New Delhi, Jan 11 (IANS) The statistical data on human resource, demography and economic structure thrown up by census 2011 will help planners evaluate government schemes and formulate development plans, President Pranab Mukherjee said Friday as he gave away census medals.
He said census data was widely used by national and international agencies, scholars, business persons, institutions and researchers.
"Informed decision-making has to be based on empirical data and census is the only source of data that provides information on various individual characteristics," he said.
Mukherjee hoped the census results would be accessible quickly to all the stakeholders even in the remotest corner of the country.
He said India had a long and rich tradition of conducting census.
"The earliest references of census taking are found in Kautilya's 'Arthashastra' and later in the writings of Abdul Fazl's in 'Ain-e-Akbari' during the days of Emperor Akbar.
"However, the first systematic and modern population census, in its present scientific form, was conducted non-synchronously between 1865 and 1872. The first synchronous census in India was conducted in 1881," he said.
He said census task was challenging in view of the country's multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-cultural society.
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the data was extensively used during discussions at the recent National Development Council meeting.
Home Secretary R.K. Singh said census 2011 was particularly challenging as additional task of creating the National Population Register was also undertaken.
According to an official release, 47 people were given census medals in recognition of their work.
Census 2011 was the 15th since 1872 and seventh since 1947.
Census schedules were canvassed in 16 languages, about 5.4 million instruction manuals and 340 million census schedules were printed, and about 2.7 million enumerators and supervisors were engaged in the task across 35 states, 640 districts, 5,924 sub-districts, 7,936 towns and 6.41 lakh villages.