The provisional data for the latest Census and National Population Register (NPR) will be available before the next general elections in 2024, according to information provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to a parliamentary committee.
The MHA informed the committee that “Census, updation of NPR,” will be among the major thrust areas for the financial year 2021-22.
The last Census was conducted in 2011 and NPR, that has a database of 119 crore residents, was last updated in 2015.
The first phase of Census-House listing and Housing Census that was to be conducted along with NPR from April 1, 2020, was indefinitely postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The MHA shared a tentative time line with the parliamentary panel, saying that provisional Census results will be released in financial year 2023-24 and the primary Census abstracts (PCA) will provide village-level data on important indicators.
Also read: Field trials for Census-NPR to begin soon
As reported by The Hindu , a mobile application has been developed for collecting the Census details and NPR and residents can also self-enumerate .
The fieldwork for the first phase of Census 2021 that will provide data on housing conditions, household amenities and assets possessed by the households is expected in 2021-22.
The fieldwork for population enumeration phase to provide data on demography, religion, SC/ST, language, literacy and education, economic activity, migration and fertility etc will be done in 2023-24.
The committee was informed that the mobile app through which Census will be conducted will be available in 16 languages.
MHA said the NPR database has been created by collecting family-wise data and it can be strengthened by linking Aadhaar to each member.
MHA said “consolidated details of a family” are not available through Aadhar and based on it “a family structure” cannot be created without visiting each household and collecting information such as relationship among family members.
“Further, the Aadhaar database may not be made available to this office due to legal provisions in the Aadhaar Act, 2016. During the next update of NPR, the Aadhaar number is being collected voluntarily. The presence of the Aadhaar number in the NPR database will facilitate its integration with other databases,” MHA said in the report.