The Debate Over Census
- In 1872, India undertook its first census, which was carried out asynchronously in various regions of the nation.
- From 1881 until 2011, India consistently conducted decadal censuses despite epidemics, global wars, Partition, and other unrest.
- It is now becoming increasingly difficult to use COVID-19 as a justification for the delay, as the government decided it was appropriate to permit sizable election rallies in the midst of a lethal second wave of the epidemic that was criminally mismanaged.
- However, there is no record of anyone being held accountable and asked to explain why the biggest democracy, which was formerly admired for its capacity to periodically count its citizens, is not doing so now.
Why is the Census required?
- We can say that we have a case of the missing census because there is no formal assurance that India won’t skip its decadal Census.
- Even the greatest sample surveys cannot outperform a census. It holds the promise of accurately counting every Indian.
- For the first time, the government could ignore a study showing declining consumer spending in 2017–18 and get away with it.
- A census is when the state connects to every individual and it will find it hard to hide or duck from the data.
- Age, gender, economic status, religion, and languages spoken all provide information of a different kind that can be used to plan, solve problems, and correct shortcomings. This information is a gold mine of findings.
- Census headcounts have slain several erroneous beliefs that stem from discrimination and prejudice.
- Consider the unsupported claim that India’s population will skyrocket as a result of Muslim fertility rates.
- Due to census information, this has been progressively removed. The census revealed that the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) is rapidly declining and is headed toward stabilisation.
- Muslims have experienced the fastest TFR decline of any community. The regional and socioeconomic factors, rather than caste or religion, are more responsible for the variations in TFR across India.
- The 2011 Census also disproved the idea that divorce rates in urban and rural India differed.
Source The Hindu