The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the proposal for conducting Census of India 2021 at a cost of Rs. 8,754.23 crore and updation of National Population Register (NPR) at a cost of Rs. 3,941.35 crore.
Census of India will cover the entire population in the country while NPR will also cover all the population except in the state of Assam.
The Indian Census is largest administrative and statistical exercise in the world. The next decennial Census is due in 2021 and would be conducted in two phases:
House listing and Housing Census – April to September, 2020 and
Population Enumeration – 9th February to 28th February, 2021.
The National Population Register (NPR) will also be updated along with House listing and Housing Census except in Assam.
30 lakh field functionaries will complete this gigantic exercise of national importance, up from 28 lakh in 2011.
Use of mobile app for data collection and the Central portal for monitoring purpose will ensure early release of Census data with improved quality.
Data dissemination will be much better and in a user friendly way so that all the queries on required parameters for policy making will be made available on the click of a button.
Census-as-a-service (CaaS) will deliver on-demand data to ministries in a clean, machine-readable and actionable format.
Major impact including employment generation potential:
Census is not a mere statistical exercise. The results will be made available to general public in a user-friendly manner.
All the data would be put for use of all stake holders and users including Ministries, Departments, State Governments, research organisations etc.
Data sharing to all, up to the lowest Administrative Unit i.e. Village/Ward level.
Block level data of Enumeration to Delimitation Commission for delimitation of the Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies.
Census data is a powerful tool for public policy when combined with other administrative or survey data. Census-as-a-Service (CaaS) will deliver on-demand data to various Ministries/ State Governments and other stake holders in a user friendly, machine readable and actionable format with facilities like dashboard etc.
One of the major outcome of these two mammoth exercises will be direct as well as indirect employment generation across India including the far flung areas. This will be in addition to the payment of honorarium to Census functionaries for additional work undertaken by them for Census and NPR. Approximately 48,000 manpower will be engaged for about 2,900 days at the local levels. In another words, around 2.4 crore man-days employment would be generated. Further, the provision of technical manpower at Charge/ District/ State level will also result in capacity building as the nature of job will be related to data collection including digital mode and coordination. This will also help in future employment prospects of these persons.
Implementation strategy and targets:
The Census process involves visiting each and every household and canvassing separate questionnaire for House listing and Housing Census and Population Enumeration.
The enumerators, generally government teachers and appointed by the State Governments, will be doing the work of NPR along with the Census in addition to their regular duties.
Other Census functionaries at Sub-district, District and State levels will also be appointed by the State/District Administration.
New initiatives taken for the Census 2021 are:
i. Use of Mobile App for the first time for data collection.
ii. Census Monitoring & Management Portal as a single source for all officers/ officials involved in Census activities to provide multi language support.
iii. Facility of online self-enumeration for public during Population Enumeration phase. Code Directory to record the descriptive responses saving time in processing of data.
iv. Transfer of honorarium etc. to the Census functionaries for the Census & NPR related work directly to their bank accounts using Public Financial Management System (PFMS) and Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) covering more than 60% of the total expenditure.
v. Qualitative training to 30 lakh field functionaries and utilising services of national/state level training institutes to prepare national and state level trainers.
Decennial Population Census is being conducted in India synchronously since 1872 without break. Census 2021 will be 16th Census in the country and 8th after independence. Census is the biggest source of primary data at village, town and ward level providing micro level data on various parameters including Housing Condition; Amenities & Assets, Demography, Religion, SC & ST, Language, Literacy & Education, Economic Activity, Migration and Fertility. The Census Act, 1948 and the Census Rules, 1990 provide the legal framework for conduct of Census.
The National Population Register (NPR) was prepared in 2010 under the provisions of the Citizenship Act, 1955 and Citizenship Rules, 2003, which was subsequently updated in 2015 by seeding it with Aadhaar.