Billed as the largest census ever attempted in the history of mankind, Census 2011 is all set to take off on April 1. It will also involve the task of preparing, for the first time, the National Population Register (NPR).

Outlining some of the unique features of the census, Union Home Secretary G. K. Pillai said here on Tuesday that for the first time, information would be gathered on the usage of mobile phone, availability of tap water, and usage of banking services. “This information will help the government in preparing for the XII Five-Year Plan,” he said while addressing a press conference here.

As the census operations begin on Thursday, the Rashtrapati Bhavan will get the first knock from officials at 10 a.m.

President Pratibha Patil, as the country's first citizen, will fill up the census form and signal the launch of Census 2011 during which usual residents in the entire country will be counted. Vice-President M. Hamid Ansari will be the next on the list.

Census 2011, the 15{+t}{+h} census since 1872, will be the most credible source of information on demography, economic activity, literacy and education, housing and household amenities, urbanisation, fertility and mortality, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, language, religion, migration and disability. In the second phase, to be conducted simultaneously all over the country from February 9 to 28 next year, the population will be enumerated.

Replying to a question, Mr. Pillai said Census 2011 will not be a caste-based one. There was no method to verify if a person was telling the truth about caste and this would only throw up a distorted version.

Based on biometrics

He said the NPR of usual residents of the country would cover an estimated population of 1.2 billion and the data would be based on biometrics like fingerprints and photographs. While the Census will cost around Rs. 2,209 crore, the NPR will cost Rs.3,539 crore.

Keywords: CensusNPRpopulation

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