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Census 2021 data likely to be collected using mobile app

For the first time in the 140 year history of census in India, data is proposed to be collected through a mobile app and enumerators would be encouraged to use their own mobile phone, officials of Registrar General of India said

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For the first time in the 140 year history of the census in India, data is proposed to be collected through a mobile app and enumerators would be encouraged to use their own phone, the Home Ministry has said.

Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba described the Census 2021 as the world’s largest enumeration exercise. A total of 33 lakh enumerators, the persons who conduct door to door counting, would be mobilised for data collection for which notification has already been issued, he said at a conference of census data users here. The reference date is October 1, 2020, for Jammu and Kashmir and snow bound areas of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand while for the rest of country it is March 1, 2021.

For the first time in the 140 year history of census in India, data is proposed to be collected through a mobile app and enumerators would be encouraged to use their own mobile phone, officials of Registrar General of India said at the conference which was held to finalise the strategy and questionnaire for the Census 2021.

The enumerators would be paid appropriate remuneration. There is also an option to collect and record the data through paper schedules which will eventually be submitted electronically by them. The home secretary said census is not just an exercise of head count but it also provides invaluable socio-economic data which forms credible basis for informed policy formulation and allocation of resources.

The changing demographics and socio-economic parameters reflected by the census helps in reformulation of country’s plans for the economic development and welfare schemes for its people, he said. Gauba said the census data caters to the constitutional requirement of delimitation of constituencies and reservation of seats for SCs and STs.

The home secretary also urged for exercising caution while using technology for data collection in Census 2021 and stressed that data confidentiality should be maintained. He asked the participants – representatives from ministries of central and state governments, academic institutions and international organisations — to deliberate on the strategy and questionnaire for the census to maximise the benefits from this exercise.

Registrar General of India and Census Commissioner Vivek Joshi said the Census 2021 will be conducted in two phases. In the first phase, house listing operations would be conducted in any two months chosen by the states between April and September in 2020.

In the second phase, actual population enumeration would be done during February 9–28, 2021, followed by the revision round from March 1–5, 2021. In Jammu and Kashmir and snow bound areas of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, population enumeration would be conducted during September 11-30, 2020, followed by the revision round from October 1-5, 2020, Joshi said.

The data users conference is the first formal interaction of the census organisation with various stakeholders. The two day conference is expected to have intensive deliberations on the proposed strategy and the draft questionnaire for the 2021 Census. The results of deliberations will form the basis for finalising the questions and the methodology for the census.


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