In 1872, British Viceroy Lord Mayo initiated a program to count all the people residing in India. This later went on to become the first census ever conducted in India, which was completed in 1881. After this, a census was conducted in India every 10 years by the British government in India. After the Independence of India, the new formed Government upheld that tradition, conducting a census every 10 year. From 1951 to present day, every 10 year, a huge endeavour is undertaken to count all the people residing in the country. However, this isn’t an article looking at the history of census’ in India, but rather looking at the effects of a census and why it is important.
Demographic information collected by the census is paramount to the distribution of resources in a country. We have all heard news stories of how many villages now have access to electricity and amenities like washroom facilities. This data is available on a nationwide scale thanks in part to the census.
Basic facts which we see in our everyday life and take for granted are determined by the census. Kerala having the highest literacy rate in India is a piece of trivia that most of us may be familiar with, it was determined by the 2011 census. While trivia is interesting to know, the census plays a much larger role in your lives than you may estimate.
Only by knowing how many people live where, can communities plan for many services that are essential to your daily life. Police stations and their locations are decided by this information and so is the construction of roads and other amenities. Enjoying a good water supply, electricity supply and security measures can all depend on the information recorded in the previous census. This is often why communities which develop at a huge speed tend to face shortages of essential services and amenities, unless already planned for.
However, there are even bigger consequences of the census that we live with. In a constitutional amendment in 1976, the number of seats from a state was frozen. Meaning that these seats which is a metric of representing the population of a state is based on census’ conducted till 1971. Next year, the information used to allocate seats to states will be 50 years or older.
The census is a vital part of the planning and development of any nation and if that isn’t reason enough to be as cooperative as possible when the census is conducted, look at a more selfish side. Being accurately counted can help you get much better services in your locality. So next year, however the census is conducted, take the time out and cooperate. Make sure you count.