Animal Husbandry, Dairy & Fisheries Sector – Pashudhan Sanjivani, E- Pashudhan Haat, etc

Livestock Census


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Livestock Census

Mains level : Role of livestocks in India’s agricultural sector

  • India has the world’s second largest human population at 121 crore and it leads the world in livestock population at 125.5 crore.
  • The 20th round of the Livestock Census is to be held very soon.

Livestock Census in India

  • The importance of a livestock census was first recognised in 1919, 47 years after human counting was started in 1872.
  • It is held by Animal Husbandry Statistics Division under Min. of Agriculture and Farmers welfare.
  • It is conducted quinquennially (every five years).
  • The ongoing 20th round of the Livestock Census involves about 50,000 enumerators and 10,000 supervisors.

What data is being captured?

  • The current round is counting a larger number of species besides the regular cattle such as mithun, yak, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, mules, donkeys, camels, dogs, rabbits, elephants and poultry birds.
  • It is counting stray and abandoned animals as well.
  • The data being captured includes the breed of each animal along with sex, age, productivity, use etc.
  • This exercise extends to other animals such as horses, pigs, mules, camels and poultry too.
  • Supplementary data on the owners of livestock are also being collected and compiled. These include information on occupation, income, landholding, education etc. to support holistic planning.

Why count livestock?

  • Livestock is not only an integral part of the agriculture economy supporting the rural livelihood but also a rudimentary element of our socio-cultural milieu.
  • Our cultural heritage endows great importance to owning and rearing livestock as an inseparable part of an inclusive universe.
  • Accurate, reliable data therefore become the sine qua non for planning and development of the sector — and counting sheep or any other animal becomes the foundation for a peaceful growth.

To be held digitally

  • To streamline the process and eliminate error, the ongoing 20th Livestock Census is harnessing the technological innovations of the digital age.
  • There is complete elimination of paper, which has been replaced with tablet computers.
  • The 50,000-odd enumerators are capturing the multiple parameters of the Census data on computer tablets and uploading it to the server after online validation by the supervisor, resulting in real-time compilation and updating.
  • The National Informatics Centre has developed the Android-based mobile application with various features of data entry module.
  • The software is not only enabling simultaneous monitoring of the operations but also developing various analytical reports that are useful for a dynamic planning process for an equally dynamic livestock sector.


  • The feeder livestock is counted by no permanent administrative institution, a process that lacks bare resources.
  • The Census becomes a burden and goes unnoticed as general awareness about it stays low, especially in urban areas.
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