METHODOLOGY OF MINOR IRRIGATION CENSUS
he MI Census data is collected through canvassing six different enumeration schedules. One of the schedules is the village schedule which was canvassed by the enumerators through enquiries from patwaries/village level workers/gram pradhans, and the information from revenue or land records maintained in the government records. The other five schedules were canvassed by enumerators through enquiries from the owners of the schemes. These five schedules relate to five different types of minor irrigation schemes. The fieldwork of the census was either undertaken by the nodal department itself or entrusted to some other agency which the State/UT governments considered fit considering infrastructures available with them. However, for the entire census operation, Minor Irrigation Census Commissioner, was the pivotal point. The primary work of collection of data was carried out by the enumerators, who were village level workers or village accountants or Lekhpals or Patwaries or a combination of these as the case may be. The work of supervision was entrusted to the next superior officer of the field agency by the State/UT; they were Block Level Officers or Sub-Divisional Officers.
In order to increase the reliability of data sample check was conducted before finaliing the data. Systematic sampling technique was adopted for 5 percent sample check at the district level. As such one out of every 20 villages was selected for sample check by the concerned supervisory officer. The procedure for identifying the village for supervision was also specified in the guidelines.
SELECTION OF PRIMARY ENUMERATORS
The nodal department of States/UTs was responsible for selecting a particular agency as primary enumerator. It could be the Village Level Workers / Patwari / Panchayat Inspector / any other agency suitable in a particular region. In selecting such agencies as enumerators the nodal departments were required to ascertain that they would have appropriate association with the farmers. The information required in the primary schedules were obtained by personal inquiries from the farmers and physical verification/observation by the enumerators in respect of a particular scheme.
TRAINING PROGRAMME FOR DATA COLLECTION
Training cum workshops were organised by the Minor Irrigation Census Commissioners at the State Headquarters in which the District Level Officers participated. A representative from the Centre was an Observer in such workshops. The details of the methodology adopted for the census, its procedure, concepts and definitions were discussed thoroughly and necessary clarifications were given. The instructions for filling up the primary enumeration schedules were also discussed during the workshops. In turn, the District Level Officers organised training programmes at district headquarters where the primary enumerators participated. The instructions for filling up the primary enumeration schedules were explained thoroughly in such training programme.
PROCEDURE FOR CONDUCTING CENSUS OPERATION
The Primary enumerators while canvassing the schedules visited the owner of the minor irrigation scheme or its next neighbour in case of absence of owner and collected information on the basis of personal enquiry from him. The purpose of the census was explained to the farmers to win over their confidence in giving the specific information in respect of minor irrigation works. Information relating to the schemes was collected by the enumerators by physical examination of the scheme also.
After filling up the schedules, the enumerators were required to submit all completed schedules to the Block Development Officer/Officer in-charge at the block level. The block level officer submitted all the schedules to the district level officer concerned who computerised the data contained in the filled in schedules and passed on the floppy containing data as well as the schedules, to the Minor Irrigation Census Commissioner of the State/UT.
COMPUTERISATION OF CENSUS DATA
The processing of Census data was taken up by the National Informatics Centre (NIC). They had developed necessary software for computerising the Census data. The software’s were provided to State Minor Irrigation Census Commissioners for computerising the Census data. Wherever necessary, private consultants/agencies were hired by the Minor Irrigation Census Commissioners to computerise the data from primary enumeration schedules, according to software provided by NIC. The work was taken up at the district headquarters to facilitate data handling. It also minimised delays in computerization work. Data collected was entered in computer media after duly ascertaining the correctness and was passed on to the Minor Irrigation Census Commissioner at the state level. A copy of the data file was sent to the centre by the State Minor Irrigation Census Commissioners. At the State headquarters, State Minor Irrigation Census Report was brought out for which uniform tabulation plan was finalised by the Statistical Cell in MOWR. The census data received from the States at the Central Statistical Cell was utilised for compiling National Level Minor Irrigation Census Report.