On Monday, the Bihar government released the much-anticipated results of the state’s comprehensive caste-based survey.
The survey, which was conducted independently by the state government, offers insights into the demographics of Bihar, shedding light on the composition of various caste groups and their economic status.
During a press conference, Development Commissioner Vivek Singh unveiled the survey data, marking a pivotal moment in Bihar’s efforts to understand and address the dynamics of its diverse population.
In response to the release of the survey, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed his appreciation for the dedicated team that carried out the caste-based census work.
Chief Minister Kumar said that the historic nature of this announcement, as the data coincided with Gandhi Jayanti, underscoring the state’s commitment to transparency and social inclusivity.
Total population: 13 Crore
Hindu opulation: 82%
Muslim population: 17.7%
Extremely Backward Classes: 36 percent
Backward Classes: 27.1 percent
Scheduled Castes: 19.65 percent
Scheduled Tribes: 1.68 percent
General population: 15.5 percent
He noted that the proposal for conducting a caste-based enumeration in Bihar had received unanimous approval in the state legislature, reflecting a consensus among all parties. With the collective endorsement of all nine parties represented in the Bihar Assembly, it was resolved that the state government would finance and execute the caste-based census independently, a decision officially ratified by the Council of Ministers on June 2, 2022.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar underscored the multifaceted nature of the caste-based census, stating that it not only identifies various castes but also provides invaluable information about the economic status of each group. This data will serve as a foundation for future policies and initiatives aimed at the holistic development and upliftment of all sections of Bihar’s diverse society.
“Today, on the auspicious occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, the data of the caste-based census conducted in Bihar has been published. Many congratulations to the entire team engaged in the work of caste-based enumeration!” he said in Hindi.
“Caste-based survey not only revealed the castes but also gave information about the economic condition of everyone. On the basis of this report, further action will be taken for the development and upliftment of all sections,” the CM added.
The survey results reveal a nuanced demographic landscape, with Backward Classes comprising 27% of the population, and Extremely Backward Classes representing 36%. Scheduled Castes account for just over 19% of the population, while Scheduled Tribes make up 1.68%. Among other notable findings, it was revealed that Other Backward Classes (OBCs) constitute 14% of Bihar’s total population, whereas Rajputs make up 3.45%. The upper castes collectively represent 15.52% of the state’s population. Specific caste percentages include Bhumihars at 2.86%, Brahmins at 3.66%, Kurmis at 2.87%, and Mazhars at 3%. Furthermore, the survey indicates that Muslims comprise approximately 17.70% of Bihar’s total population.
The release of the Bihar caste-based survey report occurs amidst ongoing legal proceedings in the Supreme Court, where petitions challenging the Patna High Court’s decision to permit the state government to conduct a “caste-based headcount” are being heard. Notably, the Supreme Court declined to impose an interim stay on the exercise, pending the outcome of these petitions, unless the opposing parties could establish a prima facie case against it.