(A). Background and Introduction :
It is well known that the Census organization,
which has a long and fascinating history,
is the premier organization for providing population statistics over a period of time and has laid the foundations of demographic research in India.
But what is perhaps not so widely known is that it is also one of the pioneering
organizations in India in the field of anthropological studies throwing light on economic,
social and cultural life of the people comprising a spectrum of ethnic groups.
In fact, it will not be wrong to say that the Indian Census has made significant contribution
to the anthropological and ethnological studies and scholars have paid rich tribute to such studies.
The Indian Census has paid a good deal of attention
to investigations of anthropological nature. In fact, much has been made out by some critics
of its `preoccupation’ with castes and tribes and cognate anthropological enquiries in the earlier decades.
But the Census organisation blended demographic studies and anthropological enquiries in a happy manner.
The Indian Census has always been conscious of meeting the data needs and has accordingly always attempted
to project such data as would meet the requirement of the times for administration, planning and development.
Since its inception in 1961 the Social Studies
Division has under taken various types of studies as a part of Social studies.
Worth mentioning among them are socio-economic survey of villages, survey of handicrafts and
fair and festivals, preparation of ethnographic notes on scheduled castes and schedule tribes.
The details of such studies /monographs published by the Social Studies Division as an ancillary studies during 1961,
1971 and 1981 Census are as under;
Since its inception in 1961 the Social Studies Division has under taken
various types of studies as a part of Social studies. Worth mentioning among
them are socio-economic survey of villages, survey of handicrafts and fair and
festivals, preparation of ethnographic notes on scheduled castes and schedule
tribes. The details of such studies /monographs published by the Social Studies
Division as an ancillary studies during 1961, 1971 and 1981 Census are as
During the inter-censal period (1963-68) of 1961 Census about five hundred
villages all over India were taken up for socio-economic surveys. The villages were selected on a
purposive basis to cover adequately geographical, occupational and ethnic
diversity. Some villages were of
medium size with multi-ethnic population and having variegated occupations
though primarily dependent on agriculture while others had one dominant
community with one predominant occupation, like fishing, pottery, etc. or were
primarily inhabited by a Scheduled Tribes.
331 such monographs based on survey of selected villages all over the country
During the pre-independence era it
was customary to provide some ethnographic data on castes and tribes. The 1931 Census perhaps made the
largest contribution in this regard. As part of 1961 census about 255
ethnographic monographs on different castes and tribes were published.
Handicraft Studies: -
of craft surveys were also undertaken as a part of 1961 census with the primary
aim to obtain the picture of the artisan himself as of his craft, the extent to
which tradition bound the craftsman and the manner in which he adjusted himself
to the changed conditions, such as competition posed by modern technology and
money economy etc. In all about 150
reports on different crafts were brought out.
of Fairs and Festivals:
Besides, in 1961 Census
generally, in each state one volume was brought covering all the important fairs
and festivals of the state. In state like Andhra Pradesh, district wise volume
on fairs and festivals were brought out. In the Social Studies Division at the
Centre, in-depth studies in respect of some of the major festivals like, ugadi
and Moharram in two cities in Delhi and Lucknow were taken up. In all about 50
volumes on fairs and festivals were published.
During 1971 and 1981 inter-censal period no fresh village study was
undertaken. However, during the
periods attempts were made to re-study some of the villages studied during 1961
inter-censal period with a view to have an insight in the changing scene of rural societies under the influence
of planned development as well as industrialization and urbanization and other
driving forces during the last decades.
The village selected for restudies primarily on the basis of their
location in relation to nearby effective urban centre. Besides, a few villages situated in
specific area viz., Dry area, Rural Development plan area etc., were selected as
inter-censal village restudies of 1971 and 1981 censuses during this period. A total of 77 studies each in 1971
and 1981 census were taken up in inter- censal period. Of which 5 in 1971 Census
and 63 reports in 1981 Census were published.
Till 1971 census the
anthropological studies carried out by the Census organization were mostly
confined to backward groups and rural societies. As ancillary to 1971 Census,
for the first time the Census of India attempted urban studies of small and
medium towns as an operational need of the organization to project, as far as
possible, a complete picture of the people in areas are not always sharply
defined. It was therefore, realized that the findings of the socio-economic
surveys of villages undertaken during the 1961 Census had somewhat limited
relevance unless these were supplemented by urban studies to have an idea of not
only the close linkages and net-work of relations between the rural and urban
areas but also to understand socio-economic process generated by urbanization on
the rural neighborhood. These somewhat detailed studies of small and medium
towns, distributed all over the country, were in addition to directories of
towns brought out in 1971 Census which gave some minimum basic information about
each town. In all 26 towns report in
1971 Census and 50 towns report in 1981 Census were published.
Handicrafts Studies: -
number of rural based crafts reports (which were discontinued during the 1971
Census) were taken up as inter-censal studies during 1981 Census. In all, 45
handicrafts studies were taken up for study, out of which 31 handicraft reports
were published in 1981 Census.
The detailed study on a few selected
Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are undertaken by this division. Guidance and monitoring of similar
studies in States and Union Territories is also provided for finalizing the
reports for publication.
It is also necessary to mentioned that
during inter - censal period of 1971, 1981 and 1991, state level Town Directory
and All India Town Directory covering all the towns of respective States and All
India were published based on 1971,1981 and 1991 Censuses data. No such Town Directory has been
published in 2001 Census.
Details of regular activities:-
A number of activities are
undertaken in the Social Studies Division relating to census and non-census
projects. Following is the brief
account of present activities:
(a)Census related activities:-
(i) Finalization of urban frame and urban agglomerations:-
Finalization of lists of statutory and census towns sent by the
Directorates of States/Union Territories after the scrutiny of their proposals.
Urban Agglomerations (UA):-
Proposals regarding Urban Agglomerations forwarded by the State/UT Directorates are scrutinized and
finalized in this division.
(ii) District Census Handbook (Parts A & B):-
each Census District Census Handbook is brought out as a census publication. It
contains 2 parts, Part A of the District Census Handbook contains Village
Directory and Town Directory which provides Village and Town wise information on
infrastructural amenities in respect of each village and town within the
Part B of the District
Census Handbook contains village/town and ward-wise Primary Census Abstract
(iii)Enumeration of Caste in 2011
Government has decided that the enumeration of castes other than Scheduled
castes and Schedules Tribes to be done from June to September 2011. This work
has been entrusted to the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India. This
Division has been assigned the work to prepare the modalities to take up this
(iv)Compilation of News Papers Clippings/Articles:-
items, Write-ups/Articles related to various news coming under the purview of
ORGI as well as those concerning Census activities, NPR, Caste Census etc.
published in National dallies/Magazines are also compiled in this Division.
(b) Non Census activities:-
(i) Examination of proposals for revision of SCs and STs list:-
This Division provides technical
comments/advice in the examination of proposals of inclusion in/exclusion of
communities from the list of SCs/STs
to the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment and Ministry of Tribal Affairs
for revision of the list. This is one of the regular works of this Division.
individual Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes wise population: -
finalization of district level individual SC & ST wise population figures as one
of the major item of work under taken in this Division.
(iv)Implementation of Plan
Infrastructural Facilities in different Regions and Levels and Trends of
Urbanization - The basic objective of this scheme is to study in time series the
pattern of spatial distribution of amenities like educational institutions,
medical facilities, drinking water supply, approach roads, posts and telegraphs,
electricity supply etc. in areas of different States and Union Territories.
It is also envisaged to study various
aspects of urbanization and differentials in the process of urbanization and
sub-urbanization at different levels.
(iv)Rural Components: -
Distribution of infrastructural facilities in rural
areas: Time series data on
infrastructural facilities in rural areas, based on 1971, 1981 and 1991 Census
data, was generated and analyzed
during the sixth , seventh and eighth five year plans periods.