Census and National Population Registry (NPR)
- The census provides information on size, distribution and socio-economic, demographic and other characteristics of the country’s population.
- A systematic and modern population census, in its present form was conducted non synchronously between 1865 and 1872 in different parts of the country.
- Decennial Population Census was started in 1872 under British Viceroy Lord Mayo
- However, the first synchronous census in India was held in 1881. Since then, censuses have been undertaken uninterruptedly once every ten years.
- India’s last census was carried out in 2011 when the country’s population stood at 121 crore. The Indian Census is one of the largest administrative exercises undertaken in the world.
- The Census Act, 1948 and the Census Rules, 1990 provide the legal framework for conduct of Census.
- Census 2021 will be 16th Census in the country.
- The Census 2021 will be conducted in 18 languages out of the 22 scheduled languages (under 8th schedule) and English, while Census 2011 was in 16 of the 22 scheduled languages declared at that time.
- The option of “Other” under the gender category will be changed to “Third Gender”.
- There were roughly 5 lakh people under “other” category in 2011.
- The next census of India to be conducted in 2021 with March 1, 2021 as the reference date, except for the states of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
- The Census data would be available by the year 2024-25.
|NEW INITIATIVES TAKEN FOR THE CENSUS 2021|
- Use of Mobile App for the first time for data collection.
- Facility of online self-enumeration for public during Population Enumeration phase.
- Census Monitoring & Management Portal as a single source for all officers/ officials involved in Census activities to provide multi language support.
- It also will introduce a code directoryto streamline the process.
- Entire process would be conducted digitally, as the and data crunching would be quicker.
|HOW IS CENSUS DIFFERENT FROM NPR?|
- Census doesn’t ask for individual identity details, and is a macro exercise. NPR collects identity details of every individual.
- Census data is protected by a confidentiality clause. The government has committed that it will not reveal information received from an individual for the headcount.
- Certain set of data from the Census 2011 is still being released.
|ISSUE OF CASTE DATA COLLECTION|
- Earlier in 2018, the Ministry of Home Affairs had declared that the Other Backward Class (OBC) category would be included in the Census 2021.
- However, the Registrar-General of India (RGI) has said that only SC/ST will be included as the unreliable nature of caste data collection decreases the credibility of the results. For instance, A person belonging to the Yadav caste writes Yadu, Yaduvanshi, etc. in the form. There is no standardisation. People sometimes even confuse caste with gotra.
- The 2011 caste data, collected as part of the Socio Economic Caste Census (SECC), is yet to be released by the Centre.
- Even a committee formed under former vice-chairman of NITI Aayog, Arvind Panagariya to find a way to publish the SECC-2011 data failed to provide any tangible outcome.
- The last caste-based census was conducted by the British in 1931.
|NATIONAL POPULATION REGISTAR (NPR)|
CONTEXT – Recently, government has decided to prepare a National Population Register (NPR) by September 2020 to lay the foundation for rolling out a citizens’ register across the country.
|ABOUT NATIONAL POPULATION REGISTER (NPR)|
- A group of ministers created after the Kargil war recommended compulsory registration of all residents in India, to facilitate the preparation of a national register of citizens and curb illegal migration.
- The NPR exercise aims to create a comprehensive identity database by collecting biometric and demographic details of every “usual resident” of India
- In 2010 Registrar General of India collected data for a National Population Registry during Census 2011 enumeration. This data further updated in 2015.
- NPR is a list of “usual residents of the country” is one who has been residing in a local area for at least the last six months, or intends to stay in a particular location for the next six months. (According to the Ministry of Home Affairs)
- NPR is being prepared under provisions of the Citizenship Act 1955 and the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.
- The Citizenship Act 1955 was amended in 2004 by inserting Section 14A which provides for the following: –
- The Central Government may compulsorily register every citizen of India and issue National Identity Card.
- The Central Government may maintain a National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC) or National Register of Citizens (NRC). and for that purpose, establish a National Registration Authority (NRA).
- Therefore, it is also compulsory for all usual residents to register under the NPR.
- It will be conducted in conjunction with the first phase of the Census 2021, by the Office of the Registrar General of India (RGI) under the Home Ministry.
- There is also a proposal to issue Resident Identity Cards (RIC) to all usual residents in the NPR of 18 years of age.
|PREPARATION OF NATIONAL POPULATION REGISTER|
- NPR will be prepared at National à State à District à Sub-District à local (Village or Sub-Town) level under provisions of Citizenship Act 1955 and Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003
|DATA COLLECTED IN NPR|
- The NPR will collect both demographic data and biometric
- There are 15 different categories of demographic data, ranging from name and place of birth to education and occupation.
- For biometric data it will depend on Aadhaar, for which it will seek Aadhaar details of the residents.
- While registering with the NPR is mandatory, furnishing of additional data such as PAN, Aadhaar, driving licence and voter ID is voluntary.
|NPR vs AADHAR|
- The data collected in NPR will be sent to UIDAI for de- duplication and issue of Aadhaar Number.
|Only Assam will not be included, as it recently completed NRC.|
- Mandatory vs Voluntary à It is compulsory for all Indian residents to register with the NPR, while registration with the UIDAI is considered voluntary.
- Number vs. Register à UID will issue a number, while the NPR is the prelude to the National Citizens Register. Thus, it is only a Register.
- Authentication vs. Identification à The UID number will serve as an authenticator during transactions. The National Resident Card will signify resident status and citizenship.
- UIDAI vs. RGI à The UIDAI is responsible for enrolling individuals in the UID scheme, and the RGI is responsible for enrolling individuals in the NPR scheme.
- Door to door canvassing vs. centre enrollment à Individuals will have to go to an enrollment center and register for the UID, while the NPR will carry out part of the enrollment of individuals through door to door canvassing.
- Prior documentation vs. census material à The UID will be based off of prior forms of documentation and identification, while the NPR will be based off of census information.
- NPR data was first collected in 2010 and West Bengal was one of the five States that used the requisite information for planning various beneficiary schemes.
- NPR was updated in 2015 by seeding it with biometric details of Aadhaar.
- Data under NPR was collected through door-to-door enumeration under various categories like age, marital status, place of birth, nationality (as declared), present and permanent residential address, occupation, activity and educational qualification.
- Socio Economic Caste Census (SECC) is based on the NPR data.
- Household wise NPR data was used in better targeting of schemes such as Ayushman Bharat, Jan Dhan Yojana, Prime Minister Awas Yojana, Ujjwala Yojana, Saubhagya etc
- 2011 caste data collected as part of SECC along with the Census data, is yet to be released by the Centre due to errors).
|REGISTER GENERAL AND CENSUS COMMISSIONER OF INDIA|
- It is responsible for arranging, conducting and analysing results of demographic surveys of India including Census of India as well as Linguistic Survey of country.
- It functions under Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
- The post of the RGCC of India is usually held by a civil servant holding the rank of Joint Secretary to Government of India.
- He heads the Census organisation (mentioned in entry 69 of seventh schedule of Constitution) which functions under the aegis of Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).