WHAT IT IS: A Caste Certificate is the proof of one’s belonging to a particular caste, primarily if one belongs to the ‘Scheduled Castes’, as specified in the Indian Constitution. This was implemented as the government held the opinion that Scheduled Castes and Tribes need special encouragement and opportunities to progress at the same pace as the rest of the citizenry.
IMPORTANCE: As a part of the Indian system of Protective Discrimination, certain special privileges are granted to this category of citizens, such as
- reservation of seats in the Legislatures and in the Government Service,
- waiving off a part or the whole of the fees for admission to schools and colleges,
- quotas in educational institutions,
- relaxation of upper age limits for applying to certain jobs, etc.
To be able to avail these privileges, a citizen belonging to a Scheduled Caste must be in possession of a valid Caste Certificate.
CRITERIA TO GET A CASTE CERTIFICATE:
- The applicant must be a citizen of India.
- He/she is a permanent resident of West Bengal since 1950.
- He/she is an ordinary resident at the address currently residing.
- He/she belongs to the said caste / tribe.
- His/her identity.
- As per Government of India order, a person belonging to the SC/ST category can only claim such benefits from the state he/she originates.
- A person who was not a SC/ST by birth will not be granted a certificate merely because he/she has married a person belonging to a SC/ST.
- The person claiming to be a SC should profess the Hindu, the Sikh or the Buddhist religion. The person claiming to be a ST may profess any religion.
HOW TO GET IT: Caste Certificates are being issued to SC/ST people in accordance with the provisions of the West Bengal Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Identification) Act, 1994 and the West Bengal SC and ST (Identification) Rules, 1995.
- Get the application form online or from the local office in the City/Town/Village, of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM).
- If application is made on-line through the website address www.castecertificatewb.gov.in. you will be able to download copies of the filled-in application and get an acknowledgement and receipt number.
- The application has to be signed by the applicant and submitted personally along with documents, if any, in support of your claim on 2nd and 4th Wednesdays within 60 days from the date of filing of your on-line application.
- You will also need a recommendation letter from the District Welfare Officer, Kolkata. If you belong to a municipal area outside Kolkata, recommending authorities should not be below the rank of a deputy magistrate.
Documents required: (All copies must be attested copies)
- Voters ID-Card of self or parent(s)
- Authenticated Voter list of self or parent(s)
- PAN Card of self or parent(s)
- Birth Certificate
- Caste Certificate of parent(s)
- Any Government documents proving citizenship
For Permanent residence:
- Land deed or land tax receipt.
- Voter list proving residence since 1950.
- Birth Certificate proving residence since 1950 .
- Ration Card proving residence since 1950.
- Caste certificate of parent(s).
- Any Govt. Document proving permanent residence since 1950.
For local residence:
- Rent receipt
- Pass Book of a Nationalised Bank, Gramin Bank, Post Office or Co-operative Bank.
- BPL Card.
- Any Govt. Document proving local residence.
- Electricity Bill.
- Caste certificate of any paternal blood relation and proof of such relation.
- Copy of old land deed (prior to 1950) specifying community name in that document.
- Any Government document proving caste identity.
- Identity Card by employer/educational Institution.
- Pass Book of Bank Account.
- Admit Card.
- Ration Card.
In case of non-availability of the documents/certificates, any of these certificates together with reports and hearing will be taken into consideration for determining of eligibility. The applicant has the right to apply even without any documentary proof in support of his claim and no application shall be rejected merely on the ground of non-availability of documentary evidences about caste identity, residence or citizenship. In such a case certificates from the Prodhan of the local Gram Panchayat, Chairman of the local Municipality or the local Councillor of the Municipal Corporation along the findings of the inquiry shall be considered to be sufficient.
There is no restriction of age for applying for a Caste Certificate.
WHEN DO YOU GET IT: Concerned offices receiving applications shall invite the applicants for hearing on 2nd or 4th Wednesdays within 60 days from the date of application and ask them to come personally with all original documents furnished in support of their claims. Ordinarily, an application for caste certificate is to be disposed of within eight weeks from the date of its submission. The applicant has a right to know the status of his application, once filed. An applicant can therefore demand the status of his application.
NB: A person migrated from other State/Union Territory to the State of West Bengal after publication of the Presidential Orders on Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes can also apply for Caste Certificate, though he is not entitled to benefits given to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes by the State of West Bengal.
Forms are available at: http://castcertificatewb.gov.in/jsp/application_module/application_sc_st.jsp