20 Jul 2022

Census data cannot be used to prepare a national register of citizens: Centre

Census data, whenever the exercise is conducted, cannot be used to prepare any other database including the National Register of Citizens or NRC, the home ministry said. The NRC exercise, held for the first time in Assam, seeks to identify illegal aliens residing in India and deport them.
The census was supposed to take place in 2021, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is not known when it will start.

"The census scheduled for 2021 and related field activities have been postponed till further orders due to the outbreak of the pandemic," Home Minister Nityanand Rai told the Rajya Sabha today.

"Individual data collected in the census under the Census Act, 1948 is not released in accordance with the provisions contained in the Act. Only the aggregated data from the census at various administrative levels is released," Mr. Rai said in response to a Rajasthan BJP query. MP Kirodi Lal Meena.

Mr. Rai said the census will be done on a digital platform for the first time and will include a self-enumeration feature. "Mobile applications for data collection and census portal have been developed to manage and monitor various related activities," the minister said.

Including teachers in the census may not be ideal because they are busy trying to cope with a backlog of academic work affected by the pandemic, said a bureaucrat with direct knowledge of the matter.

"Post-pandemic lockdowns, public school teachers, for example, are burdened with helping children manage their studies. Even if their participation in the census exercise is a secondary task, the question is whether even that much time can be taken away from their educational requirements," the official said.

Officials at the Office of the Registrar General of India said they are ready to launch the first digital exercise where people can register their details using their mobile number and email.

"After the process is completed, they will be given a code to tell the enumerators during their field visit. The aim is not to spend too much time filling the forms during the field visits as the data can be automatically checked and uploaded to the census portal," said a bureaucrat at the registry office.

The technical process is completely ready and can be launched anytime and it will be the first digital census, but it has to complement the field visits, the census commissioner said.

He said special emphasis has been laid on scientifically designing census questions for faster processing and timely release of data.

The demand for the inclusion of Other Backward Classes, or OBCs, is gaining ground with those who feel that government schemes and benefits can be implemented better if data is available.

Bihar, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh have written to the Center for OBC census. So far, the home ministry has said that caste-based census is not feasible.

No comments:

Post a Comment