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

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Delaying the Census


The census is a complete enumeration of the entire population of any country. It provides information on the
size, distribution, socio-economic, demographic and other characteristics of the country’s population. In India, the census is conducted every decade, and the country has successfully conducted 15 successive censuses since 1872. The Census of 2021 was to be the 16th sequential national census of the country. However, due to the advent of the
COVID-19 pandemic and the disruption concomitant with it, the Census of 2021 was postponed. Even a year after, there has been no unanimous decision from the government regarding conducting the census. It puts a serious question on why the administrators are not aware about the negative repercussions that a delay or annulment of the census can have on its government policies and welfare programmes. India could have organised a census efficiently like the United States, Canada, and even China, which completed theirs in November–December 2020.

The census is a phenomenally vast data of statistical and administrative significance that has been available for more than a century. It is the most accurate and widely used data for a sampling frame and provides denominators for the computation of monitoring and evaluation indicators. It facilitates judicious and fair allocation of resources due to the constitutionally mandated redistribution of taxes, electoral constituencies’ delimitation, and corroborative action policies. Additionally, its data usage for policymaking across various levels of government cannot be overlooked. Hence, census estimates have been aptly termed the backbone of various governmental and non-governmental programme interventions.

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Updated On : 11th Jun, 2022
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