In what could be touted as one of the world’s biggest demographic Census exercises will kick-off from today. The Census, which is estimated to collect data from 1.2 billion people, will include housing, internet, and computers, mobile and other details of basic amenities availed by the citizens.
The government has also decided to prepare National Population Register (NPR) – an identity database of all residents – which will aid in the national-level project of Unique Identification Number (UID) in making National Register of Citizens.
The process of data accumulation for the reformist measure of Multi-purpose UID project, which would contain very simple data in biometrics, will begin today with first data registry from the President Pratibha Patil.
NPR will include accumulation of identification data such as name of the person, family member’s names, date of birth, occupation and such other simple data. The data collection under NPR will also include fingerprints and photographs of the citizens. This data would be helpful in adding information to the ambitious UID project of India.
The process starts with the census in two phases. The first phase will kick start from today and is expected to be wrapped up until September 2010, while the second phase will begin from February 2011.
The data accumulation across the first and second phase of will include collection of information about the various demographic, social and economic data of the entire population. Some basic information collection would pertain to literacy, mother tongue, education and mortality among various other types of data points.
Census is an exercise carried out by the Government of India. Since 1881, population census is an exercise that is held every 10 years for updating the old data and information. From technical perspective, census and NPR are different while the aim of both exercises is accumulation of data but of various different kinds.
According to the government officials, all citizens should cooperate in providing requisite data to the staff visiting every home, the failure of which may attract fines.
The Census 2011 is a broad based data accumulation exercise, which during the earlier decades were limited in approach only to the demographic data, which includes accumulation of various diversified data such as basic amenities and other facilities being availed by the citizens.
Is it possible that such a big exercise can be carried out successfully?