The Nagaland State Cabinet passing a resolution to reject the 2001 Census in 2009 may be proved correct this time with minus 0.47% decadal growth rate in 2001-2011. It is said that Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has declared 2001 Census defective on several occasions and on 9th April 2011, he has lamented that the 2001 census report was fake and admitted that the state had committed a double entry error. Hekhali Zhimomi, director of Census operations said that there was an intensive campaign in Nagaland for Census 2011 to have an accurate figure for 2011 and Naga civil society that were rope in include Naga Hoho, Naga Mothers’ Association, Naga Students Federation etc. About the inaccurate 1991 and 2001 Census data, she said that it was due to lack of proper understanding of the Census in the previous two operations.
The Indian Express earlier reported that total population of Nagaland State in 2001 was 1,990,036 with a decadal growth rate of 64.41% but the total population in 2011 has come down to 1,980,602, with a decadal growth rate of -0.47%, which is 9,434 people less than in 2001. (This is based on Office of the Registrar of General of India). While some of the Nagaland paper reported as, 19,88,602 and 19,88,636 (2001 census) to 19,80,602 (provisional census report 2011), which is also little contradict to the given figure in Census of India 2001. It seems some of the reporters also confused with the figure due to high decadal growth rate in last decade. During this battling of population figure, people are very conscious of the figure and it may be good to report the correct figure.
It is no possible to have -0.47% growth rate in Nagaland but it is firmly believe that the Census operation was carried out very strictly and the total population of 1,980602 is correct. The decadal growth rate for the year 2001-2011 is -0.47% gives an impression that there must be a mass migration or death rate is more than the birth rate in Nagaland. In fact there was not any mass migration or death rate is more than birth rate and it was due to manipulation made by the villagers or Census enumerators in previous Census report to get more developmental fund and schemes for their villages or other reasons. It is not only in the villages or districts where the erroneous total population is found but sometime it is also observed in the cities where the lower class people inhabit; this is because the subsidiary ration is supplied to them based on the size of the family. It is also observed that in those insurgent or naxalites dominated region, there may be three population figures or households.
The Naga Civil Society has also involved in Census awareness campaign and it is doubtless that the current total provisional population report is erroneous. Let us assume that there is no negative growth rate in 2011 then the two decadal growth rate from 1991-2011 (20yrs) will be 63.94% (and no 64.41%). Assuming that the two decadal growth rate is 63.94% and have same two decadal growth rate then it is possible that the growth rate would be about 31.97% in 2001 and 31.97% in 2011.
It was alleged that the government of Nagaland encountered the problem for various developmental programmes due to defective Census report of 2001 but now they won’t have the problem. It is reported that the outstanding debt as on 1st March 2001 was Rs 1,800 crore and in the State budget for the year 2011-2012 is Rs 6856.32 crore with an accumulated deficit of Rs 602.30 crores. There will be a huge difference in the Budget for the year 2001-2002 and the budget for the year 2011-2012 and it will be interesting to note that the total population in Nagaland is the same (or -0.47%) in last one decade. So one can observe now how the government will work out for the developmental programmes with much higher budget for 2011-2012 with the same population or minus 0.47% growth rate in last one decade.
(Note: the same article is published in http://www.nagalandpost.com and www. e-pao.net)