Mega census kick-starts on Monday

Largest population count in the history of humankind to cost Rs 5,956 crore

The census, for the first time, will  enlist those with or without mobile phones, computers or internet services. The exercise will also help to find out people who have tap water (treated or untreated) and other basic services at their home. The first census was held in India in 1872. This is the 15th census in the country.

The census will be unique this time as  for the first time a National Population Register (NPR) will also be prepared simultaneously.

NPR is an identity data base of all usual residents in the country and will include name of the person and personal details such as the names of his or her father, mother, spouse and also sex, date of birth, place of birth, current marital status, education, nationality, occupation, present and permanent addresses.   Once NPR is completed it will facilitate issuing of Unique Identity cards. The data base will include biometric data, ie, photographs and finger prints of people above 15 years.

The census 2011 will be conducted in two phases. The first phase called house listing and housing census will be conducted between April and July for 45 days. The second phase, population enumerations to prepare NPR, will be conducted   from February 9 to 28, 2011. The census will provide credible information on demography, economic activity, literacy and education, housing and household amenities, urbanisation, fertility and mortality  among others.

The census will involve visiting more than 24 crore households and 1.20 billion people, which will involve a working force of 2.5 million people. Census forms will be printed in 16 languages.

The total cost for the mega exercise  is pegged at  Rs 5,956 crore of which census will take Rs 2,200 crore and preparation of NPR would involve Rs 3,756 crore. The data base will be built, maintained and updated by the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India. 

Addressing a press conference along with Registrar General of India C Chandramouoli,  Union Home Secretary G K Pillai said it was for the first time that information was being collected on mobile phone users as also those with or without computers or internet services.

Asked how homeless people would be taken into account, the RGI said separate camps in  designated sites would be set up for this purpose.

Number talk
*For the first time, census will enlist those with or without mobile phones, computers or internet services

*A National Population Register (NPR) will also be prepared simultaneously

*Once NPR is completed it will facilitate issuing of Unique Identity cards

*The census will involve visiting more than 24 crore households and 1.20 billion people, which will involve a working force of 2.5 million people

*The total cost for the mega exercise is pegged at Rs 5,956 crore

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