IndiaCoronavirus Third Wave: Census unlikely due to third wave of Corona, central...

Coronavirus Third Wave: Census unlikely due to third wave of Corona, central government banned till June 2022

New Delhi
The decadal census, postponed in 2020-21 due to the Covid pandemic, is unlikely to start any time soon. The Center has directed states not to change the boundaries of districts and other civil and police units till June 2022. This is a mandatory requirement three months before the country’s biggest census. Officials of the Union Home Ministry said that in view of the possibility of a third wave of the Covid-19 Pandemic, no decision has been taken so far as to when to conduct the census and then to update the National Population Register (NPR).

ban imposed due to corona
According to a Home Ministry official, the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India has conveyed to the states that the central government has banned the change of boundaries of districts, sub-divisions, taluks, police stations etc. till June 2022. Restrictions on the change of boundaries of administrative and police units are mandatory at least three months before the conduct of census operations. The official said that since the borders of the administrative and police units have been sealed till June 2022, there is no question of starting the census operation before October.

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33,750 new cases of corona on Monday
According to the data updated at 8 am on Monday, the number of infected people in India increased to 3,49,22,882, with 33,750 fresh cases of corona, while active cases increased to 1,45,582. The figures showed that the death toll rose to 4,81,893 with 123 more deaths. The Health Ministry said that the active cases have increased to 1,45,582, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has been recorded at 98.20 percent.

Some state governments oppose NPR update
As per the earlier schedule, the reference date for the census would have been March 1, 2021, and October 1, 2020 in the snowy states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. In March 2020, when the COVID lockdown was announced, the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India was all set for the first phase of the census and updating of the NPR, which was to begin from April 1, 2020. Even though some state governments had opposed the NPR update, all had given full support to the census exercise.

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Demographic as well as biometric details in the database
Although the Census exercise was estimated to cost Rs 8,700 crore, the Union Cabinet had approved Rs 3,941.35 crore for the NPR exercise. Census is the largest single source of various types of statistical information on various characteristics of the people of India. The rich diversity of the people of India is indeed revealed by the decennial census which has become a tool to understand and study the real situation of the country. The objective of NPR is to create a comprehensive identity database of every ordinary resident of the country. The database will contain demographic as well as biometric details.

Government had sought details
The government had asked for details such as Aadhaar and their mobile number while updating the register in 2015. Officials said that this time information related to their driving license and voter ID card can also be collected. Although information about the place of birth of the parents will be sought, it is up to the citizens whether they want to answer the question or not, as it is voluntary.