As several political parties make a pitch for conducting caste-based census, the Union Cabinet is set to discuss the vexed issue on Thursday.
Differing views within the government on the issue had come to the fore at a meeting of the cabinet earlier this month when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had decided to continue discussion on the matter.
Those opposing caste-based census believe that it is a throwback to the medieval times and the census should be looking at the future and not the past.
Political parties, including the Samajwadi Party, RJD and JD-U have been strongly demanding inclusion of caste in the census exercise.
The issue had figured prominently in the just-concluded budget session of Parliament when the Prime Minister had assured the members that government would take their views into account before deciding on the matter.
At his press conference yesterday, the prime minister said that he would ask the Cabinet to consider the views expressed in Parliament.
"I made a statement in Parliament in which I said that we shall take into account the views expressed in Parliament by various sections... and that I will ask the Cabinet to consider them. That process is on," Singh had said replying to a question on the issue.
Caste-based census was last conducted in the country in the year 1931.