census 2011

Posted: June 30, 2010 in India
Tags: ,

The population census is an activity that dates back to ancient city-states & has a significant profile, even in the most recent times. Perhaps the best example of this is the census of India 2011, which kicked off on april/1/2010. what makes the current census different from the 14 other decennial censuses conducted since 1881 is the simultaneous preparation of a national population register that would identify the usual residents of the country, so that it can be used as a comprehensive identity database to help meet the political objectives of improved targeting of social welfare schemes, & also internal security.

The Indian census is the largest single source of a variety of statistical information on different characteristics of the people of India. With a history of more than 130 years, this reliable, time tested exercise has been bringing out a veritable wealth of statistics every 10 years, beginning from 1872 when the 1st census was conducted in India non-synchronously in different parts. To scholars & researchers in demography, economically, anthropology, sociology, statistics & many other disciplines, the Indian census has been a fascinating source of data. The rich diversity of the people of India is truly brought out by the decennial census which has become one of the tools to understand & study India.

The responsibility of conducting the decennial census rests with the office of the registrar general & census commissioner, India under ministry of home affairs, government of India. It may be of historical interest that though the population census in India is a major administrative function; the census organization was set up on an ad hoc basis for each census till the 1951 census. The census act was enacted in 1948 to provide for the scheme of conducting population census with duties & responsibilities of census officers. The government of India decided in may 1949 to initiate steps for developing systematic collection of statistics on the size of population, its growth, etc., & established an organization in the ministry of home affairs under registrar general & ex-officio census commissioner, India. This organization was made responsible for generating data on population statistics including vital statistics & census. Later, this office was also entrusted with the responsibility of implementation of registration of births & deaths act 1969 in the country. In 2003 this office has been assigned in the work of pilot project on multipurpose national identity card(MNIC). This pilot project is under implementation in 12 states & one union territory covering a population of 3.1 million.

Even though the census is basically a demographic exercise in India, it has been influenced by political developments & has, in turn, heavily impacted national & state politics. While the 1st such effort in 1861 was postponed due to the dislocations caused by the first war of independence (the great rebellion of 1857-59), the second one, in 1871, was spread out over two years due to political reasons & financial constraints. Later, the 1921 & 1931 censuses were affected by the non-cooperation movement & sporadic political unrest during the period that curtailed data collection to some extent. Similarly, the 1941 census operations were affected by world war II. In independent India, too, political disturbances led to the exclusion of Assam from the 1981 census & Jammu & Kashmir from the 1991 census.

In turn, the censuses have also played an even greater role in influencing politics. Census data played a prominent role in the linguistic reorganization of Indian states in 1956 & also in the more recent ones like chhatisgarh, jharkhand & uttaranchal. Census data also influences the political representation ; as the number of elected representatives in the lok sabha & state legislatures are apportioned on the basis of the population estimated in the 1971 census so that the states that have curtailed population growth are not disadvantages.


India launched a new census in which every person aged over 15 will be photographed & fingerprinted to create a biometric national database. The government will then use the information to issue identity cards. Officials will spend a year classifying India’s population of around 12 billion people according to gender, religion, occupation & education.

Census 2011 will be conducted in two phases.

  • 1st phase is called the house listing & housing census. This is to be conducted between april & july. This operation is to be conducted over a period of 45 days in each state/UT. The details required for creating the NPR will also be canvassed during this phase.
  • The 2nd phase called population enumeration phase will be conducted simultaneously all over country from feb 9-28 2011.

The 1st phase spans from april to September 2010 with the house listing , house census & collection of data on NPR. This phase also involves the canvassing of NPR schedule which will be digitized in 2 languages – English & the official language of state/UT. The 1st phase will commence on april 1 2010 in the states of west Bengal, assam, goa & meghalaya & the union territory of Andaman & nicobar islands. The 2nd phase includes the population enumeration stage.

the creation of NPR of usual residents of the country is an ambitious project. It involves the collection of specific information on each person residing in the country. It would cover an estimated population of 1.2 billion & the total cost of the scheme is rs. 3539.24 crores. This is for the 1st time that NPR is being prepared. The database will be built by the registrar general of India. At this juncture, it becomes important to stress that census & NPR are different, even though the basic idea behind the exercise is collection of information.

NPR on the other hand, involves the creation of a comprehensive identity database for the country. This would facilitate planning, better targeting of government schemes/programmes & also strengthen the security of the country. Another aspect that differentiates NPR from census is that it is a continuous process. In census, the duty of concerned officers, is for a limited period & their services are dispensed with after the work is over, while in the case of NPR, the role of concerned officers & tat of subordinate officers like tehshildar & village officers is of continuing nature & permanent.

NPR will include the items of information such as the name of the father, mother, spouse, sex, date of birth, current marital status, education etc., the data base will also contain photography & finger biometry of persons above the age of 15 years. The draft local registrar of usual residents (LRUR) would be displayed in the villages in rural areas & wards in urban areas for inviting objections like spellings in names, address, date of birth etc., & also regarding residency status of any person enumerated. The draft LRUR will also be placed before the gram sabha or local bodies for authentication of usual residents.

Once the data is finalized, the next task would be assigning every individual a unique identification number by the unique identification authority of India. Later this UID number will be added to the NPR database. It is proposed to issue identity card, which will be a smart card with UID number printed on it & include basic details like father’s name, mother’s name & place of birth, photograph. Complete details will be stored in the chip.

The implementation of NPR in the entire country would be based on the light of the experience gained from pilot project, the coastal NPR project. This project was carried out in selected border areas of the country. The coastal NPR project is being carried out in more than 3300 villages in 9 states & 4 UT. The decision to implement coastal NPR project was taken by keeping in view the enhancement of coastal security.

Over next year, some 2.5 million census officials will visit households in more than 7000 towns & 6,00,000 villages. The officials, many of them teachers & local officials, will first began the process of house listing – which records information of homes. This count for 1st time will gather information regarding internet facilities, vehicles, availability of drinking water etc.,

  1. ananda bhar says:

    when andaman & nicobar islands peoples will get the npr survey identity card?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s