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CENSUS 2021

Written by Talent KAS

Related Topics: Digital Census, NPR

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  • Home Minister Amit Shah has suggested one card for all utilities in the future, while announcing that the 2021 census exercise will be carried out digitally.
  • He said that even though there was no formal proposal for the common utility card, digital census has the potential to bring all kinds of cards such as Aadhaar, passport, bank account, driving license under one platform.
  • He also said that there should also be a system that when a person dies, the information is updated in the population data automatically.

About Population Census

  • Population Census is the total process of collecting, compiling, analyzing or otherwise disseminating demographic, economic and social data pertaining, at a specific time, of all persons in a country or a well-defined part of a country.
  • The census provides information on size, distribution and socio-economic, demographic and other characteristics of the country’s population.
  • The responsibility of conducting the decennial Census rests with the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India under Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.

Census 2021

  • The decennial Census exercise undertaken in 2021 will move from paper to digital format for the first time.
  • It will be conducted through a mobile phone application, moving away from the traditional pen and paper to give Digital India a boost.
  • The census will have its reference date as March 1, 2021, but for snow-bound Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, it will be October 1, 2020.
  • The Census data would be available by the year 2024-25 as the entire process would be conducted digitally and data crunching would be quicker.
  • The option of “Other” under the gender category will be changed to “Third Gender”.

Significance of Census data

  • The data collected through the census are used for administration, planning and policy making as well as management and evaluation of various programmes by the government, NGOs, researchers, commercial and private enterprises, etc.
  • The data collected will help in future planning of the country, especially for development initiatives and welfare schemes.
  • It is used for demarcation of constituencies and allocation of representation to parliament, State legislative Assemblies and the local bodies.
  • Researchers and demographers use census data to analyze growth and trends of population and make projections.
  • The census data is also important for business houses and industries for strengthening and planning their business for penetration into areas, which had hitherto remained, uncovered.

Successful Initiatives using Census 2011 data

  • On the basis of the 2011 Census, central government had planned 22 welfare schemes related to electricity connections to every home, gas connections, construction of roads, houses for the poor, toilets, bank accounts and opening of bank branches, among others.
  • Government’s flagship ‘Ujjwala’ scheme of providing free LPG connections to poor families has been successful as the scheme was prepared on the basis of the 2011 census data.
  • Based on 2011 census data that reflected the poor sex ratio of male and female in some states, ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ scheme was launched.
  • India’s population is 17.5 per cent of the world’s total population, while the geographical area is just 2.4 per cent of the total geographical area of the world.
  • Since India has limited natural resources in comparison to the population, the census data will help in efficient use of resources.

About National Population Register

  • The National Population Register (NPR) is a Register of usual residents of the country.
  • It is being prepared at the local (Village/sub-Town), sub-District, District, State and National level under provisions of the Citizenship Act 1955 and the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.
  • It is mandatory for every usual resident of India to register in the NPR.
  • NPR exercise is different from the decennial census and is not linked to the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
  • For the purpose of NPR, an ordinary resident is defined as a person who has resided in a local area for past six months or more or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next six months or more.
  • The NPR links biometric and demographic details of any ordinary resident of the country, thus making it a comprehensive database of residents.
  • The exercise was conducted earlier in two phases in 2010 and 2015.

[Source: The Hindu, Livemint, censusindia.gov]

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