With the popularity of Personal Computers and Internet in India and also across the world, the mode of dissemination of statistical data everywhere is undergoing major change. From printed voluminous census reports the modes of data dissemination have now changed to more user friendly floppy diskette or CD-ROM. Facilities also exist in many countries for on-line statistical data network dedicated to registered users. Most important mode of data dissemination today is however the use of Internet. Using the world wide web Census, or for that matter any large volume statistical data, are being made available instantly across the globe in user friendly formats.
In tune with the world trend the Census Organization in India is contemplating using Internet as the most important medium of disseminating 2001 Census results. Already all the Provisional Results of 2001 Census declared so far have been made available free of cost at the Census of India website. More changes are contemplated to make available the census data to government planners, administration, NGOs, research scholars, universities, schools and libraries, business and industrial houses to instantly access the Census data. A data dissemination strategy is being formulated to address the issue in its totality, where data users will be able to select the table in the format it is published by the Census or even request for customized tables of choice. Another area where considerable resource mobilization being attempted is in the field of Internet GIS. Digital database of maps is proposed to be made available at the Census website along with Census data for the data users to select and view thematic maps on different subjects. This would be particularly useful to data users in incorporating maps in their reports and presentations using Census data.
One of the most important features of the Census of India 2001 is the adoption of Permanent Location Code Number (PLCN) to identify every village in India. In India as per the 2001 Census there are about 0.64 million (or 6.4 lakh villages). New code numbers are assigned to these villages before every census and as a result it becomes difficult to compare these huge village level databases generated. Besides, as new villages are formed or existing villages are merged or split or even disappear, keeping track of the village identity is a formidable task. Special provision of two dummy digits has been made in these codes to absorb these changes over the censuses. The regime introduced by the formulation and adoption of the PLCN will particularly benefit non-census organisations who have to undertake surveys and collect statistics in between the two censuses.
One of the important additions to the Census of India website is the latest maps showing administrative boundaries of each state and union territory in India with hyperlinks to state level maps showing administrative boundaries of the districts. The Census Organisation in India is one of the pioneering institutes producing good quality authentic maps. With the creation of three new states in India, viz., Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttaranchal, number of request were being received for such maps. The number of districts in the country has also increased form 466 in 1991 Census to 593 in 2001 Census. These maps showing the boundary of districts in pleasant colors will be very useful to all categories of data users.