Census 2011 Phase Two begins with enumeration of President Patil
New Delhi, February 9, 2011
The second phase of India's Census 2011, the biggest such exercise since humankind came into existence, began with the enumeration of the First Citizen, Presidet Pratibha Patil at Rashtrapati Bhavan here this morning.
As part of the exercise, the Government will try to count, identify and issue identity cards to around 1.2 billion people.
A team of Census functionaries led by Census Commissioner of India, Dr. C. Chandramouli, along with Director of Census Operation, Delhi, Ms. Varsha Joshi, and Census enumerator Rita were present.
According to an official press release, information on a number of characteristics about the President’s personal household was collected by the enumerator.
After successfully completing the first phase of the Census, called the Houselisting and Housing Census from April to September 2010, the second phase, called the Population Enumeration, is being conducted simultaneously all over the country from February 9 to 28.
Speaking after her enumeration, the President asked all persons to take part wholeheartedly in the Census operation, which is gigantic in scale, and to take it as a national duty.
Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Union Minister of State for Home Gurudas Kamat were also present on the occasion.
Census 2011 will be the 15th National Census of the country. The Government has also decided to prepare a National Population Register (NPR) along with the Census 2011. The NPR is designed to be a comprehensive identity database of all usual residents of India.
The Indian Census has been the most credible source of information on demography, economic activity, literacy and education, housing and household amenities, urbanization, fertility and mortality, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, language, religion, migration, disability and many other socio-cultural data since 1872.
Census 2011 is the seventh since Independence. The exercise has been conducted uninterruptedly every ten years since 1872 through the freedom struggle, partition, floods, wars and earthquakes.
More than 2.5 million people have been deployed around the country to conduct the exercise. The Census will cost around Rs 2209 crores while the approved cost for the creation of the NPR is Rs 3539.24 crores.
The exercise will cover 35 States and Union Territories, 640 districts, 5767 tehsils, 7742 towns and more than 600,000 villages. More than 24 crore households will be visited and about 1.2 billion people enumerated.
The Census process involves visiting each and every household and gathering particulars by asking questions and filling up Census Forms. The information collected about individuals is kept absolutely confidential. In fact this information is not accessible even to courts of law. This provision is there to encourage people to give correct information in the Census without any fear. After the field work is over the forms are transported to data processing centres located at 15 cities across the country.
The Intelligent Character Recognition Software (ICR) that was pioneered by India in Census 2001 has become the benchmark for censuses all around the globe. This involves the scanning of the Census Forms at high speed and extracting the data automatically using computer software. This revolutionary technology has enabled the processing of the voluminous data in a very short time and saving a huge amount of manual labour and cost.
According to official sources, the census data is the only source of primary data at village, town and ward levels. It provides valuable information for planning and formulation of polices for the Central and State Governments and is widely used by national and international agencies, scholars, business people, industrialists and others.
The delimitation/reservation of parliamentary, assembly, panchayat and other electoral constituencies is also done on the basis of the demographic data thrown up by the Census.
The Houselisting and Housing Census will provide comprehensive data on the conditions of human settlements, housing deficit and consequently the housing requirement to be taken care of in the formulation of housing policies.
This will also provide a wide range of data on amenities and assets available to the households, information needed by various departments of the Union and State Governments and other non-Governmental agencies for development and planning at the local level as well as the State level. It also provides the frame for Population Enumeration.
The NPR will be an identity database of all usual residents in the country containing specific items of information about each individual in the country.
Among other things, it is expected to help in better targeting of the benefits and services under various Government schemes and programmes, apart from strengthening the security of the country.
The NPR will include details such as the name of the person, father’s name, mother’s name, spouse’s name, sex, date of birth, place of birth, current marital status, education, nationality as declared, occupation, present address of usual residence and permanent residential address.
The database will also contain photograph and ten finger biometry of persons above the age of 15 years.
The draft list of Local Register of Usual Residents (LRUR) will be displayed in the villages in rural areas and wards in urban areas for inviting objections like spellings in names, address, date of birth and so on and also regarding residency status of any person enumerated.
The draft LRUR will also be placed before the Gram Sabha or local bodies for authentication of usual residents.
Once the NPR database is finalised, the next task would be assigning every individual a Unique Identification Number (UID) by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). The UIDAI will undertake biometrics based de-duplication and assign UID numbers to each resident. The cleaned database along with UID number will form the final NPR database. \
The ORG and CCI, who has been designated as the National Registration Authority, will maintain and update the NPR database. For this purpose, NPR Centres will be set up at Tehsil level. Persons who have missed the two rounds of photography/biometric capture can come here for giving their particulars.
Normally, the entry into NPR will be only through the process of Birth Registration or through valid immigration. New persons can also apply but will be admitted into the NPR system only after rigid verification.
The State Revenue Officials at the Village, Tehsil and District level will continue to function as Registrars for NPR under the Citizenship Act. Services such as changes in the Name/Address, loss or damage of cards, capture of photograph/biometrics, issue of new cards and so on will be rendered at these NPR Centres.
The Government proposes to issue an identity card, which will be a smart card with UID number printed on it and include basic details like name, mother’s / father’s name, sex, date and place of birth and photograph. Complete details will be stored in the chip.
The issue of identity (smart) cards will be done in coastal villages, followed by the towns, cities in coastal areas and so on till the country is covered.
At present, there is no standard database covering the entire population. The NPR will provide a standard identity database and facilitate the allotment of Unique Identification (UID) Number to each individual, above the age of 15 years.
A biometrics based identity database alongwith UID number would benefit the common man in many ways. It will obviate the need for producing multiple documentary proofs of identity by an individual for availing government or private services.
The existence of such a data base along the length and breadth of the country will impart a new direction to the overall governance by not only better targeting of the benefits and services under the government schemes/programmes but also by better planning.
The Unique Identification Number (UID) of each individual in the NPR database will become the link number between the sectoral databases, thus bringing about a host of conceivable benefits.
NPR would also serve the requirement of enhancing the internal security of the country apart from sprucing up tax collection and targeting welfare schemes better in areas like education, rural development health and social security.