Census rules changed to allow self-enumeration and digital data collection

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The 10-year census exercise, which has been postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will for the first time be held both digitally and through paper timetables

The 10-year census exercise, which has been postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will for the first time be held both digitally and through paper timetables

The Union Government changed the census rules drawn up in 1990 to allow details to be entered and stored in an electronic format and also to allow self-enumeration by respondents.

The ten-year census exercise, which has been postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will for the first time be held both digitally and through paper calendars (questionnaire/forms).

The first phase of the 2021 Census – List of Dwellings and Census of Dwellings as well as the update of the National Population Register (NPR) – was due to take place from April to September 2020 but has been postponed indefinitely. The second and main phase – Population Census – was to be completed by March 5, 2021.

As reported by The Hindurespondents will have the opportunity to fill in the details themselves.

About 30 lakh enumerators, who are mostly civil servants and public school teachers, will each be responsible for collecting the details of about 650-800 people through online and offline modes.

On March 11, the Registrar General of India notified the amended census rules in the Gazette, which stated that “a person may fill, complete and submit the census schedule by self-enumeration”.

He added that self-enumeration “means the filling in, completion and submission of the census schedule by the respondents themselves”.

Although the government announced earlier that the census would be done electronically and that self-enumeration would be allowed, the rules were changed and notified to formalize the announcement.

According to the Union Home Secretary’s Annual Report for the year 2019-20, there will be a three-pronged approach to updating the NPR database: self-updating, in which it is proposed to allow residents to update their own data fields after following a few authentication protocols on a web portal; update of NPR data in paper format; and in mobile mode.

The respondent’s contact details will be displayed on a mobile application developed internally to conduct the census exercise, but no “biometric data or documents” will be collected. These details will then be stored in the system for future use.

The NPR, previously assembled in 2010 and 2015, has an electronic database of more than 119 million people.

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