Soon after moving to a single research agency (AC Nielsen) for handling the data collection and analysis, fieldwork of NRS 2004 is about to begin. As was expected, there is attempt to make the data collection and analysis process more robust. To begin with, the NRS 2004 sample size would increase 30 per cent vis-à-vis the previous survey – it has grown from 2,00,000 to 2,59, 449. Sample size in the urban areas has grown by 22 per cent – from 1,40, 000 to 1,71,449 and the rural sample size has become 88,000 from 60,000, indicating a jump of 47 per cent.
As far as the total number of locations goes, it sees a whopping increase of 122 per cent this time around. As anticipated, locations in rural areas have increased far more than the city. Urban areas see an increase of 25 per cent – from 837 to 1,047, while those in rural areas have grown from 2,300 to 6,459 (161 per cent).
NRS 2004 seeks to cover all states in India barring J&K, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep. All adults over 12 years of age would fall under the purview of the survey. The study, as per NRSC, would cover all districts and all towns with above 1 lac population, would be represented. It would provide readership of supplements in 35 metros. Section-wise readership as well psychographic profiling would be a part of the survey this time round.
It is stated that a 100 per cent dedicated team of the research agency would supervise the entire project, and in addition, quality-checks would be done by an external audit firm. To get the process set in a methodical way, an enlarged technical committee has been constituted, headed by Sam Balsara (Madison) as its Chairman, while Ashutosh Srivastava (MindShare) will be the Deputy Chairman. Other members of the technical committee include Arpita Menon (Lodestar), Jasmin Sorabji (Mediacom), Karthik Sharma (Madison) and V Balasubramaniam (Group M), representing the media agencies, and Ashish Bagga (Living Media Group), Conrad Saldanah (Times of India), Vargese Chandy (Malyala Manorama), Girish Aggarwal (Dainik Bhaskar), Vikas Joshi (Dainik Jagran), Mitrajit Bhattacharya (Chitralekha) and Suresh Balakrishanan (Hindustan Times) among others from publications. From the advertisers’ arena the names in the committee include Rajesh Kumar (Tata Motors), Soumitra Sengupta (Cadbury’s), Shyam Motwani (Godrej Appliances), Manoj Vidhwans (Star India) and V Chandramouli (Onida). Well-known Research professional Dr Sridhar has been appointed as advisor. As is known, Pradeep Guha has been elected as the Chairman of NRSC.
The findings of NRS 2004 are likely to be released in March 2005.