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The History of Surveys in India

published November 10, 2023
Smiling woman sitting at a desk with a laptop, paperwork on it and a pen in her hand

Whether it's deciding the best place for a farm, keeping tabs on how many of us there are, or settling the debate on the best sorbet flavour, surveys are the go-to. 


For thousands of years, we've relied on people's opinions to make big decisions. Even today, companies like LifePoints team up with brands so you can take surveys and get rewarded for it (more on that later)! 


Ever wonder where they started and how they've made a real impact, especially here in India?


When Surveys Were First Introduced


Like most good ideas, the ancient Egyptians got to it first. The earliest known survey was conducted by the Pharaoh and his administrators in 2300 BCE, who wanted to assess the state of agricultural land along the Nile after a flood. With this data they could work out the taxes people had to pay based on the land they farmed on. 


Then, during the Han Dynasty in China (206 BCE – 220 CE), the bureaucracy began surveying the population to determine the size of their population, and how much tax they could reasonably collect. Around the same time, the Romans counted heads as well. Lucky for us, they kept meticulous records, which historians used to gain insights into size of their empire. 


Why Surveys are Important in Research


  • Representation: A good survey is like a sneak peek into what everyone's thinking
  • Flexibility: You can take surveys anywhere and anyhow – face-to-face chats, online, you name it
  • Economical: Compared to fancy experiments, surveys are the wallet-friendly way to hear from loads of people


The History of Surveys in India


In India, surveys have played an important role, especially when it comes to land, people, and politics.


Ancient Times:


India's always been big on records. Ancient texts and scriptures mention various methods of data collection. Think of them as old-school surveys!


Mughal Era:


Emperor Akbar had something called the "Ain-i-Akbari" – a massive document detailing stats about his empire. Sort of like the empire's report card.


British Raj:


The Brits were super into mapping and categorizing. They launched the Great Trigonometrical Survey to map the entire subcontinent.




1951: First official census of independent India takes off. The census happens every 10 years, with loads of details gathered from languages spoken to occupations


Late 20th Century to Today:


Market research hits the scene. Brands are curious: "Do people prefer masala chips or plain?"

Online surveys take flight with the internet boom. Now you can share your thoughts without leaving your bed!


Government initiatives, like the National Sample Survey, dive deep into specific topics, from farming to health.


From ancient record-keeping to modern online quizzes, India's been jotting down opinions and stats for ages. Whether it's about kingdoms of the past or your favourite snack today, India's all ears!


Surveys Today – Your Voice Matters


Across the internet and in your inbox there’s a ton of businesses who rely on your opinion to make decisions. However, choosing where and when to use your time can be tricky. That’s where LifePoints comes in.


Get Paid for Online Surveys in India


Big companies want to know what you think about their stuff before anyone else sees it. Join LifePoints, take fun, easy online surveys about new products or services, and score e-gift cards  from top e-commerce brands like PayPal, Flipkart and high street retailers including Pantaloons, and Shoppers Stop.


How Much can I Earn Doing Online Surveys?


Taking paid surveys can give you some extra cash. But don't expect it to be like a full-time pay check. How much you earn from these surveys varies based on how often you do them and how many are up for grabs. Think of surveys as a cool side gig, not your main money-maker, and enjoy the perks it brings to those who participate.


Share Your Opinion, Get Rewarded with LifePoints


Surveys have evolved considerably from their ancient origins but remain pivotal in shaping our understanding of the world. From gathering data on agricultural lands in ancient Egypt to modern online questionnaires gauging public opinions on everything from washing powder to pop songs, surveys have consistently offered a structured method to tap into collective knowledge.


Their adaptability and efficiency ensure they will remain a crucial tool in research, business, and public policy for the foreseeable future.


Now it’s your turn to continue advancing the legacy of surveys, while getting paid for it! 

Sign up today or download the App to earn 10 complimentary points to get started