Delayed due to COVID 19, Census work might start this year: MHA informs

Fieldwork related to housing conditions and amenities for Census 2021, delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, is most likely to start this year with the federal government sharing with a parliamentary panel a broad five-year item-wise distribution of activities related to the decennial exercise.The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs, headed by Congress MP Anand Sharma, in its report on the Needs for Grants for the ministry, stated according to the broad item-wise and year-wise circulation of activities for the census, the conduct of pre-test for census and National Population Register (NPR) to test-check the mobile app and CMMS portal has been done throughout 2020-21. The fieldwork for the very first phase of census 2021 will be performed during 2021-22 despite the fact that timelines are yet to be finalised, the federal government told the panel, as per the report.During this phase, information on real estate conditions, family amenities and assets possessed by the families will be collected.This stage of the census work was expected to be performed from April 2020 to September 2020 however it might not be done due to the pandemic.As per the revised schedule, fieldwork for the population enumeration phase of the census will be carried out in 2022-23 even though no timelines has been repaired yet.

The population enumeration was supposed to be carried out from February 9 to 28, 2021 with a revision round from March 1 to 5, 2021. This important part of the census was also might not be brought due to the pandemic.

Throughout 2022-23, census deal with demography, faith, SC and ST population, language, literacy and education, financial activity, migration and fertility will likewise be carried out.In 2023-24, results of the provisionary census data, main census abstracts (PCA) supplying village-level data on crucial indicators will be released.In 2024-25, census tables (more than 250 information tables), dissemination of census information personalized visualisation tool will be released, besides performing other census-related activities.The committee, throughout its meeting, looked for to understand from the Ministry of House Affairs about the reasons for the drastic decrease in allowance from Rs.4,568.00 crore in Budget Estimate (BE) 2020-21 to Rs 3,768.28 crore in BE 2021-22. The MHA responded that the funds under BE 2020-21 were kept for numerous activities of the ensuing decennial census 2021 to be conducted in 2 phases.The very first stage from home listing and housing census from April 2020 to September 2020 and the 2nd phase particularly population enumeration from February 9 to 28, 2021 with a revision round from March 1 to 5, 2021. The National Population Register (NPR) was also to be updated together with the very first stage of the census.The Union Cabinet has approved Rs 8,754.23 crore for the conduct of the census and Rs 3,941.35 crore for upgrading of the NPR.The funds kept would be incurred towards various census preparatory activities like training to 30 lakh field functionaries, the printing of census and NPR material, assistance to States in terms of Technical Manpower.However, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the very first phase of census, update of the NPR and other associated field activities have actually been delayed and accordingly, the allotment for 2020-21 was reduced to Rs 755.00 crore at Modified Price quote (RE) stage, the report stated.

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