COVID-19: First Phase of Census 2021 and Updation of NPR Postponed

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New Delhi: In view of the outbreak ofCOVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Home Affairs has postponed the first phase of Census 2021 and updation of National Population Register, which was to begin on various dates decided by the State/UT governments beginning 1st April 2020, until further orders.

Earlier, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to postpone house-listing, NPR and Census-related activities in view of the COVID-19 scare.

“The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued notifications for conduct of Census 2021 and updating of NPR throughout the country. I am given to understand that the States have been given schedules to complete the first phase for house-listing, housing census and updating of NPR during the period falling between April 1 and September 30,” said the Chief Minister in a letter addressed to Modi.

The Census 2021 was scheduled to be conducted in two phases, viz., (a) Phase I i.e. House listing & Housing Census during April-September, 2020 and (b) Phase II i.e. Population Enumeration during 9th to 28th February, 2021.The updation of NPR was also proposed to be done along with the Phase I of Census 2021 in all the States/UTs, except Assam.

Due to the outbreak ofCOVID-19 pandemic, high alert has been declared by the Government of India as well as the States/Union Territories. The Ministry of Home Affairs vide order dated 24th March, 2020 has issued Guidelines with the directions for their strict implementation, on the measures to be taken by the Ministries/Departments of Government of India and State/Union Territory Governments for containment of COVID-19 Epidemic in the country. Lockdown has also been declared by many State/UT governments. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India has issued advisories for various precautionary measures, including social distancing.

“Keeping in view the above, the first phase of Census 2021 and updation of NPR, which was to begin on various dates decided by the State/UT governments beginning 1st April 2020 and various related field activities, are postponed until further orders”, the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement.

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