We need well-designed and nationally-accepted tools to measure social inequality
- India needs to go beyond exhaustive census counts to build a rich database on caste inequality. It may help to combine a proper headcount with intensive field studies.
Several states in India have collected detailed caste and sub-caste (jati) data over the past few years. Bihar became the first state to publicly release such data when it tabled its caste survey report in the state assembly earlier this month. Despite some complaints about the veracity of the numbers, all political parties seem to have accepted them. The Bihar reservation bill, based on these caste survey figures, won unanimous acceptance in the assembly.