Census 2021 pre-test run in completion mode

Census 2021 pre-test run in completion mode

Census 2021 pre-test run in completion mode

By Rajnish Singh 


New Delhi, September 26 (IANS) The pre-test recce of the first digital initiative under Census 2021 covering 75 districts across India is on completion mode and would finish its ongoing drill by the end of this month, preparing ground for detecting problems before the real beginning of the mammoth exercise in September 2020.

With just a few days left to complete the procedure, the trial run is being carried out in the national capital's south and west districts as well as Uttar Pradesh's Mahoba and Hathras districts, among others, said an official in the office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India, requesting anonymity.

Official preliminary tests for Census 2021 began across the country on August 12.

Census enumerators began collecting socio-economic data for the National Population Register (NPR) under Census 2021 from Badgam and Kathua districts in newly created Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory along with other hilly areas and far-flung regions in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, said the official.

The pre-test enumeration districts include Himachal Pradesh's Shimla and Kinnaur; Punjab's Ludhiana, Firozpur and Mansa; Andhra Pradesh's Anantpuamu, Viziangaram and Guntur; Uttarakhand's Uttarkashi and Dehradun; Haryana's Gurugram, Ambala and Sirsa; Rajasthan's Jaipur, Jaisalmer and Udaipur; Uttar Pradesh's Mahamayanagar, Mahoba and Lucknow; Bihar's Madhubani, Darbhanga and Patna; West Bengal's Bankura, East Medinipur and Kolkata; Jharkhand's Dumka, Seraikella-Kharsawan and Dhanbad; Odisha's Kendrapara, Balangir and Khordha, Chhattisgarh's Raipur and Bastar; Madhya Pradesh's Sagar, Indore and Hoshangabad; and Gujarat's Kachchh, Narmada and Vadodara.

Maharashtra's Chandrapur, Jalna and Mumbai Suburban; Karnataka's Gadag, Mysore and Chamarajanagar; Goa's South Goa; Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram, Pathanamthitta and Malappuram; Tamil Nadu's Nilgiris, Sivganga and Kancheepuram; and Telangana's Warangal, Mahbubnagar and Nizamabad are among the other districts being covered under the pre-test Census 2021.

In the northeast, the districts chosen for the pre-test census are Sikkim's East district; Arunachal Pradesh's Namasi; Nagaland's Kohima; Manipur's Imphal East; Mizoram's Aizawl; Tripura's West Tripura; Meghalaya's West Jaintia Hills; and Assam's Jorhat, Goalpara and Hailakandi.

Among the Union Territories, Daman and Diu's Diu district; Dadra and Nagar's Dadra and Nagar Haveli; Lakshadweep; Puducherry; and Andaman and Nicobar's South Andaman districts are in the list.

For the first time in the history of census in India, data will be collected through a mobile app for Census 2021, marking a transformation from paper census to digital census, said the official, adding that to ensure reliability of the nascent system and to get an overview of the possible hitches, a pre-test run is being carried out across the country.

The Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India -- founded in 1961 by the Ministry of Home Affairs for arranging, conducting and analysing the results of the demographic surveys of India, including census and linguistic survey -- decided to conduct the pre-test run to workout if any problem arises during the exercise as it is being done digitally for the first time, the official said.

In India, census is conducted once in every 10 years. The last census was done in 2011 and the next one will be conducted in 2021, for which the exercise would begin in September 2020 from all the hilly areas starting with Jammu and Kashmir and followed by Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, said the official.

Census provides a snapshot of the country's population and housing at a given point of time.

"Census of India is a decennial activity for total enumeration of the entire population of the country. Indian census is the most credible source of information on socio-cultural and demographic data since 1872," the official added.

Explaining the functioning of the app, the official said the enumerators would be deployed at the block levels and they would function under a supervisor. "There would be around six enumerators under each supervisor," he said.

Each enumerator will have a 4.5 version android mobile phone as it is mandatory to have a compatible handset while doing the digital NPR under Census 2021, he said.

The digital move will help check the wastage of paper besides saving time, the official added.

(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at rajnish.s@ians.in)