The Census has been the most credible source of information on population characteristics, economic activity, literacy and education, housing, urbanisation, fertility and mortality, the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, language, religion, migration, disability and many other socio-cultural data. Now that the provisional data of Census 2011 has been released, the government should gear up to serve the actual purpose of conducting the nationwide process.

Shantanu Jha, Hardwar

The provisional data of Census 2011 shows an improvement of seven percentage points in the overall sex ratio. But the lowest ever child sex ratio since Independence is alarming. It is evident that in spite of all possible measures to improve the CSR, we have failed miserably to stop, even control, female foeticide.

Rao Kuldeep Singh Yadav, Bhopal

While the increase in the literacy level by 9.21 percentage points is heartening, it is shocking to learn that the CSR remains the lowest ever at 914. Despite the progress made on the economic and education fronts, the biased mindset against the girl child is still a reality. This fact has a direct link to poverty, which needs to be addressed with greater vigour. Instead of wiping out poverty, our political leaders vie with one another to keep the poor at the receiving end of freebies.

M.J. Ruben, Chennai

There are some positives in the provisional Census data but the greatest worry is the dwindling sex ratio in the age group of 0-6. That there is a continued preference for the male child, despite all efforts to dispel gender inequality, is unfortunate.

Female foeticide may be the primary reason for the worsening scenario, but it is certainly not the only one. Most couples, whose first-born are boys do not have a second child. It is not the same if the first-born is a girl. We must address gender discrimination seriously, lest the demographic imbalance should have serious consequences.

Shisir Das, Kolkata

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