Do You Know Your Census?

In this post I will highlight the importance of Census from Prelims and Mains point of view. Every year around 5-7 questions are asked in the Civil Services Preliminary concerning India’s census figures. And as you all are aware the 2011 Census provisional figures are out so you can expect some questions from the 2011 Census in the CSAT as well as the IAS Mains exams. Enough about the importance let’s cut down to the chase.

Topics to look out for in Census 2011:

  • Decadal and annual growth rate of population
  • Most Populous and least populous states
  • Life Expectancy
  • Literacy (Overall, Male, Female, State-wise)
  • Density of Population (Overall and state-wise)
  • Sex Ratio (Overall and state-wise)

Type of Questions to anticipate in Prelims 2011:

You might have heard from your friends, peers and mentors that UPSC is always one step ahead of the game, and not without reason. Just when you thought it’s so easy to read the above Census figures there’s something more you need to know. The Census-related questions that UPSC is asking in the past few Prelims are quite tricky to say the least. You can expect questions like:

1. Which state has the lowest gap in the Male-Female literacy rate.

Before you tick Kerala, think again and that’s where the application of your mind will come into picture. You need to not just study the most obvious Census figures but also those that aren’t so obvious. Think out of the box to get more marks than your competition.

2. Which state saw the highest growth in Sex ratio over the past decade.

3. The 2010-11 decadal growth rate in Population was the lowest since which decade.

Questions like these are tricky but easy to score off once you have mastered the Census figures. But there’s a way to study the Census 2011 data. Instead of leaving it right till the end look up and revise the Census figures once every few days. Make your own micro notes and refer to them often.

Think out of the box. Try to frame your own questions like the ones above from the Census data. The more uncommon or unconventional the better. It means you’re seasoning up to the IAS exam and your progress bar is moving in the right direction.

As a bonus for staying right till the end here’s a link to the provisional Census figures for 2011. And yes, we need the girl child as much as the boy.


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