ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Study of Historical Demography

I HAVE read the excellent report on the seminar on 'New History' (June 4). The authors have written, "In India, the study of historical demography is a relatively uncultivated terrain, beset with problems stemming from a paucity of source materials, especially in view of the fact that earliest censuses date to as late as 1860s''. They have referred to work "for the period around C 1600 by Moreland, Dasai, Habiband Moosvi". The authors are not seemingly aware of the vast streams of study from 1961 onward. The renowned demographer Asok Mitra sponsored, as the Registrar General India in 1961, a project on historical demography to collect, edit, collate and analyse all data relevant to population and allied socio-economic variables of the Indian sub-continent from the earliest time to 1870 when the first census was planned. Out of eight projected volumes, one was to contain materials from the earliest period up to 1800 and each of the other seven volumes were to cover one decade from

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