Census 2021 – All India Radio (AIR) IAS UPSC

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  • January 17, 2020
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Census 2021


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TOPIC: General Studies 2:

  • Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e governance- applications

In News: The 2021 Census of India, also the 16th Indian Census, will be taken in 2021. 

  • The 15th Indian Census taken in 2011, attempted to estimate the population based on Socio-Economic and Caste Status for the first time since 1931. However, as the enumeration was based on recording the respondents’ declaration, it led to creation of hundreds of thousands of caste/sub-caste categories. 
  • For the 16th Indian census, the government is instead considering enumeration based on a list of OBCs notified by each state
  • The 2011 caste data, collected as part of the Socio Economic Caste Census (SECC), is yet to be released by the Centre.

What is Census Act 1948? 

The Census Act 1948, as amended in 1994 defines the act as:

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —

(a) “premises” means any land, building or part of a building and includes a hut, shed or other structure or any part thereof;

(b) “Prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

(c) “Vehicle” means any vehicle used or capable of being used for road transport, whether propelled by mechanical power or otherwise


Citing the powers conferred by Section 3 and Section 17A of the Census Act 1948, the Central Government issued the notification declaring that the house-listing operation of the Census of India 2021 shall take place from April 1, 2020, to September 30, 2020.

Census 2021 - All India Radio (AIR) IAS UPSC

Census 2021 – All India Radio (AIR) IAS UPSC

First Digital Census: The data collected during the 2021 Census will be stored electronically. An individual’s household data is not published by the RGI. They are published in the form of tables on the Census website. The data is preserved for 10 years and then it is destroyed. From 2021 Census it will be stored forever in electronic format.

Caste: Census 2021 is unlikely to collect “caste wise” data as a similar exercise conducted in 2011 by another ministry threw up about 40 lakh caste names that were difficult to tabulate.

Third Gender inclusion: The option of “Other” under the gender category, which roughly 5 lakh people marked in 2011, is now “Third Gender”.

However, there is a need to improve the Civil Registration System – especially on registration of birth and death in remote areas, and strengthening sample registration system for estimating the data namely, infant mortality rate, maternal mortality ratio and fertility rates.

Answer: Not counting caste in census has been part of a calculated silence over upper caste domination in India. Do you agree? Discuss.

List of Questions:

  1. Building number(Municipal or local authority or Census number).
  2. Census house number.
  3. Predominant material of roof, floor and wall of the census house.
  4. Ascertain use of census house.
  5. Condition of the census house.
  6. Household serial number.
  7. Total number of persons normally residing in the household.
  8. Name of the head of the household.
  9. Sex of the head of the household.
  10. Whether the head of the household belongs to Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe/Others.
  11. Ownership status of the census house.
  12. Number of dwelling rooms exclusively in possession of the household.
  13. Number of married couples living in the household.
  14. Main source of drinking water.
  15. Availability of drinking water source.
  16. Main side of lighting.
  17. Access to latrine.
  18. Type of latrine.
  19. Waste water outlet.
  20. Availability of bathing facility.
  21. Availability of kitchen and LPG/PNG connection.
  22. Main fuel used for cooking.
  23. Radio/Transistor.
  24. Television.
  25. Access to internet.
  26. Laptop/Computer.
  27. Telephone/Mobile Phone/Smartphone.
  28. Bicycle/Scooter/Motorcycle/Moped.
  29. Car/Jeep/Van.
  30. Main cereal consumed in the household.
  31. Mobile number (for census related communication only)

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