NEW DELHI, August 3: Census 2021 will for the first time seek information from households on smartphones, DTH/Cable TV connection, internet access, number of members of households having bank accounts, ownership of house other than the rented accommodation of a household, bottled water availability and mobile number as part of the houselisting procedure.
Importantly, the latest census, as per the existing plan, will not collect caste data. While the socio-economic caste census (SECC) was conducted alongside Census 2011, the outcome of the caste census is yet to be made public. An official said SECC census threw up 40 lakh permutations and combinations of various castes cited by the respondents, and that the social justice ministry was still struggling with tabulating the same by eliminating the anomalies that include different spellings of same caste, respondents citing gotra as caste, etc.
The Census 2021 houselisting questionnaire, which will seek information from households on 34 parameters between April 2020 and September 2020, will no longer seek a breakup of male and female persons in a household, marking a departure from earlier census exercises. “The information has never been used while compiling data, hence we are no longer seeking it,” said an officer connected with the Census exercise. The latest census will have a listing for third gender.
The personal details to be sought during Population Enumeration exercise of Census 2021, scheduled between February 9 and 28, 2021, are more or less similar to those sought in 2011 but include 28 instead of 29 parameters earlier. The fresh inclusions mainly pertain to new categories of disabilities as per the latest definition.
The population enumeration would be followed by a revisional round from March 1to 5, 2021, before finalising the population of the country as on March 1, 2021.
For Jammu and Kashmir and snow-bound areas of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, population enumeration would be conducted during September 11 to 30, 2020, followed by the revision round from October 1 to 5, 2020. The reference date for census in these areas is October 1, 2020.
A census official said over 31 lakh enumerators shall be conducting the latest census, against 27 lakh in Census 2011.
While the 2011 census had a paper schedule, with data collected being descriptive and hand-written by the enumerators that later had to keyed in by data entry operators, the data to be collected this time is being codified to make reading and collation easier. Also, the data can be collected by enumerator on his phone, registered with the census authorities, via an application, though he/she will also have option to collect the same on paper and then make data entries. “We will be paying them for enumeration as well as data entry,” said an officer.
Thanks to the ability of the application to sync the data, census authorities will have quicker access to data in digital format, which will cut the period of release of data on various parameters within 2-3 years. For census 2011, the last set of data – relating to migration – was released only recently. The training of enumerators is being taken up on a massive scale, with 90 national trainers, 1,800 master trainers and a far larger number of field trainers engaged to train the nearly 31 lakh enumerators.
A pre-test of census 2021, which is something like a full dress rehearsal, will be conducted between August 12 and September 30, 2019, covering around 40-50 lakh respondents spread over 5,000 enumeration blocks all over the country. (TNN)