Census 2021: No less than don’t delay it in 2022


From 1881 when India carried out its first full Census to 2011 when it carried out its final decennial census, the train had by no means been deferred. However 2021’s train was postponed citing the Covid-19 pandemic and newest experiences recommend that it might not be taken up even within the first half of 2022. The unanswered query is, if votes could be forged and counted ‘safely’ by no means thoughts Delta or Omicron, why does the census proceed to be delayed? In spite of everything, it’s way more amenable to masks, social distancing and progressive Covid-19 security protocols.

In contrast China accomplished its decadal census work between November-December 2020, the preliminary outcomes got here out in Might 2021, which regardless of controversies threw very helpful mild on the demographic modifications happening within the nation, together with how fertility continues to plunge regardless of China ending its one-child coverage and the way migration is redrawing its inhabitants map.

The US additionally accomplished census work in 2020, making on-line and phone-in choices accessible for the primary time, and by August 2021 it had launched inhabitants knowledge by race, ethnicity, intercourse, age, states, counties, cities, cities and different smaller areas, with a widely-reported discovering being that the US inhabitants is now lower than 60% White for the primary time on file. In contrast to China however like India, the census findings got here not solely with social and financial but additionally clear political import as they’re the premise for redrawing congressional boundaries.

Also read: Census unlikely anytime soon as fear of 3rd wave of Covid-19 looms large

Good knowledge is important to good policy-making. However regardless that each amount and high quality of knowledge go away rather a lot to be desired in India, the persevering with postponement of the census underlines that it’s positioned far again within the checklist of priorities, not like say mass political rallies or cheek-by-jowl spiritual gatherings and bazaars. In the meantime, puzzling gaps between NFHS-Four and NFHS-5 survey knowledge are additionally ready to be resolved by the census. Coverage planning, budgeting and administration all have suboptimal outcomes when they’re primarily based on outdated knowledge. Census 2021 enumeration shouldn’t be delayed any additional.



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