Census postponed to 2024 after Lok Sabha polls

How does postponing Census affect India? GOI cites state polls as the reason.

How does postponing Census affect India? GOI cites state polls as the reason.
How does postponing Census affect India? GOI cites state polls as the reason.

Why census postponed to 2024 post-Lok Sabha

The Modi Govt has taken a policy decision last week to postpone the General Census to 2024. The exercise will begin after the Lok Sabha polls sometime around July 2024. 10 State Assembly polls in 2023 will be a hindrance to a seamless enumeration.

COVID forced postponement

Union Home Minister Amit Shah was keen to get it done but in 2021 due to Covid Pandemic, it was shifted to 2022. Union Budget 2022 allocated funds for the census. It was to be a total digitized census. An application and website were developed. But suddenly due to a political outcry of state governments keen on caste census like Bihar, the Modi government took a final call to push census after Lok Sabha polls.

Census missed after 150 years

For the first time in about 150 years, India could not conduct the national census —a process done every ten years — in 2021 amid concerns related to the spread of COVID-19 infection.

In a communication to all states, India’s Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner reportedly conveyed that the date of freezing of administrative boundaries has been extended till June 30.

According to established norms, a census can be conducted only three months after the freezing of boundary limits of administrative units.

In India, these administrative units are districts, sub-districts, tehsils, talukas, and police stations. This means that census can only begin after September 30, 2023.

India’s Census: Original timeline

The housing listing phase of the census and the exercise to update the National Population Register (NPR) was scheduled to be carried out across India from April 1 to September 30, 2020, but were postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. India’s decennial census remains postponed at least till September 30, 2023.

Now this date has been pushed out to 2024.

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