The government of Tamil Nadu, on Monday, announced that retired judge of Madras High Court, A Kulasekaran will head the Commission to collect caste-wise data of people in the state. The state government had recently announced that a survey will be undertaken across Tamil Nadu to ascertain the population based on caste.
According to reports, the caste survey is being undertaken to provide back-up to the state governmentâ€™s defence in the Supreme Court where a case is pending on the 69% reservation that is being provided in Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu government provides 69% reservation in government jobs and education as against the 50% limit set by the Supreme Court for reservation of seats.
Stating that the survey will ensure that all the welfare schemes announced by the state government reach the appropriate people, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami added that the Commission will submit the report to the state government. â€śTo frame modalities to collect quantifiable data on castes and to undertake caste census, a commission under the chairmanship of Justice Kulasekaran will be appointed,â€ť the Chief Minister said in a statement issued on Monday.
The Chief Minister made the announcement on a day when PMK cadres engaged in protests across Chennai demanding 20% reservation for Vanniyars in government jobs and education. The protests saw widespread inconvenience to the public and damage being inflicted on public property as the cadres pelted stones at trains.
The decision to collect quantifiable caste data across the state is also in line with the demands put forth by various political parties and social organisations. The Commission is also the first such panel to be put in place in Tamil Nadu since the 1950s.
The Commission, headed by A Kulasekaran, will begin its work immediately. However, the state government has not set any deadline for the Commission to submit its report. Whether the Commission will conduct a new survey or depend on any available data to collect the information, is yet to be decided.