Final phase of Census 2011 to conclude today

Dimapur| February 27  : The final phase of the India-wide Census officially ends today. The next few days will be followed by a revision round. Deemed as the world’s biggest census, the Department of Census in Nagaland has taken painstaking efforts over the past eleven months to ensure a credible census for the state. Covering 1428 villages and 19 statutory towns, a total of 4138 enumerators across the state have completed a mammoth task involving house listing and data collection for the National Population Registry (NPR). Conducted every ten years by the Indian government, the census is a crucial tool for future planning. But with the previous census rejected by the State government, all hopes rests on Census 2011.  
As the wheels set in motion in April 2010, the department took on its biggest challenge. The enumerators, particularly, were apprehensive about many things. For many, it was a first time exercise. Rigorous trainings by master trainers were conducted for enumerators and supervisors all across the state. As house listing and enumeration began, enumerators faced resistance, confrontation and intimidation from several corners. Not speak of physical problems like the pathetic road conditions in the interior regions and transportation, the enumerators endured all and have completed their task commendably.
Supervisors, charge officers and the district administrators were also plagued with problems. Inflation of household numbers, population, confusion among people between the electoral roll and Census were just of the problems they had to tackle.
Biometric team arrives in Nagaland
Despite all these problems, enumerators, supervisors, charge officers, district administration, community monitors and the media have played a significant role in bringing a change in the mindset of Nagas.  But the task doesn’t end here. Resting all speculations, the biometric team from Delhi has finally arrived in Nagaland. Although no date has been fixed when the biometric census will officially begin, it is learnt that it may happen in a week’s time. The government will work out modalities at a high level meeting to be held in Kohima this week. The Department of Census will be conducting the biometric for the preparation of the NPR. However, it is to be noted that the ‘census’ and ‘biometric’ are entirely different. Whereas Census is population headcount, data collected through biometric is to allot a unique identification number (UID) to each citizen of India by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).    
Department of Census had said earlier that biometric will take place circle wise. UIDAI officials along with Census functionary and the biometric team will set up camps in villages. Biometrics such as photograph, fingerprints and probably Iris information will be added to the NPR for all persons aged 15 years and above. For those who are below 15, UID number will be linked to parents and guardians. After authentication, the details will be sent to UIDAI for de-duplication and issue of UID Numbers. The acknowledgement slip given to each household during first phase of the Census operations must be produced for the biometric.