The Ministry of Rural Development Government of India, commenced the Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011, on 29th June 2011 through a comprehensive door to door enumeration across the country. This is the first time such a comprehensive exercise has been carried out for both rural and urban India. It is also expected to generate information on a large number of social and economic indicators relating to households across the country.
SECC-2011 is a study of socio economic status of rural and urban households and allows ranking of households based on predefined parameters. SECC 2011 has three census components which were conducted by three separate authorities but under the overall coordination of Department of Rural Development in the Government of India.
The following needs to be consciously taken on record while using SECC data:
(i) The SECC data is respondent based input along with the counter sign of enumerator. The data is the "revealed data" by the household to the enumerator. However, collected data also meets the approval of Gram Sabha and Panchayats.
(ii) The structure of the houses of household is described in SECC as Kuccha or Pucca depending on the respondent based information on predominant material used in walls and roof.
(iii) Ownership status of the house is respondent based information.
(iv) Main source of income related to household has been clarified in rural areas as cultivation, manual casual labour, part time or full time domestic service, begging, non-agriculture own enterprise, begging/charity/alms and others. The various components of 'other' have however not been enumerated.
(v) Some nuances of data needs to be clarified. For instance, "Non-adult member" questionnaire has used the age group of 16-59 instead of 14-59. Similarly the question on income of the main earner does not ask logical question on any other earner. Thus, when the household reports less than Rs. 5000/ month as the income of the main earner the natural second question of any other earner would have defined poverty status of the house sharply in income term. However, the approach of SECC is torely on enumerating multidimensionality of poverty and rank households accordingly for receiving benefits of governments' positive interventions. Thus, even in the absence of the same, these households can be tracked on multi variable analysis on poverty by keeping in view the insecurity and uncertainty of wage jobs and insecure, unsafe and poor quality of households, etc.
(vi) SECC data is compilation of 24 lakhs enumeration blocks where each enumeration block has roughly 125 households. These are the same enumeration blocks that were formed during census. This allows SECC data to rank household and categorise them on the basis of socio economic status using automatic exclusion criteria, automatic inlusion criteria and deprivation criteria.
ASRLMS will use the SECC data to undertake planning for poverty free Panchayats involving Panchayati Raj institutions, Self-Help Group (SHG)s and their households. With the SECC database and convergence with other social sectors/departments, the Mission would envisage to introduce much need focussed and targeted intervention in poverty reduction in rural area programmes.