Community & Rural Development Department
Government of Meghalaya

BPL Census 2002



  1. The identification of the poor is to be done through door-to-door survey with hundred percent coverage in each village. Identification of the specific households living ‘Below the Poverty Line’ is necessary for targeting them under various poverty alleviation programmes.

  2. A ‘Score Based Ranking’ of each household indicating their quality of life, based on both economic and social indicators, is to be adopted for the BPL Census, 2002, in contrast to the ‘income’ approach/ the ‘expenditure’ approach involving ‘exclusion criteria’ adopted in the previous BPL Censuses.

  3. The Schedule to be adopted for the BPL Census, 2002 contains both scorable and non-scorable indicators. A copy of the Schedule is at Annexure – I. The indicators appearing under the main Block on Profile of Household are non-scorable and have been included for the purpose of building up poverty profile of the rural people. While information should be collected on all the items under this main Block, they are not to be used for assessing the poverty status of the household. Instructions for filling up the Schedule are at Annexure – II.

  4. Thirteen scorable indicators have been included in the schedule. A score (0,1,2,3,4) is to be assigned to every household, in respect of each of these indicators. The total score for each household is to be calculated. The position of each household in the village should then be indicated in ascending order of the total score of the household.

  5. The States/ Union Territories may exercise flexibility to decide the cut-off scores for identifying and sub-categorising of the households into ‘Very Poor’, ‘Poor’, ‘Not-so-Poor’ and ‘Non-Poor’. The cut-off scores may be uniform or could be varying from district to district, block to block and village to village within a State keeping in view ground realities. The cut-off scores may be decided after tabulating the data for the entire State.

  6. The States/ Union Territories may identify the BPL households for targeting under different programmes of the Government in such a way that the total number of persons identified in the State/ Union Territory does not exceed the number of persons living Below the Poverty Line in that State/ Union Territory, estimated by the Planning Commission for the year 1999-2000.

  7. While deciding the cut-off scores, keeping in view the upper limit on BPL persons, the results of the BPL Census (through the suggested Schedule) may be compared with the estimates of poverty obtained through the NSSO surveys on consumer expenditure for the year 1999-2000 at sub-regional levels. These sub-regional estimates could be worked out from the data on consumer expenditure collected by NSSO for the year 1999-2000. If such estimates cannot be obtained at sub-regional level in time, the States/ Union Territories may devise their won mechanism to ensure that the total number of persons in the BPL category is well within the prescribed limit.

  8. The scores of each and every household in a village may be displayed at a prominent place in the village to ensure transparency and to reduce the possibility of errors. In case of two or more households getting the same score, the tie may be broken by the Gram Sabha, through consensus. The inter-se ranking of each BPL household in the village as approved by the Gram Sabha should also be displayed at prominent places of the village.

  9. District/ Block PRIs should counter check the situation in villages with very large or very small percentage of ‘Very Poor’ + ‘Poor’ households.

  10. Once the BPL list has been finally approved by the State/ Union Territory , after the approval of the Gram Sabha, no additions may be made in the list till the results of a subsequent BPL Census are available. However, if any household crosses the cut-off score on a sustainable basis, that household may be deleted from the BPL list. Such reviews for deletions may be made by the concerned Gram Sabha once in a year.

  11. The BPL Census will cover all the households in the rural areas of the country. A wealth of information relating to the suggested indicators of rural life, will therefore, be generated through the census, which could fruitfully be used for assessing the area-specific and people-specific requirements and devising appropriate Programmes to address such requirements. This would require a careful analysis of the information contained in the Schedule and building up a poverty profile of rural people at National/ State/ District/ Block/ Village levels.

  12. Software for data entry, validation of data and building up poverty profile of the rural people will be made available by the Ministry of Rural Development through the National Informatics Centre. The State Government/ Union Territory Administrations will be fully responsible for canvassing the Schedule, computerising the entire information contained in the Schedule in respect of each and every rural household in the State/ Union Territory. If the State Government/ Union Territory Administrations so desire, the entire work, or a part thereof, could be assigned to some reputed institutions either in the public or private sector or Universities or NGOs.

  13. The success or failure of any census/ survey depends primarily on the skill of the Enumerator. Efforts should, therefore, be made to select them not only from the LWs as is conventionally done but also to have a good and proper mix of staff drawn from various Directories and Departments such as Planning and Statistics. The Census work could also be assigned to reputed and capable NGOs. Training and motivation camps should also be organised not only for the enumerators but also for village Sarpanches / Pradhans who would be closely associated with the conduct of the Census. A suitable training schedule should be drawn up. The personnel involved in the BPL Census should be given proper training before starting the work.

  14. The Schedules for the Census may be translated into local languages for proper understanding of the enumerators, PRI functionaries and other stakeholders.

  15. The District Collector/ Chief Executive Officer of the Zilla Parishad will coordinate the work within the District and provide necessary assistance to the functionaries. He will also supervise, monitor and test check specific cases to ensure the correctness of the Census. The Sub-Divisional Officers (SDOs) will also be assigned responsibilities by the District Collector for close supervision for the process of identification. The SDOs will be personally accountable for the correctness of the Census.

  16. The States/ Union Territories should process the information collected through the Census in a meaningful way so as to create a profile of the poor households at State/ District/ Block/ Village levels. Analysis of the data collected through the Schedules will be an integral part of the BPL Census.

  17. The State Government/ Union Territory Administrations may take necessary steps for issuing ‘BPL Cards’/ Smart Photo Identity Cards to all the BPL households identified through the BPL Census, 2002. Such cards could form the basis for targeting beneficiaries under the Welfare Programmes of different Central Ministries. Such cards could be used by the BPL households as Access Cards, which will not give the holders any right of benefit.

  18. The Schedule may be pre-tested in each State/ Union Territory to assess its adaptability. On the basis of the experience gained from pre-testing, minor modifications, if felt necessary, may be made in the Schedule, without losing on the content of the Schedule suggested herein.

  19. The States/ Union Territories may complete the field operations for this BPL Census by 31st December 2002 . The data collected therein may be fed into computer and cut-off scores at different districts/ Blocks/ Villages may then be determined for identification and sub categorisation of ‘Poor’ based on the data. The entire process of finalisation of the BPL list in each State/ Union Territory may be completed before 31stApril, 2003.

  20. Summary results of the BPL Census, 2002 for each district should be communicated to the Ministry of Rural Development before 30th April, 2003 . The format for summary results is given below: -


NAME OF THE STATE __________________________


Total No. of Rural Households

Total rural population

Total No. of BPL households

Total BPL Population

BPL Households