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Odisha starts OBC survey

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BHUBANESWAR, May 1 (PTI): The much-awaited survey of the other backward classes (OBCs) started across Odisha on Monday, an official said.

The survey is being conducted by the Odisha State Commission for Backward Classes in both online and offline mode and will continue till May 27.

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It is being carried out in all 314 blocks and 114 urban local bodies of the state.

Odisha is the second state after Bihar to conduct an OBC survey.

The survey will encompass various indicators of backwardness such as occupation, educational qualification along with the type of educational institutions attended by members of the households to gauge the social and educational conditions of the backwardness in Odisha, the official said.

The commission has opened centres in all the Anganwadi kendras and also in different PDS outlets where people from the community can submit their details and complete the survey.

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The social and educational conditions of 208 OBC communities enlisted by the state government will be collected during the survey, which will be followed by a special drive to ensure that none were left out across the state, the official added.

“The objective of the survey is to get a picture of the present social and educational conditions of the people belonging to backward classes in Odisha,” he said.

The state government in a  notification said the survey will be carried out under the powers conferred by section 9 of the Odisha State Commission for Backward Classes (OSCBC) Act, 1993 and OSCBC (Amendment) Act, 2020.

According to the provisions of the two Acts, the heads of the families or any senior person can provide the family data at the survey centre. The families under survey are required to give details of their ration and Aadhaar cards or voter identity cards of their members.

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OBC families having no ration cards may also submit their details at the survey centres. The people can also register their details for the survey online (www.oscbc.odisha.gov.in) free of cost, the official said.

This apart, the people can also register their details at ‘Mo Seva Kendra’ by making the requisite payment, he said.

The Odisha State Commission for OBC chairperson Justice Raghunath Biswal said a total of 230 communities will come under the purview of the survey.

“If any household is left out, they will be later covered,” he said.

Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) Mayor Sulochana Das said the OBC survey centres have been opened in 70 schools in the state capital. All arrangements like drinking water and shed are made for the amenities of the people who are visiting the survey centres.

Meanwhile, the opposition BJP lashed out at the government over the manner in which the exercise is being undertaken and dubbed the drive a “drama to hoodwink people”. The BJP demanded door to door survey instead of holding it in different camps.

BJP state OBC Morcha president Surath Biswal accused the state government of depriving 54 per cent of people in Odisha of their constitutional rights for so many years by not updating the backward class list.

Biswal alleged that the state government is enacting a drama in the name of OBC survey to mislead people ahead of elections.

He claimed that as many as 15 castes named in the central OBC list are yet to be included in the state’s SEBC (socially and educationally backward class) list. The state government recently gave false information about having included 22 castes in its SEBC list, the BJP leader alleged.

Biswal demanded that the state government provide a 27 per cent quota to OBCs in education and jobs as in other states.

The ruling BJD on the other hand maintained that the survey is being conducted to make policies more effective, ensure the socio-economic development of the backward classes and improve their social and educational conditions.

“The survey is being conducted without having any political consideration as alleged by the opposition parties. It is purely for the welfare of OBCs,” BJD vice-president and MLA Debi Prasad Mishra said.

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The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur
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