Census exercise will not be conducted anytime soon, says ministry

Census is the largest single source of information about the people of India.

New Delhi: The ten-year census to be held in 2020-21, but postponed due to the Covid pandemic, will not be conducted anytime soon.

The Center has directed states not to change the boundaries of districts and other civil and police units until June 2022 – a mandatory requirement three months ahead of the country’s biggest counting exercise.

Union Home Ministry officials said that with the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic getting bigger, no decision has been taken so far as to when to conduct the census and then update the National Population Register (NPR).

The Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India has apprised the states that the central government has banned the change of boundaries of districts, sub-divisions, taluks, police stations etc till June 2022, said a home ministry official.

Restrictions on the change of boundaries of administrative and police units are mandatory at least three months before the conduct of census operations.

The official said that since the borders of the administrative and police units have been sealed till June 2022, there is no question of starting the census operation before October.

India’s Covid tally rose to 3,49,22,882 with 33,750 fresh cases, while active cases rose to 1,45,582, as per data updated at 8 am on Monday.

The data showed that the death toll rose to 4,81,893 with 123 more fatalities.

The health ministry said the active cases have risen to 1,45,582, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has been recorded at 98.20 per cent.

The central government had first ordered the sealing of the boundaries of administrative units from January 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021.

Subsequently, following the outbreak of the pandemic, it was extended till December 31, 2020.

The restriction on change of administrative boundaries was again extended to December 31, 2021 and now till June 30, 2022.

The total number of districts in the country in 2011, when the last census was conducted, was around 640. There are now about 100 more districts in India.

The number of statutory towns is 4,657 – up from 4,041 in 2011 and the number of census towns is 5,050 – up from 3,892 in 2011.

However, the number of villages has come down from 6,40,934 in 2011 to 6,39,083 now.

The housing list phase of the census and the exercise to update the NPR were to be carried out across the country from April 1 to September 30, 2020, but were postponed due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

As per the earlier schedule, the reference date for the census will be March 1, 2021 and for Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, it will be October 1, 2020.

In March 2020, when the COVID lockdown was announced, the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India was all set for the first phase of the census and updation of the NPR, which was to begin from April 1, 2020.

Even though some state governments opposed the NPR update, all gave full support to the census exercise.

While the Census exercise was estimated to cost Rs 8,700 crore, the Union Cabinet had approved Rs 3,941.35 crore for the NPR exercise.

Census is the largest single source of various types of statistical information on various characteristics of the people of India.

With a history of over 130 years, this reliable, time tested exercise is bringing in a real wealth of statistics every 10 years.

The rich diversity of the people of India is indeed revealed by the decadal census which has become a tool to understand and study India.

The objective of NPR is to create a comprehensive identity database of every normal resident of the country.

The database will contain demographic as well as biometric details.

NPR is a register of ordinary residents of the country. It can be prepared at the local (village and sub-town), sub-district or sub-division, district, state and national level under the provisions of the Citizenship Act, 1955 and the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules. Used to be. , 2003.

The data for NPR was last collected in 2010 along with the house listing phase of the 2011 Census. The data was updated during 2015 by conducting door to door surveys.

The government had asked for details like Aadhaar and mobile number while updating the register in 2015.

Officials said that this time information related to their driving license and voter ID card can also be collected.

Although information about the parents’ place of birth will be sought, it is up to the residents to answer the question as it is voluntary.

For the purposes of NPR, a usual resident is defined as a person who has resided in a local area for the last six months or more, or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next six months. keeps.

The law seeks to compulsorily register and issue a national identity card to every citizen of India.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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