Methodology of Minor Irrigation Census


In the 6th MI Census, the traditional methodology i.e. canvassing paper based schedules for capturing the village level data and the MI scheme data from the rural areas was used.

The MI Census data was collected through canvassing different schedules for the village and minor irrigation schemes. The Village schedule was canvassed by the Patwaries through revenue / land records maintained in the office of Government authorities and enquiries from village level workers/gram pradhans etc. Scheme related schedules were canvassed by the enumerators through enquiries from the owners of the schemes. In case of institutional schemes, the information was collected through available records. The schedules of enquiry along with instructions/ guidelines for filling them were provided separately.

Along with the field work, supervision and checking was done by:- i. Enumerator’s supervisor, ii Block level officers iii. District level officers iv. State level officers as per the prescribed norms. After thorough scrutiny of schedule, the data entry was done at the District or block level on the online portal developed by NIC. The validated data was again examined at the Central Level before generation of final table.


A Steering Committee was constituted at the Central level under the Chairmanship of Secretary and members from NITI Aayog, Central line Ministries like  Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Housing and Urban Affairs, Home Affairs, Statistics and Programme Implementation, State Governments of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Haryana, West Bengal and Sikkim apart from Central Water Commission and Central Ground Water Board to guide and advise about the conduct of 6th MI Census. The methodology of the Census, schedules etc. were finalised in the Steering Committee.

Steering Committees were also formed in each State with Secretary of the Nodal Department as Chairman and members from the State Departments of Revenue, Irrigation, Panchayati Raj, State Planning, Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Rural Development and State head of National Sample Survey Office (Field Operations Division) to provide technical inputs and guide the State Nodal Statistical Cell during the Census operations. The Regional Chief Engineer of Central Water Commission and a representative from regional office of Central Ground Water Board were also members of this Committee, wherever possible. Teams were also formed at State level which included officers of the State Statistical Cell for conduct of census in the State. These teams were entrusted with the work of training, monitoring, coordination and supervision of the Census exercise in the State.  Thus the technical staff of the State Statistical Cells were trained during the State level trainings organized by the Centre.


The 6th MI Census was conducted under the overall charge of Census Commissioner who is a senior Officer of the Nodal department of State / UT concerned. The fieldwork was either undertaken by the Nodal department itself or entrusted/ outsourced to some other agencies which the State/UT Government considered fit keeping in view infrastructure available with it under intimation to this office. The primary work of collection of data was carried out by the enumerators who were either village level workers or village accountants or Lekhpals or Patwaries or any other official designated by the State/UT Government. The work of supervision was entrusted to higher supervisor level officers of the field agency. The overall quality of field work was to be monitored by Block/District level/ State officers, who in order to ensure the correctness of data, could conduct frequent site visits of the schemes and check the entries made by primary enumerators.

The primary enumerators were required to take along-with them the list of all schemes covered in the last census while going for field work. He was supposed to visit and cover all these schemes again. He was also required to find out from village officials / knowledgeable people, any new MI schemes which had started functioning after last census.

The primary enumerators, while canvassing the schedules, visited the owner of the minor irrigation schemes or its next neighbour and collected information on the basis of personal enquiry from him. The physical verification of the schemes was also done by the enumerators. The purpose of the Census was explained to the farmers/ owners to win over their confidence in revealing the specific information in respect of minor irrigation schemes as the case may be with the assurance that the data furnished by them would be kept confidential.

After filling up the schedules, the enumerators were required to deposit all completed schedules to their immediate supervisor for scrutiny. The enumerators were also required to prepare the summary of all village schedules, schemes schedules in the prescribed format and submit it to his immediate supervisor.


Primary enumerators for field work were either village level workers or village accountants or Lekhpals or Patwaries or any other official designated by the State/UT Government.  The work of supervision was entrusted to higher supervisor level officers of the field agency. However the overall quality of field work was monitored by Block/District/State level officers, who in order to ensure the correctness of data conducted frequent site visits of the schemes as per prescribed norms and checked  the entries made by primary enumerators. In addition, Central team along with the State Statistical Cell officials conducted field visits in the States/UTs and checked the quality of field work.


The block level officer were required to visit atleast 5 villages in his block and physically verify the schemes, quality of census and the extent of coverage of schemes in the village and scrutinize 35% of MI scheme schedules and 100% village schedule. This was introduced in the 6th MI Census for ensuring better quality of data this scrutiny was done for just 10% of scheme schedules during 5thMI Census. This was to be carried out by the immediate supervisory officer of the enumerator in the field agency.

On completion of the scrutiny and after the field visits; block level officer was required to fill up the supervisor’s report form and submit all the schedules to the district level officer concerned. At least 1% of the total schedules or 100 schedules, whichever is maximum, were supposed to be selected at random and scrutinized by the district level officer. The district level officer was advised to visit atleast 5 villages in 5 separate blocks to physically verify the quality and coverage of the MI schemes schedules. After the completion of inspection of the field work and scrutiny of the schedules; the supervisor’s report form was to be filled up by the district level officer and submitted to the State Nodal office.

The Monthly Progress Reports on the Census were sent by the State adequately reflecting the scrutiny /inspection details sent by Block/ District level officer along with progress of field work and data entry. The filled up schedules were handed over by the State Nodal Office to the selected agency for data entry wherever in-house data entry was not possible. For the processing of data, the web based online software developed by Central NIC, was used for data entry, validation, tabulation etc.

Frequent inspections and sample checks were conducted by officers from the State Statistical cells for ensuring data quality. Field visits were also done by the Central team from the Department of Water Resources, RD & GR.


NIC had developed the online software for computerisation of data of 6th MI Census and provided technical support and training in the Regional Data Processing Workshops organized by the Ministry in association with the host States.

This was followed by State level trainings organized by the State Census Commissioner. The user ID and password for accessing the online portal were provided to the State nodal officers by the time. Online data entry, validation etc. were done by States/UTs.

The Census data entered in the online portal by the States/UTs was again scrutinized at the Central level and observations/ queries thereon were referred to States/ UTs for possible corrections/clarification. On-line tables were generated on the portal on the basis of data fed by States/ UTs. After receipt of comments from States and due rectification, the online tables generated through portal were analysed and aggregated for compiling National Level Report. The State Census Commissioners may use the data as available on the online portal for generating micro level tables as per their requirement.


The Training for the 6thMI Census commenced formally with the organisation of the All India Training Workshop for the Trainers at New Delhi in which officers from each State/UT participated. In addition, Six Regional Training Workshops were conducted for Northern, Southern, Eastern, Western, Central and the North Eastern regions covering all States/UTs. Apart from training on concepts, definitions, schedules and instruction manual, field training was also imparted to officials from State Governments/UT Administration in these Workshops.   These Workshops were attended by 3-4 participants from each State/UT who imparted the next level State trainings organised by the Minor Irrigation Census Commissioners at the State and District Headquarters in which the district level officers and block level officers/ enumerators respectively were trained.  A representative from the Centre generally participates as an Observer in some of such State level trainings.   In addition, the District level officers from all the districts, State level NIC officers, State Agricultural Statistical Agency/Directorate of Economics and Statistics Head attended the State trainings. The details of the methodology adopted for the census, its procedure, concepts and definitions etc. were discussed thoroughly and necessary clarifications were also given in such trainings.

Four Regional Data Processing Workshops were also organized in which officers from all State/ UTs were imparted detailed training on various modules of the online web-based software developed by NIC for 6th census. Suggestions/feedback received from the States/UTs in these workshops was also incorporated in the software. The State /UT level officers trained in these Workshops imparted further training in their respective States/UTs.


As a token of appreciation of work entrusted to various officials in addition to their normal duties and not as compensation or remuneration for additional work, the officials who are involved in the inspection of field work and schedules at the District/ Block levels were paid suitable honorarium which was drawn from the grants released to the States/UTs by the Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti for the 6th MI Census.  Funds for contingency were also provided for various trainings/ meetings orany other unforeseen miscellaneous expenditure of contingent nature which can arise during the conduct of the Census.


The State/UT Governments were required to submit Monthly Progress Report regarding the various phases of Census work in the prescribed Performa to the Ministry by email/ by post or by Fax. Further, Progress Monitoring module available in the online web based software developed by NIC also enabled to view the real-time progress in data entry and validation phases of Census work.  The progress of the Census work at the central level was also regularly reviewed in Weekly / Monthly meetings of senior officers in the Ministry. The key issues related to progress are also taken up with senior officers of States/UTs through Video Conferences and visits to States/UTs, apart from review meetings with officers of States/UTs in the Ministry. This helped in monitoring the progress of Census work and ensuring remedial measures wherever called for.