Narvijay Yadav*

The 15th Census of India was held in 2011. This process is repeated every ten years, hence the 16th census was scheduled in 2021, which was postponed due to the pandemic. Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has announced that the next census of the country will be done digitally, and no citizen will be left out. Be it this year or next, the e-Census may be final. It is quite possible that after this the census will never be conducted again. All the data from the birth of infants to the death of adults will continue to be collected in digital form and the government will automatically send the information to the eligible citizens for various public welfare schemes, which will remove all the discrepancies. For this, the central government is going to amend the Birth-Death Registration Act. The draft of the amended law is in its final stages. It is estimated that the new law may come into force in the country before the start of the census in 2022. To make e-Census more scientific, modern technologies will be added to it.

 After the amendment of the law, the account of birth and death of citizens will reach the central government. Every birth and death will be registered by 2024. The birth and death register will also be linked to the census. This means that the census will be updated automatically after every birth and death in the country. This step of the government will actually reinforce the concept of 'One Nation One Data'. At present, this data reaches the center after a long wait through the states. At present, many cards are being used like Aadhar, Driving License, Voter ID, Passport and Ration Card, which people get made, but often these cards are not closed after their death. Because of this, unnecessary data keeps getting collected and there is a risk of misuse of these documents, while the benefits of facilities are not accessible to the eligible persons. After the amendment of the law, the wait of ten years for the census will end. The complete picture of the country's population will continue to reach the center every month, which will help in making new schemes.

 The next census will be the e-Census and based on this, the development plan of the country for the next 25 years will be prepared. After birth, the details will be added to the census register and after s/he turns 18, the name will be included in the voter list and after death, the name will be deleted. This will make it easier to change the name and address. Earlier this year, the central government had talked about some amendments in the rules to allow online self-counting in the upcoming census and the National Population Register (NPR). The announcement was made in 2020, but was postponed in view of the pandemic. The Center recently extended the deadline for change of jurisdiction for all states to June 30, 2022. Earlier this deadline was December 31, 2021. For the first time in the 140-year history of Census in India, it is proposed to collect data through a mobile app. Census provides invaluable socio-economic data, which form a reliable basis for policy making.—The Hawk Features

*The writer is a senior journalist & columnist.

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