The Odisha Assembly on Monday passed the Odisha State Backward Classes (Amendment), Bill, in a bid to identify socially and economically backward classes based on the socio-educational status.
Moving the resolution in the Assembly, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik termed the step "historic."
"In a historic move today, this August House has resolved to amend the Odisha State Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993, to enable the Commission to make a survey of the social and educational conditions of the people belonging to the backward classes," Patnaik said.
The Odisha CM said: “After the emergence of Odisha as the first modern State on linguistic basis it served as a model for the states of post-independent India and has navigated its path of growth, keeping inclusiveness as its guiding principle”
“To further accelerate this inclusive growth, it is important to have reliable data about the Backward Classes of the State. But unfortunately, the State doesn’t have access to any recent data on this as the last census was done in 1931 which is almost 90-year old. This data is not enough to make accurate and focussed planning to reach out to the Backward Classes of the society, he said.
He also asserted that the Central Government, realising this need, had conducted a Socio-Economic and Caste Census in 2011. In 2017, it released only a part of this data, which is being used as a basis for identification of beneficiaries for few Government schemes. However, the survey data relating to the Backward Classes was not released. This has put a serious handicap for giving focussed attention towards the welfare and empowerment of the backward classes.
He asserted that on February 12, 2020, the State Government constituted the Odisha State Commission for Backward Classes with retired Justice Raghunath Biswal as its Chairperson. Today the House resolved to amend the Odisha State Commission for Backward Classes Act 1993, to enable the Commission to make a survey of the social and educational conditions of the people belonging to the backward classes.
On the occasion, Patnaik asserted that it is important to have reliable data about the backward classes of Odisha to further accelerate inclusive growth.