The government on Wednesday informed the Parliament that it decided to conduct Census 2021 in two phases—the house listing and housing census in Apr-Sept 2020 and Population Enumeration in Feb 2021.

Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai informed the Parliament that the Census for House listing and Housing was conducted during April-September 2020 and the Population Enumeration was conducted from 9 to 28 February 2021.

In a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha, the MoS for Home Affairs said that it was also decided to update the National Population Register (NPR) under the Citizenship Act, 1955 along with the first phase of Census, but due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the first phase of Census, updation of NPR and other related field activities have been postponed.

The minister said the government has developed a mobile app for smooth collection of data and a portal for management and monitoring of various Census-related activities.

No technical assistance has been obtained from any international agency for conducting Census operations in the field, Rai said. The role of international agencies is limited to support in the development of publicity material and e-learning training modules by United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), UN WOMEN and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the minister added.

Rai further said the Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011 was conducted by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) and the then Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) in rural and urban areas respectively.

The raw caste data has been provided to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE) for the classification and categorization of the data. As informed by MoSJE, there is no proposal to release the caste data at this stage, Rai added.

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