Census India 2021, The World’s Largest Enumeration Exercise, To Begin On April 1

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NEW DELHI: The 16th Indian Census will begin on April 1 this year for which the Government of India has decided to move away from the traditional pen and paper to a digital method by using an android based mobile application. A total of 33 lakh enumerators, the persons who conduct door-to-door counting, would be mobilised for data collection for which notification has already been issued.

The Registrar General and Census Commissioner Vivek Joshi said in a notification that the (census) officials have been instructed to ask as many as 31 questions from every household during both house-listing and housing census exercises.

“In exercise of the powers conferred by section 17A of the Census Act, 1948 (37 of 1948), the central government hereby extends the provisions of the said Act, for the conduct of a pre-test of the Census of India, 2021.


The pre-test shall be conducted from August 12, 2019, to September 30, 2019, in all the states and the Union Territories,” Joshi said in a notification.

For the first time in the 140-year history of the census in India, data is proposed to be collected through a mobile app and enumerators would be encouraged to use their own phone.

The notification, however, made it clear that the mobile number will be sought only for census-related communications and not for any other purpose.

In the first phase, house listing operations would be conducted in any two months chosen by the states between April and September in 2020.


In the second phase, actual population enumeration would be done during February 9 28, 2021, followed by the revision round from March 1 5, 2021

As with the previous editions, the enumerators will be visiting households to seek information from the citizens of the country about the number of television sets, vehicles they own, mobile number, about the number of toilets in their homes, internet services, etc.

The numerators will ask whether the head of the household belongs to a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe or Other category, ownership status of the census house, number of dwelling rooms exclusively in possession of the household, number of married couple(s) living in the household, main source of drinking water, availability of drinking water source and main cereal consumed in the household.

Questions related to the main source of lighting, whether the family has access to a toilet, the type of toilet, wastewater outlet, availability of bathing facility, availability of kitchen and LPG/PNG connection and main fuel used for cooking will also be asked by the enumerators, the notification said.


The government has set a target of September 30 this year for the Census to be completed with as many as 31 questions from every household to be asked and filled up by the enumerators during both the house listing and housing phase of the census.

The usual list of residents of the country, National Population Register (NPR) will be carried out along the house listing phase of the census.

The reference date of the Census for Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh will be October 1, 2020, while for the rest of India the date will be March 1, 2021.


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