Socio Economic Caste Census: Civil Services Mentor Magazine - September - 2015

Socio Economic Caste Census

The Ministry of Rural Development Government of India, commenced the Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011, in June 2011 through a comprehensive door to door enumeration across the country. This survey was started to look into the poverty situation and also large number of other social and political indicators. This is the first comprehensive exercise has been carried out for both rural and urban India after independence. Last such excersice was conducted in 1934. This data will help the government in better targeting the beneficaries for various social schemes.

The SECC, 2011 has the following three objectives:

  • To enable households to be ranked based on their Socio- Economic status. State Governments can then prepare a list of families living below the poverty line.
  • To make available authentic information that will enable caste-wise population enumeration of the country.
  • To make available authentic information regarding the socio economic condition, and education status of various castes and sections of the population

Various ministries and government offices were involved in this massive excercise. The Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, The Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India and the State Governments were all involved in the process. The actual process in brief was as follows: Each Collector/District Magistrate will formulate a District/Town Plan and a Communication Plan. 24 lakh Enumeration Blocks (EB) were used for the SECC, 2011- each Enumeration Block had roughly 125 households. The enumerators were provided copies of the layout maps and Abridged House List prepared during Census 2011. This will ensure complete coverage of the area. Enumerators will be trained to conduct the SECC, 2011. Enumerators will visit every household identified in the Enumeration Block and canvas the questionnaire. They will also reach out to homeless populations (eg. people living in railway stations, roadsides etc. The data was captured directly on an electronic handheld device (a tablet PC). The hand held device scanned images of the forms filled up for National Population Register (NPR). Collected data was verified in the Panchayat. Within a week of publication of the draft list, the list was read out at the Gram Sabha in all rural areas. Any person can file claims/objections and information furnished before designated officers for this purpose. A total of 1.24 crore claims and objections were received of which almost all have been resolved.
This census categorizes data into different groups. If a household has any of the following fourteen things it is automatically excluded from the survey;

  • motorized wheeler/fishing boat;
  • Mechanized 3 – 4 wheeler agricultural equipment;
  • Kisan credit card with credit limit of over Rs. 50,000;
  • Household member government employee;
  • households with non-agricultural enterprises registered with government;
  • Any member of household earning more than Rs. 10,000 per month;
  • Paying income tax; viii. Paying professional tax;
  • 3 or more rooms with pucca walls and roof;
  • owns a refrigerator;
  • Owns landline phone;
  • Owns more than 2.5 acres of irrigated land with 1 irrigation equipment;
  • 5 acres or more of irrigated land for two or more crop season;
  • Owning at least 7.5 acres of land or more with at least one irrigation equipment.

Similar to automatically excluded various parameters are provided for automatically included category. This category has five parameters;

  • Households without shelter;
  • Destitute, living on alms;
  • Manual scavenger families;
  • Primitive tribal groups;
  • legally released bonded labour.

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