quota will lapse the subsequent year. It was rectified by the prime minister in 2018-19, who ensured the reservation does not get lapsed,” he said. 
The present government has implemented 27 per cent OBC reservation in NEET medical entrance examination. Besides, it has also implemented reservations for OBCs in Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya and Kendriya Vidyalaya. 
Pradhan added that the Opposition members were saying that “you have tied our hands by not exceeding over 50 per cent over the total reservation”. He said it was decided to prepare cast-based census list during the previous government. 
''Socio economy cast survey census was drafted. But it was not implemented within the year 2004 to 2014... we have implemented it,'' the minister said. 
He said the Centre used this list in schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna. 
Pradhan, former Union minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas said, also noted that during his tenure, 8 crore LPG connections were allotted based on the SC/ST list. 
He also congratulated the current minister H S Puri for granting one crore new connections on Tuesday. 
''The BJP government allotted 11,262 LPG distributorships when I was the petroleum minister. In this, it not only gave rights to the scheduled castes and tribes, but also gave LPG distributorship to provide employment to 2,852 OBC youth. At that time, no such demand was made from the government,” he added. 

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