Census to be conducted digitally via mobile apps, web portal
After being stalled by the pandemic for two years now, the government is finally gearing up to conduct the Census 'digitally.' The government is set to start testing mobile applications for the upcoming digital Census of India, as per a report by News18. The mobile apps and a dedicated web portal will be used to collect data in 16 scheduled languages.
Why does this story matter?
- The 2021 Census couldn't be conducted because of the COVID-19 lockdown.
- The Census is a decennial exercise which is the official count or survey of the entire country as an index to check the progress from a reference point.
- The Census is conducted by the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India which comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
Over 80 iPhones to test mobile apps
Senior officials at the District Census Offices and the Office of the Registrar General of India will test the mobile apps for data collection and the Census Management and Monitoring System (CMMS) web portal. The government is reportedly procuring more than 80 iPhones for testing the same. In March, the government amended the Census Rules for citizens wishing to self-enumerate online for the Census.
Direct credit of honorarium, training allowance
Said to be the largest administrative and statistical exercise in the world, the upcoming Census will be "a milestone in the history of Census taking in India" with many new initiatives, as per a government document. The changes include using the CMMS for real-time management of Census activities, along with crediting honorarium and training allowance directly to the accounts of the field functionaries.
Optional digital Census planned in 2019
The first phase of the Census, sans the pandemic, was scheduled to be completed by September 2020, and the second phase by March last year. The first phase is House-listing and Housing Census, which were suspended in 2020 as the pandemic hit. The government had planned for the digital Census in 2019 itself, although it had the option of collecting data on paper.