enumeration to start Feb 9
process for Census 2011 will start Feb 9 and end Feb 28, a top
official said Monday.Addressing a press conference, Ranjit Singh Deol, the director of
census operations, said that a number of new features have been
added to the 2011 census.
New Delhi: Some 2.7
million officials fanned out across the country Wednesday to begin
the mammoth exercise of headcounting India's estimated 120 crore
(1.2 billion) people, with President Pratibha Patil being the
first citizen to be enumerated here.
The nationwide exercise, which will continue over the next three
weeks, began as a group of officials, called enumerators, visited
the president at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Census enumerator Rita collected information on a number of
characteristics about the president's household.
Pratibha Patil signed off on a 29-point questionnaire listing
income, religion, education, access to basic utilities and other
topics. A similar form will be filled by every citizen of the
country through Feb 28.
Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Minister of State for Home Affairs
Gurudas Kamat, Census Commissioner C. Chandramouli and Director
Census Operation (Delhi) Varsha Joshi were present at the
Speaking after her enumeration, the president asked everyone to
"wholeheartedly" take part in the census, considering it "as a
Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and
Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi also provided the details about
their respective households to the enumerators.
The family members of governors and chief ministers were among
those enumerated on the first day of the second phase.
A similar exercise would be carried out in more than 7,000 towns
and 600,000 villages across the country, including in troubled
Jammu and Kashmir, northeast and Maoist insurgency-affected areas.
According to officials, around 100,000 enumerators and supervisors
have been appointed in the eight northeastern states. Soldiers and
paramilitary troopers have been engaged as enumerators in their
respective camps and barracks.
In Jammu and Kashmir, even separatist leaders have supported the
exercise, urging the people to provide full details to census
officials. The first phase of the exercise was held from July 15
to Sep 30 last year, which passed off peacefully. The state had
missed on the exercise in 1991 when insurgency was at its peak.
In Orissa, the population count began with the enumeration of
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. The chief minister also flagged off
a publicity van, which will travel through various parts of the
state during the second phase that will conclude Feb 28, an
The first round of houselisting and collecting housing data for
Census-2011 was completed from April to September last year.
The houselisting is done because there is no complete address
system in India and each and every structure is being listed so
that when the enumerators come for headcounting, they know exactly
where to go, officials said.
In the second phase, enumerators will ask questions on literacy,
work status, marital status, languages spoken, mode of transport
and number of children.
On the last day of the survey, enumerators will count the homeless
on the streets across India. And between March 1 and 5, they will
compile the data for the entire population.
The gigantic decadal exercise, which will be the 15th headcount of
India's population since 1872, is undertaken to create a database
on demography, economic activity, literacy and education, housing
and household amenities, urbanisation, fertility and mortality,
Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, language, religion and
New features added to the 2011 census include revised questions on
the institutional household, new category in gender parameter for
transgenders, a code for separated and divorced, new codes under
status of school attendance and a separate code included under
Census 2011 has also introduced new initiatives to sensitise
school students about census operations.
For the first time, officials are stepping beyond the demographics
and economic activity and would collect details like ownership of
mobile phones, computers, internet access, and availability of
treated or untreated drinking water.
The census is the only source of credible data base in India that
the government uses to formulate its policies.