Meetings with all state and Central government ministries and departments have started taking place.
The Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner has initiated the process for conducting the population census of 2021, sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) have said.
The Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner has started to conduct meetings with all the state and Central government ministries and departments, along with other stakeholders, to map out the process and other modalities that would be required to conduct the population census for 2021.
Sources have also said that a high-level meeting with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had already taken place to frame the broad roadmap that would be undertaken to conduct the population census for 2021and all the state governments have been asked to furnish all the details of the administrative changes, including changes in the boundaries of districts, jurisdiction of districts, creation of new districts, creation of towns and villages, de-notification or merging of villages and towns. There are a total of 718 districts across the country and these will be covered for the Census survey.
A highly placed source in the MHA said: “The process has already been initiated and vital inputs from the state governments, required for conducting the population census for 2021, have been sought. The process of receiving inputs from the states and scrutinising the process will continue till the end of December 2019. These lists will be compared with that of the 2011 list we already have, following which teams would be sent for surveys in each district of the country. Meetings on a regular basis are also underway.”
The “house listing” would begin from 2020 and teams for conducting the physical survey and head count would begin from February 2021. Work for preparing the questionnaire for the survey will also begin shortly.
Sources in the MHA have also said that for the first time, the Census would be stored in an electronic format and all the paper work that was earlier stored in the store house, would not be done away with as a move to digitalise the population census mechanism.
The source in the MHA said: “The Ministry has taken a decision to store the census data electronically from the 2021 census as crores and crores of pages consisting of data from across the country was being stored in the Ministry store house, taking up a lot of space. To reduce this paper load, it has been decided that all the data that would be collected would be stored in an electronic format which would be easily accessible.”
The population census is a decennial exercise conducted every 10 years, under the provisions of The Census Act 1948. The first census in independent India was conducted in 1951, while the last census was conducted in 2011.