With Rs 12,000-crore budget, Amit Shah sets stage for NRC-like exercise across country

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Updated: September 23, 2019 4:15:05 PM

Amit Shah said that Census 2021 would be crucial as it will be the base of the country's future planning and urged the officials and people to participate wholeheartedly to make the exercise a success.

Census 2021Amit Shah said that the Modi government will spend Rs 12,000 crore on the preparation of National Population Register (NPR) and Census.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday set the tone for the rollout of the National Population Register (NPR) and the 2021 Census by announcing a budget of Rs 12,000 crore for the exercise. The minister said that a mobile application would be used in 2021 Census to collect the data, the first time that the data will be collected in digital form.

Setting the stage for an NRC-like exercise across the country, Shah said that it will be a big revolution in the history of Census exercise in the country. He said that the Modi government will spend Rs 12,000 crore on the preparation of National Population Register (NPR) and Census, which is the highest among all the Census conducted so far in the country. The Home Minister was speaking at an event after laying the foundation stone of a new building of the Registrar General of India and Census Commissioner in Delhi.

Earlier in March this year, the Ministry of Home Affairs had issued a notification for the Census exercises in 2021. The reference date for the exercise is March 1, 2021, except for Jammu and Kashmir and snow-bound areas of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The reference date for the three states is October 1, 2020. The exercise would be carried out in 16 languages. The last Census was carried out in 2011 when the country’s population stood at 121 crore.

Watch: 2021 Census to be digital


Shah said that Census 2021 would be crucial as it will be the base of the country’s future planning and urged the officials and people to participate wholeheartedly to make the exercise a success. He said that people should be informed about the exercise’s benefits that how the data could be used for future planning, development initiatives and welfare schemes.

“The utilisation of Census data is multi-dimensional and will be a significant contribution in nation’s progress,” he said.

Mooting the idea of a multipurpose card for citizens in the country for all utilities like Aadhaar, driving license, Passport, voter card, bank account and others, Shah said, “There should be a system that all data should be put together in a single card. This is a potential. That is why the digital census is very important.” Shah clarified that it is an idea which has potential and that there is no such proposal on the cards as of now. He also said that there should be a system in place that when a person dies, the information in the population is updated automatically.

What is National Population Register?

National Population Register (NPR) is a database wherein identities of citizens are maintained. The data is collected at the village, sub-district, district, state and national level under the Citizenship Act 1955 and the Citizenship Rules, 2003. It is mandatory for everyone to submit their data when the exercise is underway. The database contains demographic and biometric details of residents.

As per official records, the updation of NPR data collected during 2011 Census was done in 2015. The digitisation of the updated information has already been done. The National Population Register will be updated along with the Houselisting phase of Census 2021 during April to September 2020 in all the states/UTs except Assam, information available on the Census of India website says.

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