Census Data Research Workstation

Preamble of Census Data:


  1. Facilitate Optimal Use of Anonymised Micro-data:
    • The workstation aims to allow qualified researchers to maximise the use of anonymised micro-data from the census, enabling comprehensive and detailed research. This access will allow the generation of unpublished cross-tabulations, permitting a deeper analysis than what is available through public domain aggregate data.
  2. Promote Inclusive Access:
    • The facility is established with a vision to be inclusive, granting access to a wide range of individuals, including those not affiliated with or enrolled in the university, fostering a diverse and enriching research environment.
  3. Enhance Data Utilisation:
    • By providing an avenue for detailed research, the workstation seeks to amplify the utilisation of census data. This includes generating invaluable insights from confidential micro-data that are not typically accessible, enabling a richer and more multifaceted data exploration.
  4. Contribute to Methodological Refinement:
    • An inherent goal is to contribute to improving data collection methodologies employed during census operations. By permitting in-depth studies, the workstation helps identify both the strengths and weaknesses inherent in micro-data, which can inform and refine census methodologies.
  5. Improve Quality of Data:
    • Exposing the assumptions and decision rules within the census micro-databases to research is fundamental for the workstation. This effort is instrumental in enhancing the overall quality of data and ensuring its reliability and validity, making it a pivotal resource for future research and studies.
  6. Facilitate Insightful Research:
    • The ultimate objective is to facilitate research beyond surface-level observations, unearthing nuanced insights and contributing to the broader knowledge base related to census data. By doing so, the workstation is not just a repository of data but a dynamic entity contributing to the ongoing dialogue in census data research.


Every census yields a vast reservoir of information, meticulously collected, processed, and subsequently tabulated. Since the inception of the modern census in 1872, the Census Organisation in India has disseminated the results of each census in the form of varied publications. Following Independence, the execution of the Decennial Census abides by the provisions of the Census Act of 1948 and its consequential rules, a legislative framework ensuring the confidentiality of the acquired information. This legislative act mandates that any information disclosed by respondents during the census is confidential and prohibited from utilisation or presentation in any legal proceedings. The disseminated Census data, curated by the Census Commissioner of India, is presented as aggregated tables at diverse administrative echelons such as the Country, State, District, Sub-District, Town, Village, or Ward in Town, ensuring the anonymity of the individuals related to the data.

Recognising the inherent power of information and the significant resources involved in its collection, numerous nations grant researchers access to micro-level Census datasets for individual exploration. Aligning with this global practice, the Indian Census has resolved to offer this facility to researchers, initiating the establishment of 18 Workstations across the nation. This initiative, undertaken within the 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-17), aims to enable research on anonymised micro-data from the census.

In providing access to micro-data, the imperative of preserving confidentiality through data anonymisation, by obscuring locations and certain sensitive fields, is paramount. Once anonymised, the datasets become available for extensive research at the workstations, allowing for exploration into the diverse characteristics of the nation's populace. In addition to this, researchers are granted the liberty to generate new tabulations and cross-tabulations beyond the tables produced by the Census Organisation, as per the ratified 'Tabulation Plan,' from the available micro-data sets at the workstation.

However, it is imperative to note that researchers are strictly prohibited from extracting soft-copies of the generated cross-tabulations or any data from the workstation, maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of the Census data.


Census Micro Data

Census Microdata represents a pivotal component within the comprehensive framework of census operations. This term refers to the individual-level information provided by a singular respondent during the execution of the census, which is conducted in two overarching phases: (i) the House listing and Housing Census and (ii) the Population Enumeration. It's crucial to note that microdata is meticulously processed to anonymise sensitive fields and location particulars, thereby mitigating any potential risk of respondent identification.

Microdata is compartmentalised into two distinct categories: (i) National-level sample, constituting a 1% sample, and (ii) State-level sample, comprising either a 5% or 10% sample contingent on the demographic magnitude of the respective State. The workstation empowers researchers with access to Sample Microdata originating from both the House listing and the Housing Census of 2001, delivering invaluable insights at the household level. Additionally, ensuing provisions will incorporate other Sample Microdata Files from the Census 2001 & Census 2011.

It's feasible to craft Tables at both the Indian and State level utilising the National level 1% sample. Concurrently, State/District level tables can be orchestrated using the State level samples (5% or 10%). The introduction of CSPro software at the workstation enriches the data analytical process, allowing the creation of robust and diversified tables.

Extended Facilities and Research Potential:

Researchers exploiting the workstation have the privilege of harnessing the extensive database to fabricate any cross-classified tables pivotal for their respective research endeavours. This not only caters to the multidimensional research needs but also provides a conducive environment for verifying and substantiating any hypothesis postulated by the researcher, thus enhancing the overall quality and scope of research in the field.



Inclusion of Other Datasets:

In addition to Sample Microdata, the Workstation also hosts a plethora of published Census Tables, ranging from the years 1991 to 2011, stored in a soft copy format. This provision ensures the continual enrichment of the database, as any newly released Tables from Census 2011 by the Census Organisation are subsequently integrated into the workstation's extensive repertoire.

This comprehensive compilation of datasets is made available to the research community free of cost, reflecting a commitment to promoting the usage and exploration of Census Data, fostering an environment of academic growth, learning, and inquiry.


Census Data Research workstation is located @

First Floor

OCTA Office

Computer Support Group

NIT, Tiruchirappalli.

Tiruchirappalli – 620 015


Data Access Procedure (NITT and other academic institutes)

Proposal Submission, Review, and Approval:

  1. Proposal Submission:
    • Intending users of the workstation  are required to submit a comprehensive proposal to the Steering Committee. This proposal should elucidate the details of the research project and articulate the specific requirements and intended use of the data.
    • The details of Proposal and data access request can be mailed to cdrws@nitt.edu
  2. Review Process:
    • The Steering Committee convenes regularly to meticulously review the incoming research proposals. Each proposal is evaluated on its merits, alignment with data utilisation guidelines, and the contribution it could make to the academic and research community.
  3. Approval and Permission:
    • Only research proposals that are deemed suitable during the review are granted approval. The facility at the workstation opens its doors exclusively to researchers possessing approved and accepted proposals. The committee will reply back to the request on the decision.

Operational Details and Accessibility:

  1. Operational Hours and Accessibility:
    • Approved researchers can access the facility on all working days between 9:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. The accessibility is non-discriminatory, welcoming individuals unaffiliated with the Institute as well.
  2. Identity Verification:
    • Researchers are obligated to present a valid identity proof, such as an identity card or an authorisation letter from their Principal/Director/Head of the Department/Research Guide.


Data Usage, Reproduction, and Fees:

  1. Usage Restrictions and Reproduction:
    • Direct data copying is strictly impermissible. However, users are allowed to generate summary tables, statistical analyses, and other results using SPSS and STATA software installed in the workstation.
  2. Fees and Additional Charges:
    • While the workstation facilities are provided free of charge, users are subject to a nominal fee for any printouts obtained from the Centre's printer.
  1. Travel and Accommodation:
  • Outstation candidates are responsible for arranging their travel.
  • Accommodation can be availed only subject to availability on payment basis.


Responsibility, Accountability, and Registration:

  1. Care and Accountability:
    • Every user is expected to handle the facilities with utmost care and will be held accountable for any damage to the equipment or any other assets within the lab.
  1. Log-in Details and Registration:
    • Every researcher is required to log their entry and exit times, sign the log register, and provide their address, mobile number, and e-mail ID.


Every researcher must comply with these guidelines to maintain the integrity and efficacy of the workstation's operations, ensuring a conducive and equitable research environment.

Do's & Don'ts for Researchers:


  1. Work under Supervision: Researchers are obligated to conduct their work under the strict supervision of the Committee.
  2. Ensure Data Security: It is crucial to uphold the security of the data at all times, maintaining its integrity and confidentiality.
  3. Use Vested Outputs: Only the finalised outputs from the research, subjected to meticulous vetting from the Steering Committee, are permitted to be printed and extracted from the premises.
  4. Utilise the Facilities Free of Charge: Access to the workstation is granted free of charge, enabling more researchers to exploit this rich resource.


  1. No Unauthorised Data Copying: Researchers are strictly prohibited from copying any form of data to maintain its sanctity and confidentiality.
  2. No Internet Connection: The Workstation will not facilitate any internet connection to ensure the security and integrity of the data.
  3. No External Data Extraction: Extracting or transmitting raw data or non-vetted research outputs is strictly prohibited.


                                     Census Data Research Workstation committee details

Nodal Officer / Convener:

Nodal Officer:

Dr.P.Sridevi, Associate Professor, Department of Management Studies, National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli. Email_Id: psridevi@nitt.edu


Mr.H.Faizal Ahamed, Technical Officer, Computer Support Group, National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli. Email_Id: faizal@nitt.edu

Steering Committee:

Members constituted by the National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli,

  1. Dr.M.Padmaja, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Humanities and Social Sciences, Email_Id:
  2. Dr K.Selva Kumar, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Computer Applications,
    Email_Id: kselvakumar@nitt.edu    

Members constituted by the Directorate of Census Operations, Tamil Nadu:

  1. G Vasantha Kumar, Assistant Director, Email ID – vasanthakumarg.rgi@gov.in
  2. Manjusha M.S, Assistant Director, Email ID – manjushams.rgi@gov.in

The Nodal officer/ Convener can be contacted for any clarification to the above mentioned email_id.


Researchers are urged to strictly adhere to the aforementioned dos and don'ts to maintain a harmonious and conducive research environment and to uphold the integrity of the data and the workstation.