The Fifth Elephant 2013

An Event on Big Data and Cloud Computing

A Billion Snapshots- Principles and Processes in the Census of India

Submitted by Varsha Joshi (@suraiya95) on Saturday, 18 May 2013

Section: Analytics and Visualization Technical level: Beginner


The session will explain how the Census of India 2011 was designed, canvassed, processed, and analysed, to obtain a detailed picture of a huge population of great diversity and complexity.


The Census of India 2011 is unmatched across in world not only in the size of the population covered, but also the quantity of data across various demographic dimensions collected per person. The session explains the basic principles of Census taking in India, which ensure quality results; how those principles were applied in process and design decisions, and how these decisions were implemented. It ends with a brief discussion of released Census results to date and their analysis and utility.



Speaker bio

Varsha Joshi is an IAS officer from the Union Territories Cadre, 1995 batch. She is presently Director Census Delhi as well as Director in the office of the Registrar General of India. She has conducted the Census of India 2011 for the NCT of Delhi.



  • t3rmin4t0r (@t3rmin4t0r) 6 years ago

    Very interested in this talk.

    Census is nearly the very origin of “big” data & computerized data processing (IBM & their original machines). Most of the big-data people are dealing data produced by machines (web/warehouses), but census is interesting because the data goes from clipboards to computers & makes new dimensions of analysis possible.

    And in particular, the importance of census for a democracy cannot be understated, in the quality of data & the results of decisions based on that, especially when the fairness of the political process depends so heavily on district boundaries & demographic densities.

    Hoping that you can go into the use of big-data in welfare distribution (poverty/housing) and legislation, showing the new added value technology brings to the lives of have-nots.

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