Avoid further Delay in Conducting the Census
#GS-01 Population, #GS-02 Election
Census in Independent India
- Census is conducted by the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.
- The statutory backing for conducting Census is given under the provisions of the Census Act, 1948.
- The Census Act, 1948 doesn’t mention anything about its periodicity and allows central government to conduct census whenever it may consider it necessary or desirable so to do.
- As guaranteed by the Census Act, 1948, information collected during the population Census is kept confidential and is not even accessible to the courts of law.
- The first census conducted in Independent India was the 1951 census.
- As per norms, census can only be conducted three months after the boundary limits of administrative units such as districts, sub-districts, tehsils, talukas and police stations are frozen.
- The finalisation of boundaries of administrative units will entail covering all jurisdictional changes between two consecutive censuses.
- The next census was supposed to take place during 2021 but was postponed due to the Covid 19 Pandemic and subsequent vaccination drive.
Why Sample Surveys are not enough:
- Sample surveys are able provide reliable data on social and demographic indicators at higher geographic levels
- Fairly accurate population projections at the State and national level have been available in the past.
- However, to get reliable projections at lower geographic levels such as for districts and cities or even small States and Union Territories is not feasible at all.
- This means that one must depend on sample surveys for answers to questions on the improvement in literacy and educational levels, economic activity, migration,, or the impact of programmes like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
- However, these surveys cannot answer how many villages have literacy rates below 75% or which tehsils have a low percentage of people getting protected water supply.
- These answers are required to determine the level and type of action needed to rectify the situation.
The need of Census:
- The Census is the only source that can provide population data for every village and town in the country.
- The Census, apart from the population count, is also able to provide data on population characteristics, housing and amenities.
- The Census data is used to determine the number of reserved seats for SCs and STs in Parliament, State legislatures, local bodies, and government services.
- Reservation of seats for SCs and STs in panchayats and municipal bodies is based on their proportion in the population.
- Another major concern is the rural-urban distribution of population that has been rapidly changing over the years.
- Due to in-migration some cities have been growing faster than others.
- Such as; areas under the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike grew by 49.3% during 2001-11,’
- However, the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (11.9%), the Delhi Municipal Corporation (11.7%), and Greater Chennai Corporation (7.0%) grew at a much lower pace.
- Meanwhile, Kolkata Municipal Corporation recorded a fall in population during the same period.