MHA defers first phase of Census 2021, National Population Register updation amid COVID-19 outbreak

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Updated: March 25, 2020 5:08 PM

The Census 2021 was scheduled to be conducted in two phases, starting next month. The Home Ministry said it has deferred the exercise in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.

Census 2021 deferred This is the first time that the entire Census exercise has been deferred in the history of India. (File Photo. India Express)

The Narendra Modi government has decided to defer the first phase of Census 2021 as well as the updation process of the National Population Register (NPR) in view of the coronavirus outbreak, an order issued in this regard by the Ministry of Home Affairs said on Wednesday evening.

“In view of COVID-19 outbreak & nationwide lockdown due to the pandemic, the first phase of Census India 2021, that is, the house listing operation & NPR updation is postponed until further order,” the order said.

The exercise involves participation of large number of central and state government officials as they visit every house to record the data.

The Census 2021 was scheduled to be conducted in two phases. While the first phase included house listing and housing census during April-September 2020, the second phase included population enumeration between February 9, 2021 to February 28, 2021.

The updation of National Population Register was proposed to be done along with the first phase of Census 2021 in all states and UTs except Assam.

This is the first time that the exercise has been deferred in the history of India.

The country was placed under a lockdown for the next 21 days last night. The lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his second address to the nation within a week on Tuesday. According to the Health Ministry data, the number of coronavirus cases in the country has mounted to 562. The virus has claimed over 10 lives so far.

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