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DUE TO LOCKDOWNS CENSUS-NPR MAY BE PUSHED TO 2021

Focus: GS-II Governance

Why in news?

  • As Census houselisting and NPR operations remain suspended on account of Covid-19, an assessment may need to be taken to assess if the entire exercise be rescheduled for 2021.

Highlights

  • Census 2021 is to be held in two phases — Phase 1 covering houselisting and housing, to be conducted along with the National Population Register (NPR) exercise followed by population enumeration.
  • In view of lockdowns, rescheduling of Census dates is necessary for maintaining operational sanctity and convenience to ensure the integrity and acceptability of the demographic data, since it is an exercise with huge statutory implications.

What is the National Population Register (NPR)?

  • The NPR is a database of usual residents in the country who have stayed in a local area for the past six months or more and who intend to remain in the same place for the next six months or more.
  • The NPR is individual and identity specific unlike the Census which only provides information on the status of the residents of India and population swings.
  • The NPR database was first created in 2010.
  • The data collection is done under the aegis of the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India.
  • The NPR is undertaken under the provisions of The Citizenship Act, 1955 and The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.
  • The NPR was last updated, except in Assam and Meghalaya, in 2015-16.

Census (With Prelims Bits)

  • The census provides information on size, distribution and socio-economic, demographic and other characteristics of the country’s population.
  • The first synchronous census in India was held in 1881, and since then, censuses have been undertaken uninterruptedly once every ten years.
  • India’s last census was carried out in 2011 when the country’s population stood at 121 crores.
  • The Census 2021 will be conducted in 18 languages out of the 22 scheduled languages (under 8th schedule) and English, and the option of “Other” under the gender category will be changed to “Third Gender”.
  • For the first time data is proposed to be collected through a mobile app by enumerators and they will receive an additional payment as an incentive.
  • The last caste-based census was conducted by the British in 1931.
  • Arthashastr by ‘Kautilya’ written in the 3rd Century BC prescribed the collection of population statistics as a measure of state policy for taxation.

-Source: Times of India

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September 2022
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