Census unlikely anytime soon as fear of 3rd wave of COVID-19 looms large

Census unlikely anytime soon as fear of 3rd wave of COVID-19 looms large
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New Delhi, Jan 3 : The decennial census, supposed to be held in 2020-21 but postponed due to the Covid pandemic, will not be held anytime soon.

The Centre has directed the states not to alter the boundaries of the districts and other civil and police units till June 2022 -- a mandatory requirement three months prior to the country's biggest enumeration exercise.

With the third wave of COVID-19 pandemic looming large, Union Home Ministry officials said so far, no decision has been taken on when to conduct the census and then update the National Population Register (NPR).

The Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India has conveyed to the states that the central government has put a ban on the alteration of boundaries of districts, sub-divisions, taluks, police stations, etc. Till June 2022, an official from the Home Ministry said.

Ban on alteration of boundaries of administrative and police units, at least three months prior, is mandatory for conducting the census operations.

Since the boundaries of the administrative and police units have been freezed till June 2022, there is no question of launching the census operations before October, the official said.

India's Covid tally rose to 3,49,22,882 with 33,750 fresh cases, while the active cases increased to 1,45,582, according to the data updated at 8 am on Monday.

The death toll climbed to 4,81,893 with 123 more fatalities, the data showed.

The active cases have increased to 1,45,582, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.20 per cent, the health ministry said.

The central government had first ordered freezing of the boundaries of the administrative units from January 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021.

Subsequently, after the outbreak of the pandemic, it was extended till December 31, 2020.

The ban on alteration of the administrative boundaries was again extended till December 31, 2021 and now till June 30, 2022.

The total number of districts in the country in 2011, when the last census was conducted, was around 640. India now has about 100 more districts.

Greater Kashmir