ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Census of India 2001 and After

It goes to the credit of the 2001 Census Commissioner that he could at once see a shocking aspect of this Census, namely, a sharp decline in the female-male ratio in several states. Migration cannot explain this phenomenon which must be the consequence of female foeticide on a massive scale, if not female infanticide and higher female child mortality rates. It is unfortunate that even in the progressive south Indian states, except Kerala, the child sex ratio has declined.

 Conducting a population census is a daunting task anywhere in the world, and more so, in a country of India’s population size and incredible diversity. In several western countries, the census is challenged on the ground of violating privacy. In some countries, it is considered redundant because there is a good civil registration system and an equally good record of migration. In India, the census is considered indispensable for planning and policy

making and in spite of numerous sample surveys, it remains the most important single source of information about the life of the people. The British introduced the census in 1872 (nonsynchronous census) and since 1881 we have had a census every tenth year, the census of 2001 is the fourteenth in a row, and the sixth after independence. There are very few countries in the world with such a record of an unbroken series of decennial censuses. Both Pakistan and Bangladesh have faltered in this process. The British inducted petty revenue officials and school teachers to conduct the census on a ‘voluntary’ basis and no special payments were made to the census enumerators.

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