New Census Rules

In a gazette notification issued on 11th March, the Union government amended Census Rules, 1990.

About the new census rules

  • An amendment has been made to clause C of Rule-2 of Census Rules, 1990, that deals with definitions.
  • The terms “electronic form” and “self-enumeration” have been included in the schedule of questions to be asked during the census. Through this amendment, the Census rules allow online self-enumeration in the upcoming Census and National Population Register (NPR).
  • The announcement regarding the online self-enumeration was first made in 2020 and it has been notified now through an amendment.

Definitions of Electric form and self-enumeration

  • According to the new rules “electronic form‟ has the same meaning as in clause (r) of section 2(1) of the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000.
  • The “self-enumeration” is defined as filling, completion, and submission of the census schedule by respondents themselves.

Other changes in the census rules

  • Changes have been made regarding how the Census statistics should be published. In Rule 5, the word “media” has been replaced with “electronic or any other media”.
  • Rule 8 mentions the various modes to ensure wide publicity for the census exercise. Earlier, this list of modes only included radio, audio-visuals, and posters. Now, “print media, electronic media, and social media”, are also added to the list.

Extended deadlines

The Census exercise was earlier scheduled to begin in March 2020 with the house-listing phase and National Population Register (NPR) enumeration, followed by population census. But it has been postponed indefinitely due to the corona virus pandemic. Recently, the Union government on the request of states extended the deadline for jurisdictional changes for all states from December 31, 2021, to June 30, 2022.

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