Census conducted in India every 10 years
- India completes 150 years of first census in 2021-22
- On the census process of last 50 years in India Book published on ‘Census of India since 1981’
World Population Day is celebrated on July 11 every year. Census conducted in India every 10 years is one of the largest administrative and statistical tasks in the world. Taking a census is a challenging and comprehensive task given the vast area of the country with its diverse population, language and geographical terrain. A special mobile application has also been prepared along with the paper mode for census in India in the near future. Mobile app developed for upcoming census in India
This necessarily requires careful planning for the deployment and training of a large number of enumerators, the printing of materials, distribution to enumerators, their supervisors, data collection, compilation, tabulation and finally publication of the results. The first all-India census was conducted in 1872;
While the first decennial census in the year 1881 and thereafter; Census is being conducted every decade despite world wars, famines, natural disasters, elections etc. However, under the impact of the global pandemic Kovid-19, widespread and hitherto unheard and unseen calamities have befallen the human race due to which Census 2021 has to be postponed to March 2020.
Census of India has completed 150 years of its process in the year 2021-22, first started in 1871. On the occasion of the completion of 150 years of Census in India and the celebration of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ on the occasion of the completion of 75 years of the country’s independence, an informative volume on the last 50 years of the census process in India, ‘Census of India since 1981’ by the Mahargistrar and Census Commissioner of India. Published by New Delhi on April-23.
- Definition of Census:
The word ‘Census’ is used for census. It is derived from the Latin word ‘sensare’, which means ‘to assess’ or ‘to evaluate’. Its history dates back to the 1st or 2nd century BC when magistrates in Rome were required to prepare population registers for the purposes of taxation and to decide on adult males for compulsory military service.
- Provisions in the Census Constitution:
Census of India is listed at number 69 of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution as the subject of Union as Article 246. The Census Act, 1948 provided a legal basis for conducting a census in independent India. Although the Census Act is a document of central law, the State Governments in planning its implementation provide administrative support for the actual conduct of the census.
State governments establish a census hierarchy at each level, especially in the states, to carry out the census work. The Census Organization at New Delhi under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has been functioning since 1961 on a permanent basis and provides an important continuum for ideation, planning and implementation of the ‘Census’ program in the country.
- Brief History of Census of India before 1872:
Excavations at Harappa and Mohan-jo-Dero reveal that by the third and fourth millennium BC, and perhaps much earlier, India had a highly developed civilization, with large and populous cities, well-built buildings, temples, and brick. There were public buildings built as well as many other facilities that were used by the citizens of Mesopotamia and Egypt at the time.
- Census of India during the years 1872 – 1971:
At the end of the decade, under the leadership of Lord Mayo, the Governor General, the Statistics Association made great progress. In the year 1869, W. W. Hunter was appointed Director General of the Statistical Survey. H. An experimental census of the southern provinces of Bengal was conducted in 1869 by Beverley, Registrar General. In 1865 the Government of India and the Ministry of Home Affairs agreed on the principle that a general census would be taken in 1871.
In 1865 W. C. Plonden prepared the model census program and questionnaire more seriously than before. From 1867-72, time was spent in taking a census of every person in the country, taking an actual enumeration as possible. This series, commonly known as the 1872 census, was not a contemporary project and did not include all areas dominated or controlled by the British.
- Indian Census after 1971:
After 1971 till 2011 population census has been conducted four times every 10 years. At a time when preliminary preparations for Census 2021 were underway and the first phase of the census was about to begin, the outbreak of the Kovid-19 pandemic forced a halt to the census operations. The level of census in India and its development are presented with quantitative figures in the following sections.
- Characteristics of population
Census work in India is a challenging task due to its vast geographical spread, large population size, varying literacy rates and sprawling urbanization. The 1981 census reported a literacy rate of 43% and 23% of the population living in urban areas; While in the year 2011 the population size has almost doubled compared to the year 1981. Between 1981 and 2011 India’s population characteristics have changed a lot.
Table : Characteristics of Population in India, 1981-2011
|Census year||the family
|Population (in millions)||Literacy Rate (in %)||Gender ratio
number of women)
|Urban Population as a Share of Total Population (in %)|
- Number of Questions Asked in Census:
Enumerator – The number of questions asked to a household by the enumerator during the census also affects the quality of the data and its final use. A convention of users of statistics has been a hallmark of census studies in India in which the views of the users of statistics are kept in mind while preparing the census programme.
Efforts have been made not to change the question abruptly to maintain comparative consistency of statistics within a time frame. Some new questions have been added in the last few years, some questions have been removed as per the needs of the users of statistics. The table below shows the number of questions asked in various censuses over the past few years.
Table : Number of questions asked/accepted during Census, 1981-2021
|Census year||Number of questions|