When the next census takes place in India, you will be able to complete the questionnaire online from home on a portal and the enumerators will be able to digitally transmit it to the Office of the Registrar General of India (ORGI) from their mobile phones. . In all likelihood, this may mean that the next census figures could be released much faster.
This will mark a major departure from the traditional image of census enumerators going door-to-door filling out lengthy forms. Details available on News18 indicate that this will truly be India’s first ‘digital census’ and a sea change in the way the next census will be conducted. This will involve allowing households to complete the census questionnaire over the Internet. Technology-enabled enumerators will enter this data into their mobile phones and instantly send it to ORGI.
This will make much more of the compiled tabulations of census data available to the public faster than ever before, and the government will be able to get the latest data faster for policy making.
The 2021 Census has been delayed due to the Covid pandemic and will begin soon. It will involve collecting data from Rs 33 crore households with an estimated population of Rs 136 crore.
Digitizing such a large volume of data collected in the field has been a gigantic and resource-intensive task in the past, resulting in a delay in processing and disseminating results of nearly a decade. The government feels that because of this, the data loses its meaning for policy making and immediate planning. Thus, the grand plan for India’s first ‘digital census’ has been drawn up which will provide an opportunity to put power in the hands of the public by making them part of the census operations.
Citizens will be able to change family member details, add new family members, as well as mark family members who have moved or passed away – all online in one portal. These data will be verified and audited and will include more than 35 socioeconomic status parameters. But a 100% digital census may not be possible. The government could use a mix of data collection, one using the census mobile app on the enumerator’s smartphone and the other the traditional way of filling in data on a paper form if there are connectivity issues in Internet.
How will this help the government?
The government believes that a digital census could make reliable and quality official data available as soon as possible for evidence-based policy making, a strong decision support system for inclusive planning, smooth implementation of welfare plans and guarantee and allow social benefits to reach the specific and specific group. of beneficiaries.
People would be encouraged to fill out census data through a specially designed self-enumeration web portal without the help of an enumerator. Here, citizens will be able to consult and update the information of the members of their household and the entire data capture process will be digitized.
The portal involves providing secure and controlled access to the respondent’s family information and authentication based on pre-filled information available with ORGI and OTP sent to the registered cell phone number. The government changed the Census Rules in 2022 to take ‘self-enumeration’ into account and avoid litigation over the issue.