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Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC)


In 2011, the Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) took place, marking the most extensive effort to list different castes. This massive undertaking aimed to uncover and understand inequalities on a larger scale.

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What are the main apprehensions with regard to the SECC?

  • Caste-Based Identities Reinforced: This census might end up strengthening people’s identification with their castes rather than breaking down social discrimination.
  • Limited Understanding of Caste Effects: The SECC fails to capture the full impact of the caste system on our society, from local communities to the national level.
  • Potential for Misuse: While the census data is safeguarded by the Census Act of 1948, the SECC data is available for use by government departments, creating a risk of misuse.
  • Data Release Delays: The significant time gaps between each census and the delayed release of data render it outdated. For instance, a considerable amount of SECC data collected years ago is still unreleased, making it irrelevant for addressing current issues.

What can be done?

  • The government should be open about how it uses existing caste data for giving or taking away benefits. People should know when and how this information is being used.
  • The information collected in the census should be linked with other databases that gather data on various social issues like maternal health. This connection will help in using the data more effectively to address social problems.
  • Officials working on the Census and the Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) should work closely together. Both projects are important for governance and research, so constant communication is key.
  • Before starting a new SECC, it’s important to review and evaluate the results of the previous one. This helps in understanding what worked well and what can be improved for the next round.


The Census authorities believe in being transparent by providing documents on their methodology. However, it’s important to have ongoing and close collaboration between the Census officials, SECC (Socio-Economic and Caste Census) functionaries, academics, and other stakeholders. This collaboration is crucial because both the Census and the SECC are not just administrative projects but also of academic interest.

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