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Home Minister Amit Shah proposes a single multipurpose ID card, census of 2021 to be digital using mobile app

Shah said the Census 2021 data will be the base for the country's future planning, development initiatives and welfare schemes

The Home Minister of India Amit Shah on Monday proposed the idea of a single multipurpose identity card for citizens. He said that such a multipurpose ID card can include various utilities such as Aadhar, passport, election card, driving license, and bank accounts. Shah also said that the census in 2021 will be conducted digitally, via a mobile app.

“We can have just one card for all utilities like Aadhaar, passport, election card, bank account, driving licence, voter card. This is a potential,” Shah said. Shah further added that there should be a mechanism that when a person dies, the information in the population data should be updated automatically.

At an event in Delhi, Shah also hinted at the government’s preference of going for a digital census. He stated that a mobile app will be used in the next census of India which will be carried out in 2021. “A mobile app will be used in Census 2021. It will be a transformation from paper census to digital census,” Shah said.

This is the first time country’s census would be conducted digitally. The last census was carried out in 2011 when the country’s population came out around 121 crores. Earlier this year, in March, the government had announced that the next census would be conducted in 2 phases with March 2021 as the reference date. The notification issued by the government said that for states such as Jammu and Kashmir, snow-bound areas of Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal, the reference date shall be the first day of October 2020.

Shah said the Census 2021 data will be the base for the country’s future planning, development initiatives and welfare schemes and people’s wholehearted participation is key to the success of the exercise. “India’s total 130 crore population should be informed about its benefits. How the census data could be used for future planning, development initiatives and welfare schemes. The utilisation of census data is multi-dimensional and will be a significant contribution in nation’s progress,” he said.

The home minister said that the census will help in demarcating boundaries of municipal wards, assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies. He appealed to census officials to carry out the exercises sincerely as this is an opportunity for them to do ‘Punya’.

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