Census 2021 to be digital, says home ministry: All you need to know
The home ministry said that Census 2021 will be carried out using a mobile phone app. It will be used to collect data by school teachers who will double up as enumerators during the Census exercise. The ministry also said that a Census portal has been developed.
The Census 2021 exercise is going to be all digital this year, the Union home ministry informed Lok Sabha. This will be the first time that the counting exercise will be held digitally, the ministry said.
Minister of state for home, Nityanand Rai, further told the lower house of Parliament that there is no proposal to release the caste data at this stage.
This is going to be 16th Census since the enumeration exercise began in 1860s.
How will technology change Census this year?
The home ministry said that Census 2021 will be carried out using a mobile phone app. It will be used to collect data by school teachers who will double up as enumerators during the Census exercise.
The ministry also said that a Census portal for management and monitoring of various related activities has been developed.
There will also be a provision for self-enumeration, the home ministry said.
Recording data directly into a mobile phone is likely to speed up the process of data collection and the analysis that follows.
The process to be followed during digital Census
The Census portal which has been developed by the central government, will require the mobile phone numbers and other details of individuals for logging in.
In case of self-enumeration, the individual will fill in the required details with the help of relevant codes for each field. After self-enumeration is done, an identification number will be sent on the registered number provided by the individual.
The same ID number can be shared with the enumerator, which will help the official to sync the data automatically.
What was happening till now?
The enumerators used to visit the every household with a set of questions and enter the details in a form.
The questions included were about the amenities available in a household, source of drinking water and power, occupation and the languages spoken by the family members.
Other countries undertaking digital Census
Only a handful of countries have done away with paper records for the census. Vietnam and Swaziland are first to take this leap along with India.
In other two countries, Census officials had trained graduate students for about a year to double up as enumerators. India will be using an estimated 30 lakh enumerators for the Census.
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the budget this year, had announced an allocation of ₹3,378 crore for digital Census.