1.21 billion People, 3.3 million square km area, 640 districts, 5,924 sub-districts, 7,935 Towns and more than 6.4 lakh villages. With 35 questions for each house and 29 questions for each and every individual, one can imagine the huge effort and management required for such a task. No wonder India has been lauded as having one of the biggest and best Census exercises in the world.
Started way back in 1872, 2011 census is 15th in the legacy. It is through the missionary zeal and dedication of Enumerators that the great historical tradition of conducting the Census uninterruptedly has been maintained in spite of several adversities like wars, epidemics, natural calamities, political unrest, etc. Participation in the Census by the people of India is indeed a true reflection of the national spirit of unity in diversity.
The number of fields to be filled up is increased in every census and this year Information on castes was included. In 2011 government assigned 2.7 million officials and spent over 2200 crores (c. $ 0.5 bn). For the first time biometric information was also collected. Information for National Population Register was also collected in the first phase, which will be used to issue a 12-digit unique identification number to all registered Indians by Unique Identification Authority of India.
Importance and uses of Census are innumerable as it is the only source of primary data in the village, town and ward level. It provides valuable information for planning and formulation policies for Central and the State Governments and is widely used by National and International Agencies, Scholars, business people, industrialists, and many more.
For the first time since 1921 the decadal population growth has actually fallen in absolute terms. In percentage terms it has been continuously falling from 25% in the 60s to 17% this census. That’s a big achievement. You will feel prouder when you will look at the current literacy rates. Literacy rate has gone up from mere 5% in 1901 to 74% in 2001 with a notable 10% change in the last decade.
The gap between the Male-Female Literacy rates has been continuously falling. Higher economic growth and Literacy rates are said to have a direct impact on population growth. Most of the southern states of India have registered 1% (approx) population growth only. The National sex ratio has also registered an increase of 7 points from 933 to 940, though child sex ratio is falling alarmingly.
No need to say, we have a very long list of things to be done and achieved to become a happy and developed nation but the achievements so far are really good and appreciable.