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23rd September 2022 (6 Topics)

A census is not about counting sheep

Context:

The census in India has many dimensions to it, and not just confined to numbers. It provides the basis for numerous facets of society too.

Census as an Indicator:

  • Reliable Data: The reliability of the census exceeds any other sample surveys and which makes it difficult for the government to put it in the junk. Even before the term ‘Big Data’ became commonplace the census provided reliable data.
  • Census as a Treasure Trove: The exercise of census provides data about age, gender, economic status, religion, and languages spoken yields information of another order. These findings provide pathways for planning and resolving problems, and fixing deficiencies.
  • Revealing Facts and Busting Assertions: Stories like India heading for population explosion due to Muslim reproductive rates got busted only because of census data. The Census established that the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) is coming down and the fall in TFR among Muslims is faster than in any community.
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