Chief Minister Oommen Chandy will inaugurate the socio-economic and caste census in the State on Tuesday. Minister for Planning and Rural Development K. C. Joseph will preside over the function to be held in Kannur Collectorate.

Principal Secretary (Local Self Government) James Joseph told the media that the census was part of the first caste census being held in independent India. Though guidelines prepared for the census at the national level apply, Kerala had special permission to collect house and ward level data, using a special questionnaire. The Centre was providing funds for holding the census in the States and Union territories.

The enumeration would be conducted in four stages covering all house-holds in the State, and would be completed by May 25. The Union Ministry of Rural Development, Department of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Registrar General of India, Bharat Electronics Limited and National Informatics Centre were jointly conducting the census operations.

The Principal Secretary said that the data from the census would be used for identifying beneficiaries for the schemes under the 12 Five Year Plan, and for drawing Central schemes and improving ongoing Central schemes.

He said that the collectors would be in charge of the census at the district level. Commissioner for Rural Development M. Nandakumar would be the State-level nodal officer. The State had 68393 enumeration blocks which were the same as defined for the 2011 population census. Officials from government departments, local self governments, public sector units and teachers of Standard IX and higher classes were being deputed for the enumeration.

About 20000 tablet personal computers had already been distributed to the enumerators for collection of data. This would enable compilation of the results of the census in 14 days. A record of data collected from the households on the tablets would be immediately supplied to the households for verification. Corrections could be made then itself. There would be an opportunity to correct errors after publications of the draft list.

Mr. Joseph said the final document would become the base for determining norms for BPL categorisation and other programmes of the government. Any complaints on the draft would have to be filed within 21 days of publication and the final list would be published ten days later.