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The data vault of the 2011 Indian Census

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Census2011_women_population_20140304

20140304Major update – Extensive new data tables have been made available for public use by the Census of India. These include: (1) Primary Census Abstract tables to the village and ward level, (2) consolidated top level datasheets for Population Enumeration Data, population living in villages, age data, and data on disability.

Here they are:

[Set 1] Primary Census Abstract Data (Final Population); Primary Census Abstract Data for Houseless (India & States/UTs – District Level) ; Primary Census Abstract Data for Scheduled Castes (SC) (India & States/UTs – District Level) ; Primary Census Abstract Data for Scheduled Tribes (ST) (India & States/UTs – District Level) ; Primary Census Abstract Data for Slum (India & States/UTs – Town Level) ; Primary Census Abstract Data Highlights – 2011 (India & States/UTs) ; Primary Census Abstract Data Tables (India & States/UTs – District Level) ; Primary Census Abstract Data Tables (India & States/UTs – Town/Village/Ward Level).

[Set 2] Villages By Population ; Village population Tables ; Percentage of population living in villages of various population size with reference to the total rural population: 2011 ; Percentage of villages and population by class of villages in 2001 and 2011 ; Statement showing the number of Villages of population 10,000 and above with their population: 2001-2011 ; Distribution of 10,000 villages of each class in All India and 10,000 population in each class of villages All India among the States and Union Territories.

[Set 3] Single Year Age Data – (India/States/UTs) ; Single Year Age Data for Scheduled Castes (SC) ; Single Year Age Data for Scheduled Tribes (ST) ; Five Year Age Group Data ; Five Year Age Data for Scheduled Castes (SC) ; Five Year Age Data for Scheduled Castes (ST).

[Set 4] Disabled Population by type of Disability, Age and Sex (India & States/UTs – District Level) ; Disabled Population by type of Disability, Age and Sex For Scheduled Castes (India & States/UTs – District Level) ; Disabled Population by type of Disability, Age and Sex For Scheduled Tribes (India & States/UTs – District Level).

20130903 – The Census 2011 as a data source is now two years old for the first indicators and preliminary estimates were released in 2011 June and July. Since then we have had regular releases from the world’s most detailed very large-scale enumeration of people.

The ‘primary census abstract’ is the most important record for a settlement, whether a rural hamlet or an urban town ward. This contains the population, gender ratio, literacy rate, proportion of children, the numbers of scheduled tribe and caste members, and also contains the four-fold break-up of the working population.

The Census of India has released the primary census abstract (PCA) to the district level for all states and union territories. On the website, you can get the tables for individual districts through a series of menus. Here, I have posted the xls data sheets for every state and union territory, and each sheet contains the PCA for all that state’s districts.

In alphabetical order (and with the state census code) they are: Andaman and Nicobar Islands (35), Andhra Pradesh (28), Arunachal Pradesh (12), Assam (18), Bihar (10), Chandigarh (04), Chhattisgarh (22), Dadra and Nagar Haveli (26), Daman and Diu (25), Delhi (07), Goa (30), Gujarat (24), Haryana (06), Himachal Pradesh (02), Jammu and Kashmir (01), Jharkhand (20), Karnataka (29), Kerala (32), Lakshadweep (31), Madhya Pradesh (23), Maharashtra (27), Manipur (14), Meghalaya (17), Mizoram (15), Nagaland (13), Odisha (21), Puducherry (34), Punjab (03), Rajasthan (08), Sikkim (11), Tamil Nadu (33), Tripura (16), Uttar Pradesh (09), Uttarakhand (05), West Bengal (19).

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Census 2011, the first big numbers release

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Census2011_logoThe Census of India has released the first batch of the primary census abstract. This is the heart of the gigantic matrix of numbers that describes India’s population (to be correct technically, India’s population as it was in 2011 March). The PCA, as it is fondly known amongst the tribe that speak its arcane language, is the final and corrected set of numbers of the populations of India’s states, districts, blocks and villages – this corrects, if such correction was required, the data used in the Census 2011 releases between 2011 and now, which were officially called provisional results.

This release of the PCA is detailed down to district level, and that means the block- and village-level releases are to follow. This gives us the rural and urban populations, the number of children between 0 and 6 years old and what gender they are, and it gives us the number of workers and dependents. Within workers, the PCA tells us who the ‘main’ and ‘marginal’ workers are (a distinction based on how much of the year they are employed). What is of great importance to our study of food and agriculture is that the data tell us how many cultivators and how many agricultural labourers there are.

Well then, without further ado, here is where you’ll find this new forest of numbers. First, there is a very good overview provided by the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India (that’s the official title of the organisation that carries out the world’s largest census operation, yes yes, there is one larger enumeration but this is the most detailed census in the world) and you can download it here (a big ppt of about 9MB). Then there is the page on which the PCAs of the states and union territories can be found, which is here.

If you’ve hurried over to that last page you will have found that the xls files that correspond to each state and union territory are coded. That is the state code, and in my work I have found it far more useful to have a set of xls files that are named with both the state (or UT) 2 or 3 character forms and their Census codes. So, here they are, in alphabetical order:

Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Puducherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal. There, that’s all 35 – do let me know if any of these links are empty or pointing to the wrong file.

Quiet numbers tell district tales – rural and urban India, part 6

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In north-east Mumbai (Bombay), open land under high-tension cables becomes a place for many cricket games on a Sunday afternoon.

Census 2011 also informs both the incumbent ‘sirkar’ and us that there are 22 districts in which literacy rates for the rural female population are above 74% (all 14 of Kerala’s districts are included). However, it is in the next 10% range of literacy rates – 74% to 64% – that gains since the 2001 census must be protected and this set includes 82 districts. It is a widely dispersed set, comprising districts from 21 states and union territories.

There are 11 from Maharashtra (including Sangli, Bhandara and Gondiya), 9 from Punjab (including Kapurthala, Gurdaspur and Sahibzada), 7 from Orissa (including Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara and Bhadrak), 7 also from Himachal Pradesh (including Una, Kangra and Solan), 6 from Tamil Nadu (including Thoothukkudi and Nagapattinam) and 5 from Gujarat (including Navsari and Mahesana).

In the background, some of the most expensive office space in the world, Mumbai's Nariman Point business district. In the foreground, temporary shanties on the beach.

The Office of the Registrar General of India, which administers the Census, has cautioned that all the data releases so far are still provisional figures. However, the implications are now plain to see, and give rise to a set of socio-economic questions which demographic and field research over the 12th Plan Period (2012-17) will enlarge and expand upon. Is there for example a correlation between districts whose rural populations have unfavourable female to male gender ratios and districts in which female literacy ratios are low? Comparing the bottom 100 districts under both conditions shows that there are only 12 districts in which both conditions are present (5 in Uttar Pradesh, 2 in Rajasthan, and 2 in Jammu & Kashmir).

A valley in the western hills of Maharashtra state in summer, exhibiting denuded hillsides and scant grazing for shepherds. From villages such as this one, youth and families make their way to the cities.

Most encouraging is that there are 40 districts in which the ratio of the number of literate females to literate males (this is a different ratio from literacy rate), is 0.90 or better, ie there are 900 or more literate females to 1,000 literate males. In this set are all Kerala’s 14 districts but also 13 districts from the Northeast (from Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland).

The remainder are from island Union Territories, from the southern states (3 from Karnataka, 2 from Andhra Pradesh and one each from Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Puducherry), from hill states (2 from Uttarakhand, 2 from Himachal Pradesh) and one from Maharashtra. It is these districts that provide abundant reason for the allocation of a minimum 6% of GDP allocation for education – a long-standing commitment – which must begin to be fulfilled in the 2012-17 Plan period.

Thane district, north of the Mumbai metropolitan region, has experienced one of the fastest growths in population in India over the last decade.

How will the Government of India consider these early indicators from Census 2011? How will India’s civil society and the great breadth of organisations – voluntary groups, people’s movements, rural foundations and the like – which have been delivering development ‘outcomes’, year after year, without the benefit of budgetary support but motivated by the plain fact that inequity still exists, how will this group see these indicators?

The Government of India revels in presenting contradiction as a substitute for careful, evidence-based and inter-generational planning. When downward trends – such as those seen in female illiteracy and in the gender ratios of the 0-6 age-group – have been slow over the last 25 years, there is a need to set long-term objectives that are not tied to the end of the next available Plan period, but which use a Plan direction to help achieve them. In this, the Approach Paper to the 12th Five-Year Plan has failed quite signally, because its authors have not drawn the only possible conclusions from the Census 2011 data presented till date. Yet others have done so, notably India’s civil society and its more responsive group of academics. Hence the abundance of contradictions in all major documents – the Approach Paper being the most important, annual Economic Surveys being another type – which seek to reassure one section while in fact underwriting the ambitions of another.

Rural labour pitches camp. Mobile populations such as this one move from more disadvantaged districts to less, as even intermittent agricultural wages and harsh living conditions are better than debt.

So we see that a state which must ensure provision of Right to Education to every child up to the age of 14 years, because it is constitutionally bound to do so, complains in the planning phase itself that scarce resources constrain it from carrying out its duties and therefore advises its citizens that measures like public-private partnership (PPP) should be resorted to. How will such cunning better the lives and present culturally relevant opportunities for the rural populations in the remaining 591 districts which are under the 0.90 ratio for literate females to literate males? What will the emphasis on vocational training (for the urban job pools) instead of people’s empowerment mean for the rural populations in 403 districts where this ratio is less than 0.75 – which means the number of literate rural females is under three-fourths the number of literate males – and in 69 of these districts it is even under 0.60 (25 in Rajasthan, 14 in Uttar Pradesh, 9 in Madhya Pradesh, 6 in Jammu and Kashmir)?

[This is the sixth of a small series of postings on rural and urban India, which reproduces material from my analysis of Census 2011 data on India’s rural and urban populations, published by Infochange India. See the first in the series here; see the second in the series here; see the third in the series here; see the fourth in the series here; see the fifth in the series here.]

Quiet numbers tell district tales – rural and urban India, part 5

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Teenager on a bicycle in rural Maharashtra, western India. At the current rate of migration from rural districts to urban centres, this youth may not stay in the farm labour pool for much longer.

What effect has this imbalanced ratio, so common in the rural populations of districts, on literacy and education? Census 2011 has told us so far that there are 55 districts in which the rural literacy rate is 74% or higher — this is the national effective literacy rate (for the population that is seven years old and above) which is a figure derived from rural and urban, male and female literacy rates. The literacy rates in these 55 districts are for all persons, female and male together. They range from 74% to 89%. All 14 of Kerala’s districts are among the 55, there are 7 districts from Maharashtra, 5 from Tamil Nadu, and 4 each from Mizoram, Orissa and Himachal Pradesh.

A lorry driver poses with his cargo, new tractors. The depletion of agricultural labour has turned agricultural machinery a fast-growing industrial sector. Worryingly for India, government planners see capital used for machinery and industrial agriculture as evidence of 'growth'. But food security remains uncertain for many rural communities.

The top 10 districts in this set are all from Kerala save one, East Delhi. But these 55 districts have returned literacy rates that will form the basis of study and analysis in the years to come, they are outnumbered, by a factor of more than 11 to 1, by districts whose rural populations lie under the 74% national mark, and this too will serve as an early indicator, continually updated, of the commitment of the Indian state to its implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act of 2009, and of the results of the first 10 years of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

Since its inception in 2001-02 the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) has been treated by the Government of India and the states as the main vehicle for providing elementary education to all children in the 6-14 age-group. Its outcome — this is how the annual and Plan period results of India’s ‘flagship’ national programmes are now described — is the universalisation of elementary education. The Right to Education Act (RTE) of 2009 gives all children the fundamental right to demand eight years of quality elementary education. For the planners in the Ministry of Human Resource Development, the effective enforcement of this right requires what they like to call ‘alignment’ with the vision, strategies and norms of the SSA. In so doing, they immediately run into a thicket of problems for, to begin with, there are half-a-million vacancies of teachers in the country, another half-million teachers are required to meet the RTE norms on pupil-teacher ratios, and moreover 0.6 million teachers in the public school system are untrained.

This is the creaking administrative set-up against which the total literacy rates of the 585 districts whose rural populations are under the 74% mark must be viewed. Of these, 209 districts have literacy rates for their rural populations which are between 50% and 60%. This set of districts includes 33 from Uttar Pradesh, 30 from Madhya Pradesh, 20 from Bihar, 18 from Jharkhand, 17 from Rajasthan, 13 each from Assam and Andhra Pradesh, and 9 from Karnataka. And finally, there are 95 districts whose literacy rates of the rural population are under 50%.

Low-cost housing in north Mumbai (Bombay). Colonies such as this are typical: unclean surroundings caused by an absence of civic services, minimal water and sanitation for residents, no route to remedy because of political and social barriers.

This set of districts at the bottom of the table includes 17 from Bihar, 14 from Rajasthan, 9 each from Uttar Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir, 7 from Madhya Pradesh and 6 each from Orissa, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Arunachal Pradesh. The districts of Yadgir (Karnataka), Purnia (Bihar), Shrawasti (Uttar Pradesh), Pakur (Jharkhand), Malkangiri, Rayagada, Nabarangapur, Koraput (all Orissa), Tirap (Arunchal Pradesh), Barwani, Jhabua, Alirajpur (all Madhya Pradesh), and Narayanpur, Bijapur and Dakshin Bastar Dantewada (all Chhattisgarh) are the 15 districts at the very base of the table with literacy rates of the rural population at under 40%.

Over 11 Plan periods there have been some cumulative gains in a few sectors. Today, in rural areas, seven major flagship programmes are being administered, with less overall coordination between them than is looked for – a contrast against the ease with which the central government’s major ministries collaborate on advancing the cause of the urban elite — but which nonetheless have given us evidence that their combined impact has improved the conditions of some.

A man transports an LPG cylinder, to be used as cooking fuel, to his home in a shanty colony in north Mumbai (Bombay). Already burdened by the high cost of petroleum products, slum-dwellers are forced to pay a premium for cooking fuels and water.

The seven programmes are: the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), Indira Awas Yojana (IAY), the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) and Total Sanitation Campaign (TSP), the Integrated Watershed Development Programme (IWDP), Pradhan Mantri Grameen Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), and rural electrification which includes separation of agricultural feeders and includes also the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY).

For the local administrator these present a bewildering array of reporting obligations. A hundred years ago, such an administrator’s lot was aptly described by J Chartres Molony, Superintendent of Census 1911 in (the then) Madras: “The Village Officer, source of all Indian information, is the recorder of his village, and it well may be that amid the toils of keeping accounts and collecting ‘mamuls’, he pays scant heed to what he and his friends consider the idle curiosity of an eccentric sirkar.”

[This is the fifth of a small series of postings on rural and urban India, which reproduces material from my analysis of Census 2011 data on India’s rural and urban populations, published by Infochange India. See the first in the series here; see the second in the series here; see the third in the series here; see the fourth in the series here.]

Quiet numbers tell district tales – rural and urban India, part 4

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Dense colonies of low-rise apartment blocks in north-eastern Mumbai (Bombay). These date from the 1980s and despite their disrepair are out of reach for some 60% of the giant city's population which live in 'upgraded' slums.

Dr C Chandramouli, Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India, presaged the insights that would be provided by new census data in his introduction to the first provisional paper on the 2011 Census: “It provides valuable information for planning and formulation of policies by the government and is also used widely by national and international agencies, scholars, business persons, industrialists, and many more. In addition, the Census provides a basic frame for conduct of other surveys in the country. Any informed decisionmaking that is based on empirical data is dependent on the Census.”

When taken together with the 355 districts whose rural populations are all a million and above, the implications of such a concentration of the 0-6-year-old population in talukas and tehsils (more than those in town wards) become manifold. An immediate rendering of this concentration will take place in the health sector for it is there that imbalances in public expenditure and budget have been most severe.

The change in literacy rates for India's states from 2001 to 2011, with the 0-6 year olds excluded. The colours are: red (75% and below), ochre (75-80%), yellow (80-85%), lime green (85-90%) and green (90% and above). Maps: Census of India 2011

The Government of India has time and again claimed that the 11th Five-Year Plan (2007-12) has sought to raise the share of public expenditure on health (both central and in the states) from less than 1% of GDP in 2006-07 to 2% and then 3%. For this, the National Rural Health Mission (launched in 2005) was intended to strengthen healthcare infrastructure in rural areas, provide more sub-centres, better staff and equip primary health and community health centres.

Census 2011 will, over the months to come, indicate the degree to which these lofty aims — often held up as evidence of the government’s commitment to social equity — have been met. To do this, the ratios will be layered between study outputs that bring out the insights of correlating large demographic data sets — district health services, the national family health survey, planned rounds of the National Sample Survey and, despite the defensible criticism levelled against it, the 2011 BPL survey. Within this dauntingly complex data framework will need to be placed the Plan targets relating to infant mortality rate, maternal mortality rate, total fertility rate, under-nutrition among children, anaemia among women and girls, provision of clean drinking water for all, and raising child gender ratio for the age-group of 0-6.

Where do the 640 districts and their rural populations lie on a simple child gender ratio scale? Ranked by female to male ratio within the 0-6 years category of population, the top 10% of all districts (that is, 64 districts) register a gender ratio of at least 0.97 and up to 1.01. The districts with the 20 most favourable female to male ratios for the 0-6 population are Dakshin Bastar Dantewada, Bastar, Bijapur, Koriya, Rajnandgaon, Narayanpur and Korba (all Chhattisgarh); Tawang, Papum Pare and East Siang (all Arunachal Pradesh); Nabarangapur and Malkangiri (Orissa); Lahaul and Spiti (Himachal Pradesh), Nawada (Bihar), Chandauli (Uttar Pradesh), Mamit (Mizoram), Pashchimi Singhbhum (Jharkhand), Tinsukia (Assam), South Andaman, and West Garo Hills (Meghalaya).

Vegetables being farmed on agricultural land between two city wards of Panaji (Goa). As the populations of smaller towns in India has risen, their footprint on cultivable land has grown.

Among the top 10% of districts with gender ratios for the 0-6 age group that are favourable to females, Chhattisgarh has 14 while Orissa, Meghalaya, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh have 6 each. These are considered, by their states and by the central government’s ministries and departments, to be ‘backward’ districts, tribal in character, lacking in infrastructure and below par in economic development (discounting for this index the proclivity of the state to steal natural resources in the commons, the better to convert it to GDP with). Yet the residents of these districts have proven, as the 2011 data so emphatically shows, that they practice an equality that is far closer to that enunciated in our Constitution than is to be found in the ranks of the million-plus cities.

Even so, the picture at the other end of the scale is a worrisome one. Within the 0-6 years category of the rural population of districts, there are 154 districts whose female to male ratio is less than 0.90, ie 9 girls or less for every 10 boys. In this large set of districts with unfavourable gender ratios amongst the rural population category of 0-6 years, the range of this ratio drops to 0.70 (the average gender ratio for this group of districts being 850 girls to 1,000 boys). There are 24 districts in UP in this set (out of the state’s 71 districts), 20 districts each in Punjab and Haryana (out of their totals of 20 and 21 respectively), 18 each in Rajasthan and Maharashtra (out of 33 and 35 respectively) and 14 in Jammu & Kashmir (out of 22).

[This is the fourth of a small series of postings on rural and urban India, which reproduces material from my analysis of Census 2011 data on India’s rural and urban populations, published by Infochange India. See the first in the series here; see the second in the series here; see the third in the series here.]

India’s 2011 Census – the states and their prime numbers

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With most of the final data tables now available, I am now (2016 January) consolidating and reorganising this extensive article about the Census of India 2011. Here you will find the data tables organised according to the states and union territories (the new and revised companion page is here). This is planned to take the following forms: (1) links to and explanations about the main data categories, (2) links to the sections containing detailed tables, forms, past censuses, geographical codes and administrative maps, (3) listings by state and union territory of the tables available in the main data categories, (4) analytical matter about demographics and trends.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands (UT)
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract
Andhra Pradesh
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract
Arunachal Pradesh
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract
Assam
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract
Bihar
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract
Chandigarh (UT)
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract
Chattisgarh
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract
Dadra and Nagar Haveli (UT)
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract
Daman and Diu (UT)
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract
Delhi (NCT)
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract
Goa
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract
Gujarat
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract
Haryana
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract
Himachal Pradesh
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract
Jammu and Kashmir
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract
Karnataka
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract
Kerala
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract
Lakshadweep (UT)
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract
Madhya Pradesh
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract
Maharashtra
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract
Manipur
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract
Meghalaya
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract
Mizoram
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract
Nagaland
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract
Odisha
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract
Puducherry (UT)
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract
Punjab
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract
Rajasthan
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract
Sikkim
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract
Tamil Nadu
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract
Telengana
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract
Tripura
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract
Uttar Pradesh
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract
Uttarakhand
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract
West Bengal
Town / village / ward primary census abstract
Taluka / tehsil / block / mandal primary census abstract

Please now refer to these links. Related sections you will find in the companion page and these point you to the data tables on: Villages By Population, Age Data, Data on Disability, Data on Education, Data on Religion, Data on Scheduled Castes, Data on Scheduled Tribes, Household Series, Data on workers, Data On Marital Status, Fertility Data, Post Enumeration Survey, Miscellaneous Tables.

The material which follows is older with the oldest paragraphs and links dating to late 2011. These I have retained as they are still found to be useful especially to students.

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20130903Major update – The ‘primary census abstract’ is the most important record for a settlement, whether a rural hamlet or an urban town ward. This contains the population, gender ratio, literacy rate, proportion of children, the numbers of scheduled tribe and caste members, and also contains the four-fold break-up of the working population. Please see ‘The data vault of the 2011 Indian Census’ for full and comprehensive data sheets.

20130501Major update – The Census of India has released the first data batch of the primary census abstract. This release of the PCA is detailed down to district level and you will find more information, and individual data for states and union territories here.

20111021Major update – The urban-rural population data release.

This is an extremely important data set for planners and administrators in the major ministries and of course for all those in social sector fields. The new group of data files lists all the districts, their total population with rural and urban components, the population of the 0-to-six years age group and the population of literates, in all cases by male and female.

The text that follows is taken from the ‘data highlights’ file which provides a very good overview of the scope of this data release. You will also find a set of links to the pdf and xls files released by the Census 2011.

Census 2011 lists 7,935 towns in India. The number of towns has increased by 2,774 since the last Census (2001). Many of these towns are part of urban agglomerations and the rest are independent towns. The total number of urban agglomerations/towns, which constitutes the urban frame, is 6,166 in all states and union territories.

Population of UAs/Towns:
1. The total urban population in the country as per Census 2011 is more than 377 million constituting 31.16% of the total population.
2. Class I UAs/Towns: The UAs/Towns are grouped on the basis their population in Census. The UAs/Towns which have at least 1,00,000 persons as population are categorised as Class I UA/Town. At the Census 2011, there are 468 such UAs/Towns. The corresponding number in Census 2001 was 394.
3. 264.9 million persons, constituting 70% of the total urban population, live in these Class I UAs/Towns. The proportion has increased considerable over the last Census. In the remaining classes of towns the growth has been nominal.
4. Million Plus UAs/Towns: Out of 468 UAs/Towns belonging to Class I category, 53 UAs/Towns each has a population of one million or above each. Known as Million Plus UAs/Cities, these are the major urban centres in the country. 160.7 million persons (or 42.6% of the urban population) live in these Million Plus UAs/Cities.18 new UAs/Towns have been added to this list since the last Census.
5. Mega Cities: Among the Million Plus UAs/Cities, there are three very large UAs with more than 10 million persons in the country, known as Mega Cities. These are Greater Mumbai UA (18.4 million), Delhi UA (16.3 million) and Kolkata UA (14.1 million). The largest UA in the country is Greater Mumbai UA followed by Delhi UA. Kolkata UA which held the second rank in Census 2001 has been replaced by Delhi UA. The growth in population in the Mega Cities has slowed down considerably during the last decade. Greater Mumbai UA, which had witnessed 30.47% growth in population during 1991-2001 has recorded 12.05% during 2001-2011. Similarly Delhi UA (from 52.24% to 26.69% in 2001-2011) and Kolkata UA (from 19.60% to 6.87% in 2001-2011) have also slowed down considerably.

Child Population (0-6 years):
6. Population of children in the age group is 158.8 million in Census 2011. In the urban areas there are 41.2 million children in this age group. In comparison to Census 2001, the number of children (0-6) in urban areas has increased (by 10.32%), while in the rural areas it has decreased by 7.04%.
7. Of the 41.2 million children (0-6) in the urban areas in the country, the population in Class I UAs/Cities is 27.9 million, which is about 67.8% of the total Urban child population. In Million Plus UAs/Cities the Child Population (0-6) is 16.6 million constituting about 40 % of the total urban child (0-6) population of the country.
8. Among the 53 Million Plus UAs/Cities 16.6 million are children (0-6), of which 52.7% are boys and 47.3% are girls, showing a preponderance of male children in these large cities.
9. Malappuram UA has the highest proportion of Children (0-6) (13.57%) in the Million Plus category, followed by Ghaziabad (13.09%). Kolkata UA has the lowest proportion at 7.54%.

The data files:
Data Highlights [pdf, 32 kb]
Population by gender and residence, Census 2011 [pdf, 412 kb] [xls, 319 kb]
Cities with population 100,000 and above [pdf, 152 kb] [xls, 190 kb]
Urban agglomerations/cities with population 100,000 and above [pdf, 138 kb] [xls, 179 kb]
Urban agglomerations/cities with population 1 million and above [pdf, 20 kb] [xls, 35 kb]
Constituents of urban agglomerations with population 100,000 and above, Census 2011 [pdf, 162 kb] [xls, 251 kb]
Urban agglomerations spread over more than one district [pdf, 10 kb] [xls, 24kb]
Abbreviations [pdf, 7 kb] [xls, 28 kb]

Gender Ratio:
10. Gender ratio, the number of females per thousand males, in urban areas in India is 926 in Census 2011. It has registered an increase of 26 points over the Gender ratio in 2001 Census.
11. Gender ratio in Class I UAs/Cities (population of 100,000 and above) is 921, which is 5 points lower than the total urban gender ratio in the country.
12. Among the Million Plus UAs/Cities the Gender Ratio stands at 912. The UAs, where population of females exceeds the total male population in this group are Kannur UA (Kerala) at the top with 1168. Surat UA (Gujarat) is at the bottom of the list with Gender Ratio at 754 where males outnumber females.
13. In the two of the three mega cities there is predominance of male population as they have returned low Gender Ratio (e.g., Greater Mumbai UA – 861, Delhi UA – 867). Kolkata UA has returned a better gender ratio at 928.

Child gender Ratio (0-6 years):
14. The Child gender Ratio in the country has declined from 927 to 914 in Census 2011. This decline is more pronounced in rural areas than in urban areas of the country, where the decline is by 4 points from 906 to 902 in Census 2011.
15. The Child gender Ratio in UAs/Cities with 100,000 persons and above is 899 which is marginally lower than the national average for urban areas.
16. The combined Child gender Ratio in Million Plus UAs/Cities is 898. Thiruananthapuram UA (Kerala) has returned the highest Child gender Ratio (971) in this group. The lowest slot is occupied by Agra UA (780).
17. Child gender Ratio in the three Mega Cities are 946 (Kolkata UA), 900 (Greater Mumbai UA) and the lowest in 868 (Delhi UA).

Literacy Rate:
18. The literacy rates among both males and females have shown improvement in Census 2011 compared to the last Census. The literacy rate in the country as a whole is 74.04%. In the rural and the urban areas the literacy rates are 68.9% and 84.9% respectively.
19. The female literacy rate in rural and urban areas shows wide variation. In the urban areas of the country the female literacy rate is 79.92% in the rural areas it is only 58.75%.
20. In the 468 UAs/Towns the progress in literacy has been quite encouraging. In 89 UAs/Cities the total Literacy Rate has crossed the 90% mark. The corresponding number of UAs/Cities in Census 2001 was only 23 in Census 2011. In another 288 UAs/Cities, the Literacy rate ranges between 80% to 90%, improving from 197 in Census 2001.
21. The total Literacy Rate in Greater Mumbai UA is 90.78%, the highest among the mega cities. The Literacy Rate in Delhi and Kolkata are 86.43% and 88.33% respectively. The female literacy rate is also the highest in Greater Mumbai UA (87.19) the top three megacities.

20110926Major update – In the Paper 2 series 12 more states and union territories have been added.

In the ‘Provisional Population Totals Paper 2 of 2011’ series you will find most of the new data concerns administrative divisions in the state (or UT), several ‘At a Glance’ compilations of data and charts, decadal growth rates for populations and the percentage shares (under various categories) of populations.

There are also gender ratios by residence, child population (with associated decadal growth characteristics, gender ratios and percentages), literates and literacy rates (also by residence).

The new entrants follow below. One state only remains and that is Jammu and Kashmir – perhaps by this week the paper 2 series will also be complete. I will post the details here as soon as that happens.

Arunachal Pradesh, Assam
Bihar, Chhattisgarh
Jharkhand, Lakshadweep
Maharashtra, Manipur
Meghalaya, Mizoram
Tripura, Uttarakhand

20110822Major update– The Census of India has begun releasing – as part of its Paper 2 series – the state and union territory results for rural-urban populations, literacy, child gender ratios and administrative units maps. I am listing the state/UT releases issued so far, followed by the major new data files for those states/UTs:

Andaman & Nicobar Islands
Andhra Pradesh
Gujarat
Haryana
Himachal Pradesh
Karnataka
Kerala
NCT of Delhi
Orissa
Tamil Nadu

Chandigarh
Dadra and Nagar Haveli
Daman and Diu
Goa
Madhya Pradesh
Nagaland
Puducherry
Punjab
Rajasthan
Sikkim
Uttar Pradesh
West Bengal

Andaman & Nicobar Islands
Provisional Population Totals (pdf, 1.52 MB)

Andhra Pradesh
Percentage of Urban Population (Map)(pdf, 233 kB) ; Figures at a Glance (pdf, 351 kB) ; Population, Decadal growth Rate, sex ratio by residence (pdf, 5.17 MB) ; Child population, Decadal growth, child sex ratio by residence (pdf, 6.97 MB) ; Literates, Literacy rate by residence, Literacy rate by gender (pdf, 6.24 MB)

NCT of Delhi
Provisional Population Totals (pdf, 8.04 MB)

Gujarat
Figures at a Glance (pdf, 77 kB) ; Population, Decadal Growth Rate, Sex Ratio by Residence (pdf, 2.62 MB) ; Child Population, Decadal Growth, Child Sex Ratio by Residence (pdf, 1.15 MB) ; Literates and Literacy Rate By Residence (pdf, 1.70 MB)

Haryana
Figures at a Glance (pdf, 144 kB) ; Highlights of Haryana (pdf, 185 kB) ; Percentage of Urban Population to Total (Map)(pdf, 208 kB) ; Percentage Decadal Growth Rate of Urban Population 2001-2011 (Map)(pdf, 203 kB) ; Population, Decadal Growth Rate, Sex Ratio by Residence (pdf, 876 kB) ; Child Polulation, Decadal Growth, Child Sex Ratio By Residence (pdf, 1.24 MB) ; Literates and Literacy Rate by Residence (pdf, 916 kB)

2011May – The first set of detailed state-level data is almost complete as a release from the Census of India, 2011 Census. In this post I will provide the data types for each state and the links to the Census documents.

Enumeration in an Orissa (now Odisha) village. Photo: Census of India

Update 23 May: Nine more states added – Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha/Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal.

Update 15 May: Six more states added – Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka and Kerala.

I haven’t checked these links – they are on the Census of India website. The state data are provided in pdfs and xls sheets. Beware some large file sizes! My advice is to look at the pdfs carefully too for numbers. Experience with earlier census releases (these will go on for two to three years) is that you will find tables carried in pdfs with no readily available corresponding xls sheets. So store them carefully.

Why does Bihar with a population of 103 million have one data document while Gujarat, with 60 million, have eleven? Why is Delhi’s data document a single 65 MB giant? What’s the difference between two Assam documents which seem similar? I’m afraid I don’t know. My best guess right now is that through 2011 the ‘schedule’ of tables and data releases will become more standardised for all states (and UTs).

For now, this is what we can work with. Read an earlier post about Census 2011 here.

Here is a starting list of states and the data releases for them. I’ve begun with the large states (sorry, those interested in small states and union territories, those are coming) and alphabetically.

Andhra Pradesh

Comparision with other states [xls, 24 kB]
Distribution of Population, Decadal Growth Rate, Sex-Ratio and Population Density [xls, 24 kB]
Population in the Age-Group 0-6, Number of Literates and Literacy Rate for State and Districts [xls, 24 kB]
Literacy Rates by Sex for State and District, 2001 and 2011 [pdf, 23 kB]
Proportion of Child Population in the Age-Group 0-6 to Total Population, 2001 and 2011 [xls, 68 kB]
Provisional Population Totals at a Glance [pdf, 13,585 kB]

Assam

Provisional Population Totals 2011 [pdf, 15.9 MB]
Provisional Population Totals II, 2011 [pdf, 7.65 MB]

Bihar

Provisional Population Totals 2011 [pdf, 86 kB]

Chhattisgarh

Figures at a glance [pdf, 94 kB]
India and Chhattisgarh figures at a glance [pdf, 93 kB]
India and States-UTs at a glance [pdf, 184 kB]

Delhi

Provisional Population Totals Paper 1, NCT of Delhi Series 8 [pdf, 65.0 MB]

Gujarat

Distribution of Population, Decadal Growth Rate, Sex-Ratio and Population Density [xls, 26kB]
Percentage Decadal Variation in Population for State and Districts, 1901 – 2011 [xls, 24kB]
Sex-Ratio for State and Districts, 1901-2011 [xls, 23 kB]
Population in the Age-Group 0-6, Number of Literates and Literacy Rate for State and Districts, 2011 [xls, 29 kB]
Literacy Rates by Sex for State and District, 2001 and 2011 [xls, 26 kB]
Proportion of Child Population in the Age-Group 0-6 to Total Population, 2001 and 2011 [xls, 27 kB]
Ranking of Districts by Population Size, 2001 and 2011 [xls, 24 kB]
Ranking of Districts by Sex-Ratio, 2001 and 2011 [xls, 22 kB]
Ranking of Districts by Population Density, 2001 and 2011 [xls, 21 kB]
Literacy Rate 1951-2011 [xls, 19 kB]
Ranking of Districts by Literacy Rate and Sex, 2011 [xls, 23 kB]

Haryana

Provisional Population Totals, 2011 [pdf, 106 kB]
Provisional population totals data sheet [pdf, 674 kB]
District-wise Population [doc, 674 kB]
Comparative Sex-ratio, child sex ratio, literacy of Districts, 2001 and 2011 [doc, 26 kB]
Distribution of Population, Decadal Growth Rate, Sex-Ratio and Population Density [xls, 24 kB]

Himachal Pradesh

Figures at a Glance, 2011 [pdf, 758 kB]
Provisional Population Totals 1 [xls, 22 kB]
Provisional Population Totals 2 [xls, 21 kB]
Population distribution, Decadal Growth Rate, Sex-Ratio and Population Density [xls, 22 kB]
Percentage Decadal Variation in Population for State and Districts, 1901-2011 [xls, 20 kB]
Sex-Ratio for State and Districts, 1901-2011 [xls, 20 kB]
Population 0-6 years, Literacy Rate for State and Districts, 2011 [xls, 23 kB]
Literacy Rate by Sex for State and District, 2001 and 2011 [xls, 20 kB]
Proportion of Child Population, 0-6 years, to Total Population, 2001 and 2011 [xls, 20 kB]
Child Sex Ratio for State and Districts, 2001-2011 [xls, 19 kB]

Jammu and Kashmir

Provisional Population Totals 1 [pdf, 4.93 MB]
Distribution of Population, Decadal Growth Rate, Sex-Ratio and Density [xls, 24kB]
Percentage Decadal Variation [xls, 23 kB]
Sex ratio since 1901 [xls, 21 kB]
Population 0-6, Number of Literates and Literacy Rate for State and Districts [xls, 23 kB]
Ranking of Districts by Population Size, 2001-2011 [xls, 21 kB]
Literacy Rate 1961-2011 [xls, 19 kB]
Ranking of Districts by Literacy Rate and Sex, 2011 [xls, 21 kB]

Jharkhand

Provisional Result data sheet, 2011 [pdf, 24 kB]
Provisional Population, 2011 [pdf, 2,016 kB]
Provisional Results, 2011 [pdf, 188 kB]
Provisional Population Totals 1 [xls, 47 kB]
Provisional Population Totals 2 [xls, 49 kB]

Karnataka

Provisional Population Totals 1 [pdf, 32.50 MB]
Population distribution, Decadal growth rate, Sex ratio and density [xls, 60 kB]
Percentage decadal variation in Population, State and Districts 1901-2011 [xls, 59 kB]
Sex ratio for State and Districts, 1901-2011 [xls, 61 kB]
Population 0-6, Number of literates and Literacy rate by sex for State and Districts [xls, 63 kB]
Literacy rates by sex for State and Districts, 2001 and 2011 [xls, 52 kB]
Proportion in 0-6 age group by sex, 2001 and 2011 [xls, 51 kB]

Kerala

Provisional Population Totals [pdf, 194 MB]
Provisional Population at a Glance [pdf, 0.5 MB]
Provisional Population Totals [pdf, 35kB]
Population distribution, Decadal Growth Rate, Sex-Ratio and Density [xls, 32 kB]
Percentage Decadal Variation in Population, State and Districts, 1901-2011 [xls, 34 kB]
Sex-Ratio for State and Districts, 1901-2011 [xls, 31 kB]
Population 0-6, Number of Literates and Literacy Rate, State and Districts [xls, 34 kB]
Literacy Rates by Sex for State and Districts, 2001 and 2011 [xls, 31 kB]
Proportion in 0-6 age group by sex to Total Population, 2001 and 2011 [xls, 34 kB]

Madhya Pradesh

Provisional Population Data Sheet [pdf, 16.953 kB]
Provisional Population of Madhya Pradesh [pdf, 2,016 kB]
Distribution of population, sex ratio, density and decadal growth rate [xls, 29 kB]
Total Population, child population 0-6, literates and literacy rates by sex [xls, 35 kB]
Percentage decadal variations in population, 1901-11 to 2001-2011 [xls, 20 kB]
District growth rate of population: 1951-71 to 2001-2011 [xls, 18 kB]
Sex-ratio for State and Districts, 1901-2011 [xls, 20 kB]
District sex ratio, 1961-2011 [xls, 19 kB]
Proportion of Child Population 0-6 by sex, 2001-2011 [xls, 16 kB]
Population of State/Districts by sex and percentage share of total 1 [xls, 14 kB]
Population of State/Districts by sex and percentage share of total 2 [xls, 13 kB]

Maharashtra

Provisional Population Totals [pdf, 327 kB]
Tables and Statements [pdf, 4.79 MB]
Provisional Population Totals [pdf, 0.9 MB]
Distribution of Population, Decadal Growth Rate, Sex Ratio and Density [xls, 30 kB]
Percentage Decadal Variation in Population, 1901-2011 [xls, 31 kB]
Sex Ratio for State and Districts, 1901-2011 [xls, 23 kB]
Population 0-6, Literates and Literacy Rate [xls, 39 kB]
Literacy Rates by Sex, State and District, 2001 and 2011 [xls, 24 kB]
Proportion of Age Group 0-6 to total Population, 2001 and 2011 [xls, 14 kB]
Districts ranked by Population, 2001 and 2011 [xls, 13 kB]
Districts ranked by Sex Ratio, 2001 and 2011 [xls, 12 kB]
Districts ranked by Population Density, 2001 and 2011 [xls, 12 kB]
Districts ranked by Literacy Rate and Sex [xls, 13 kB]

Odisha/Orissa

Provisional Population Totals [pdf, 2.35 MB]
Provisional Population Totals, Paper 1, [pdf, 39.83 MB]

Punjab

Provisional Population Totals [pdf, 669 kB]
Provisional Population Totals data sheet [xls, 35 kB]

Rajasthan

Provisional Population Totals [pdf, 145,825 kB]
Distribution of Population, Decadal Growth Rate, Sex Ratio and Density [xls, 23 kB]
Percentage Decadal Variation in Population, 1901-2011 [xls, 24 kB]
Districts ranked by population growth rate, 1901-1911 to 2001-2011 [xls, 34 kB]
Sex Ratio, 1901-2011 [xls, 24 kB]
Districts ranked by Sex Ratio [xls, 21 kB]
Total Population, Child Population 0-6, Literates and Literacy Rate by Sex [xls, 24 kB]
District Literacy Rate by sex 2001-2011 [xls, 23 kB]

Tamil Nadu

Provisional Population Totals [pdf, 193 kB]
Provisional Population Totals, Paper 1 [pdf, 17,363 kB]
Annexure I and II [doc, 23 kB]
Distribution of Population, 0-6 Population and Literacy Rate by Sex [xls, 36 kB]
Distribution of Population, Decadal Growth Rate, Sex Ratio and Density [xls, 34 kB]
Districts ranked by Population Size, 2001 and 2011 [xls, 31 kB]
Percentage Decadal Variation in Population, 1901-2011 [xls, 34 kB]
Sex Ratio for State and Districts, 1901-2011 [xls, 32 kB]
Districts ranked by Sex Ratio, 2001 and 2011 [xls, 29 kB]
Districts ranked by Population Density, 2001 and 2011 [xls, 30 kB]
Districts Sex Ratio, 2001 and 2011 [xls, 34 kB]
Literacy Rate, 1961-2011 [xls, 26 kB]

Uttar Pradesh

Provisional Population Totals [pdf, 4.0 MB]
Provisional Population Totals, Paper 1, [pdf, 127.0 MB]

Uttarakhand

Provisional Population Totals [pdf, 0.3 MB]

West Bengal

Provisional Population Totals [xls, 22 kB]
Area, Population, Decennial Growth Rate and Density, 2001 and 2011 [xls, 25 kB]
Sex Ratio, 0-6 Population, Literates and Literacy rate, 2001 and 2011 [xls, 27 kB]
Population distribution, decadal growth, Sex ratio, density and Literacy rate [xls, 33 kB]
Districts ranked by Population, 2001 and 2011 [xls, 23 kB]
Districts ranked by Sex Ratio, 2001 and 2011 [xls, 23 kB]
Districts ranked by Population Density, 2001 and 2011 [xls, 23 kB]
Districts ranked by Literacy Rate, 2001 and 2011 [xls, 23 kB]

That’s the major list so far. Small states and UTs to follow as soon as possible. Please let me know if links are broken or not working.

Space for civil society is being contracted in India: UN Human Rights expert

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Rights activist Binayak Sen. A Division Bench of the Chhattisgrah High Court has begun hearing Dr Sen's appeal against the life sentence awarded to him in a sedition case. The Hindu has reported that a delegation of European Union observers was on Monday allowed by the Chhattisgrah High Court to witness proceedings on rights activist Binayak Sen's appeal against his life term in a sedition case, which his lawyer and Bharatiya Janata Party MP Ram Jethmalani termed as 'political persecution'. When Dr Sen's appeal came up for hearing, a division bench comprising justices T P Sharma and R L Jhanwar considered the reference on the EU proposal made to it by the State government and decided to allow the eight-member team to attend the proceedings. The request of the EU to be present in the court had earlier been sent by the Ministry of External Affairs to the Chhattisgarh government, which had in turn, referred the matter to the High Court. Photo: The Hindu

The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Margaret Sekaggya, expressed her concern for a contraction of the space for civil society in India, despite the country’s “comprehensive and progressive legal framework as a guarantor of human rights and fundamental freedoms as well as the existence of the National Human Rights Commission as well as a number of state and statutory commissions mandated to promote and protect human rights.”

“I am particularly concerned at the plight of human rights defenders working for the rights of marginalized people, i.e. Dalits, Adavasis (tribals), religious minorities and sexual minorities, who face particular risks and ostracism because of their activities,” Sekaggya said at the end of her first fact-finding mission to India.

(The Hindu has reported on the Sekaggya mission and on the Binayak Sen case here.)

Sekaggya underscored the testimonies she received about human rights defenders and their families, who have been killed, tortured, ill-treated, disappeared, threatened, arbitrarily arrested and detained, falsely charged and under surveillance because of their legitimate work in upholding human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Margaret Sekaggya. Photo: The Hindu

In her view, the existing national and state human rights commissions should do much more to ensure a safe and conducive environment for human rights defenders throughout the country. To that end, she urged the Government to review the functioning of the National Human Rights Commission with a view to strengthening it.

The independent expert also noted “the arbitrary application of security laws at the national and state levels, most notably the Public Safety Act and the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, as these laws adversely affect the work of human rights defenders”. She urged the Government to repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act as well as the Public Safety Act and review the application of other security laws which negatively impact on the situation of human rights defenders.

(The full statement of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders is here and is from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights website.)

“I am deeply concerned about the branding and stigmatization of human rights defenders, labelled as ‘naxalites (Maoists)’, ‘terrorists’, ‘militants’, ‘insurgents’, or ‘anti-nationalists’,” Sekaggya said. Defenders, including journalists, who report on violations by State and non-State actors in areas affected by insurgency are being targeted by both sides.

“I urge the authorities to clearly instruct security forces to respect the work of human rights defenders, conduct prompt and impartial investigations on violations committed against human rights defenders and prosecute perpetrators”. The human rights expert further recommended that the Government “enact a law on the protection of human rights defenders in full and meaningful consultation with civil society.”

Sekaggya commended the Government for opening its doors to her mandate and for enabling her to visit five states, which assisted her in gaining a clear understanding of the local specificities in which human rights defenders work.

Food inflation crippled India’s households in 2010

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Vegetables, fruits and cereals market in in the city of Surat, Gujarat state, IndiaThe price of a basket of staple foods has become crippling in rural and urban India. The government’s response is to favour agri-commodity markets, greater retail investment and more technology inputs. For food grower and consumer alike, the need for genuine farm swaraj has never been greater.

The retail prices of staple foods rose steadily through 2010, far exceeding in real terms what the Government of India and the financial system call “headline inflation”, and exceeding also the rate of the rise in food inflation as calculated for the country. These calculations ignore the effective inflation and its increase as experienced by the rural and urban household, and they ignore also the considerable regional variations in India of a typical monthly food basket.

Vegetables, fruits and cereals market in in the city of Surat, Gujarat state, IndiaMoreover, from a household perspective an increase in the prices of food staples is not seen as an annual phenomenon, to be compared with some point 12 months in the past. It is intimately linked to employment (whether informal or seasonal), net income, and the pressures on the food budget from competing demands of medical treatment, education and expenses on fuel and energy.

When real net income remains unchanged for over a year or longer, the household suffers a contraction in the budget available for the food basket, and this contraction – often experienced by rural cultivator families and agricultural labour – is only very inadequately reflected by the national rate of increase in food inflation.

An indicator of the impact on households is provided by the price monitoring cell of the Department Of Consumer Affairs, Ministry Of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. This cell records the retail and wholesale prices of essential commodities in 37 cities and towns in India. Data over a 36-month period (2008 January to 2010 December) for the prices of cereals, pulses, sugar, tea, milk and onions reveals the impact of the steady rise in the Indian household’s food basket.

In 33 cities and towns for which there are regular price entries, the price per kilo of the “fair average” quality of rice has risen by an average of 42% over the calendar period 2008 January to 2010 December. In 12 of these urban centres the increase has been over 50% (Vijayawada, Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Patna, Cuttack, Bhubaneshwar, Indore, Bhopal, Shimla, Karnal and Hisar).

The average price rise over the same period for a kilo of tur dal, for 32 cities for which there is regular price data, is 46%. In 11 of these urban centres the increase in the price of tur dal has been over 50% (Puducherry, Bengaluru, Patna, Agartala, Nagpur, Mumbai, Indore, Ahmedabad, Shimla, Jammu and New Delhi). Where wheat is concerned, from among the 27 cities and towns for which there are regular price entries over three years, in 10 the per kilo price rise is 30% and more.

Vegetables, fruits and cereals market in in the city of Surat, Gujarat state, IndiaIf in search of a comforting cup of tea over which to rue the effect of the steady price rise, this too will cost a great deal more than it did three years ago. For 25 urban centres with regular price data, the average increase over the same period of 100 grams of loose tea leaf is 38% and in 11 of these cities and towns the increase is between 40% and 100%.

The sugar with which to sweeten that cup of tea has become prohibitively expensive over the January 2008 to December 2010 period. For the 32 cities and towns for which there is regular price data, the average price increase for a kilo of sugar is 102%, the range of increase being between 76% and 125%.

This increase for sugar – relatively homogenous for the price reporting centres – exhibits the countrywide nature of the price rise of the commodity. Nor is there a household economy case for substituting sugar for gur, or jaggery. For the 17 towns and cities reporting data for gur prices over the same 36-month period, the increase in price over the period has been an average 118% with 11 of these centres recording an increase of over 100%.

Vegetables, fruits and cereals market in in the city of Surat, Gujarat state, IndiaAdding a third element of higher cost to the humble cup of tea is the price of milk. For the 25 towns and cities which recorded increases in the per litre price of milk over the 36-month period (one city recorded a drop) the average rise is 37%. In seven cities a litre of milk costs at least 50% more in December 2010 than what it did in January 2008 – Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Indore, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Patna and Hyderabad.

In conspicuous contrast are the rates of increase in price of cooking media – groundnut oil, mustard oil and vanaspati. Over the January 2008 to December 2010 period the 37 urban centres recorded average price increases of 10%, 9% and 10% respectively for groundnut oil, mustard oil and vanaspati.

Finally, the volatile allium cepa, or common red onion. In 29 cities and towns reporting regularly the per kilo prices of onion, the increase in price of the vegetable has been astonishingly steep. The average increase for 29 cities is 197.5% and in 14 the increase has been 200% and above – New Delhi, Shimla, Ahmedabad, Indore, Mumbai, Rajkot, Agartala, Aizawl, Bhubaneshwar, Cuttack, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Vijaywada. In pale comparison is the otherwise worrying average increase of 39.5% for a kilo of potatoes – this is the 36-month average increase recorded by 27 urban centres.