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Census 2011 to begin on Feb 9
New Delhi, Feb 3 (Agencies):
Published on 3 Feb. 2011 11:23 PM IST
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Census 2011, billed as the largest peacetime mobilisation in the world, will see the massive exercise of population enumeration across the country simultaneously, between February 9 and 28.
Registrar-General and Census Commissioner C. Chandramouli said on Wednesday that the biggest-ever census attempted in the history of mankind to enumerate the country’s 1.2-billion population would be conducted across 35 States and Union Territories.
While a column on the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes would be there in Census 2011, the government decided to hold caste-based enumeration as a separate exercise from June to September 2011.
In the first phase of house-listing done from April to September last year, some villages in the Maoist-affected districts of West Bengal and Chhattisgarh were left out, so efforts would be made during the enumeration to reach out to them, he said.
All citizens would be counted, according to their gender, religion, occupation and education. For the first time, enumerators would collect such information as ownership of mobile phones, computers and the Internet, having treated or untreated drinking water facility and banking services. They would also seek additional information for the creation of the National Population Register (NPR).
The Rs. 2,200-crore exercise would cover all citizens living in 7,742 towns and six lakh villages in 640 districts. With the expenditure of a mere Rs.18.33 for each person, this census is also being considered the most cost-effective.
“To carry out this massive exercise, a workforce of 2.7 million people will be engaged. The fact that many countries in the world do not have a population equal to the number of officials that conduct the Indian census is an indication of the size and scale of this operation,” Dr. Chandramouli said at a function, in which Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram unveiled the mascot of enumerators.
The exercise will mark a milestone as the first ever NPR will also be prepared; all persons above 15 would be photographed and fingerprinted to create a biometric national database. With this, India would probably become the first democratic nation in the world that has its population fingerprinted in a year from now.
Once the NPR’s final database was created, it would be sent to the Unique Identification Authority of India for duplication and generation of UID number and for issue of identity smart card.
The population enumeration has already been done in the snow-bound areas of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and some other parts of the country.
The data of migrant population will be collected on the night of February 28 at airports, railway stations, seaports and bus terminals.
Dr. Chandramouli said Census 2011 would cover all people living in the country, including illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. It would cover anyone living in India, and enumerators would not ask their nationality. “Everybody will be counted even if he has illegally entered [India],” he told journalists. He clarified that the information collected about individuals would be kept confidential.

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