The decennial census exercise in India has been postponed until at least September 2021, as the government informed states that the date for freezing administrative boundaries has been extended until June 30.
- This delay means that the census will not be able to take place until at least 2024, unless rules are changed and a shorter process is introduced. The postponement is not due to the COVID-19 pandemic or vaccination drive, but rather, no specific reason was given in the January 2 letter from the Registrar General of India (RGI).
What is the Census?
- The census is a survey conducted by the government to gather information about the population and their characteristics. It is conducted every 10 years and is used to gather data on demographics, education, work, housing, and more. The information collected is used to inform policy decisions and allocate resources.
History of the Census in India
- The first census in India was conducted in 1872, and the country has conducted a census every 10 years since then. The most recent census was held in 2011.
- The first phase of the 2021 census, which includes the house listing and housing census and the updating of the National Population Register (NPR), was scheduled to take place from April to September 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The second phase of the census, the population enumeration, was supposed to be completed by March 5, 2021.
Reasons for Postponement
- The RGI's letter does not specify a reason for the postponement of the census. However, it is likely that the delay is due to the administrative and logistical challenges of conducting the census in a country as large and diverse as India.
- The census involves a huge amount of data collection and analysis, and any delays or complications can impact the accuracy and timeliness of the results.
Impact of the Postponement
- The postponement of the census will have a number of impacts on the country. First and foremost, it will delay the availability of important data that is used to inform policy decisions and allocate resources. Without updated data, it will be more difficult for the government to make informed decisions about how to allocate resources and address the needs of different communities.
- Additionally, the delay may cause difficulties for businesses and organizations that rely on census data to make decisions about their operations and strategies. Finally, the postponement may also impact the government's ability to accurately forecast future population trends and plan for long-term infrastructure and resource needs.
The postponement of the decennial census in India is a significant development that will have a number of impacts on the country. While the reasons for the delay are not clear, it is likely that the administrative and logistical challenges of conducting the census in such a large and diverse country are a significant factor. The delay will have a number of consequences, including the delayed availability of important data for policy and resource allocation, difficulties for businesses and organizations that rely on census data, and potential impacts on the government's ability to forecast population trends and plan for long-term infrastructure and resource needs.
Written by IAS POINT