Committee on Caste Census Submits Report

IAS Prelims 2023

The Government mounted the Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) with the purpose of ranking households for receiving benefits under government programmes. The Socio Economic and Caste Census has been concluded. The Ministry of Rural Development has decided to use SECC data for identification of beneficiaries and for generating priority list of beneficiaries under its programmes.

An Expert Group under the Chairmanship of former Finance Secretary Mr. Sumit Bose was constituted to study the objective criteria for allocation of resources to States and identification and prioritization of beneficiaries under various programme using Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) data.

The other members of the Expert Group are:

(a) Shri Amarjeet Sinha, the then AS(RD), now SRD Member
(b) Dr. Mahendra Dev, Director, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR), Mumbai Member
(c) Dr. Rinku Murgai, Economist, World Bank Member
(d) Dr. Himanshu, Associate Professor, JNU, New Delhi Member
(e) Shri Manoranjan Kumar, EA(RD) Member Secretary


The Expert Group during its interim discussion with MoRD had given a road map on selection of beneficiaries as well as criteria for allocation of resources to the states for Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana- Gramin (PMAY-G).

The Expert Group’s interim advice has been accepted by the Ministry and accordingly appropriate guidelines have been issued to make inter–state allocation based on SECC data to cover households under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (PMAG) and Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM).

The Expert Group has concluded that the use of SECC data and its TIN Number would enable the government to improve the efficacy of its interventions and will result in improved outcome.

However, the Expert Group has observed that regular updation and verification of SECC data is prerequisite to eliminate the need to mount standalone SECC in the long run, which would put additional burden on public resources.

The SECC has the potential to move from being only a census-like socio-economic database to becoming the core of a functioning Social Registry Information System (SRIS). SRIS would result in several advantages in implementation of social sector schemes. It has the potential to streamline programme administration, reduce duplication of benefit and fraud, saving on time and costs for both programme applicants and services providers, monitoring the living standards of beneficiaries over time, better targeting of vulnerable and marginalized sections of the society and enable expansion of the coverage of the programmes.

Finally, the use of SECC data would lead to better budgetary planning and allocation of resources for various programmes.

The Chairman of the Group presented its Report to the Minister (RD) Narendra Singh Tomar this morning.