Why the postponement?
The Central government to push the 2021 Census to 2022 on account of the country’s continuing preoccupation with the COVID-19 pandemic.
In view of COVID-19 outbreak & nationwide lockdown due to the pandemic, the first phase of #CensusIndia2021, that is, the house listing operation & NPR updation is postponed until further order.@PMOIndia @HMOIndia @PIB_India @PIBHomeAffairs pic.twitter.com/IFzcRRQnkQ— Census India 2021 (@CensusIndia2021) March 25, 2020
Special Points in Census 2021
- The Census 2021 will be conducted in 18 languages out of the 22 scheduled languages (under 8th schedule) and English, while Census 2011 was in 16 of the 22 scheduled languages declared at that time.
- It also will introduce a code directory to streamline the process
- The option of “Other” under the gender category will be changed to “Third Gender”.
- There were roughly 5 lakh people under “other” category in 2011.
- For the first time in the 140 year history of census in India, data is proposed to be collected through a mobile app by enumerators and they will receive an additional payment as an incentive.
- 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 Census exercise was to be conducted in two phases
- House Listing and Housing Census from April to September 2020
- Population Enumeration from February 9 to February 28, 2021
- The first phase of the Census and the updating of the National Population Register (NPR) were initially to be rolled out in some States on April 1, 2020, but were postponed due to the pandemic.
Basics of Census
- The responsibility of conducting the decennial Census rests with the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India
- It comes under Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.
The Census is one of the most credible sources of information on the following:
Literacy and Education.
Housing & Household Amenities.
Urbanization, Fertility, and Mortality.
Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
- It helped in framing new policies, government programs to uplift areas of improvement in the community.
History of Census
- ‘Rig-Veda’ reveals that some kind of population count was maintained during 800-600 BC in India.
- Arthashastra by ‘Kautilya’ written in the 3rd Century BC prescribed the collection of population statistics as a measure of state policy for taxation.
- During the regime of the Mughal king Akbar, the administrative report ‘Ain-e-Akbari’ included comprehensive data pertaining to population, industry, wealth and many other characteristics.
- The Census was first started under British Viceroy Lord Mayo in 1872.
- The first synchronous census in India was held in 1881. Since then, censuses have been undertaken uninterruptedly once every ten years.