While laying the foundation stone for the Janganana Bhawan in New Delhi today, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that the 2021 census will be a digital process and the data will be collected through a mobile phone application. He said that the move comes to introduce a digital medium in order to move away from the mainstream paper method of collecting data for the census.
He said that the census will be carried out in 16 languages and at a cost of Rs. 12,000 crore. Shah also said that the Census data will now be collected through a mobile app, making it the first time that the mobile app will be used for the census exercise.
Talking about the Referring 2021 census, he said the data will help in future planning of the country, especially for development initiatives and welfare schemes, and it will be a 'Jan Bhagidari' (people's participation) exercise.
"India's total of 130 crore population should be informed about its benefits. How, the census 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 to the nation's progress," Shah said.
He also said that the census will help in deciding boundaries of municipal wards, assemblies, and Lok Sabha constituencies. "The whole approach was changed when Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister in 2014. The approach has been changed completely, the thinking has been changed. Goals have been set to completely eradicate the problems," he added.
The Home Minister said that on the basis of the 2011 Census, the Modi government had planned 22 welfare schemes related to electricity connection to every home, gas connections, construction of roads, houses for the poor, toilets, bank accounts and opening of bank branches among others. He also said that if we take into account the 2011 census, we will see that the Indian terrain is 2.4% of the total world area and if the population is taken into account, we are 17.5% of the entire world’s population.
He, while talking about India’s proportions in relation to the larger picture of the world, said, “This difference in figures is an eye-opener and is an indication of how we, as a nation have to move forward towards development.” Shah also pointed out that the literacy rate of the nation has increased by 10% and now stands at 74%, according to the census of 2011. He also said that the 2011 census pointed out that India is one of the youth-centric nations of the world.
"By 2022, there will not be a family which will not have a gas connection," he said. Shah also said the 2011 census reflected the poor sex ratio of male and female in some states. That is why the programme of 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' was launched, he said. "Under this scheme, the Haryana government has done so much work in the last five years that the State's sex ratio is now among the best in the country," he said.
Shah also said the data for the National Population Register (NPR), a list of usual residents of the country, will also be collected along with the census exercise. Officials said that the NPR could be the basis for a pan-India version of Assam's National Register of Citizens.
(With PTI inputs)