On Friday 11th March 2022, the union ministry of home affairs appointed ten directors for census operations in the upcoming national census of 2022. These ‘Directors of Census Operations’ are appointed in various states. Sikkim, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu (Pudducherry), and Gujarat (Daman Diu and Dadra, Nagar Haveli) will now get a Director of Census Operations each. Office of the Registrar (General) and Census Commissioner India (ORGI) will also have a Director of Census Operations as declared by the ministry of home affairs.
In the gazette notification about this appointment, it is said, “The President is pleased to appoint the officers of Indian Administrative Service as Director of Census Operations or Director of Citizen Registration in various Directorates of Census Operations under Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India on central deputation.” The government has not yet announced the new dates for the launch of the Census and the process is on hold since 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The MHA has published another gazette notification in which it has amended the Census Rule, 1990 to allow the data collection in paper and electronic form during the decennial Census exercise. The amendment says that ‘without prejudice to any other provisions of these rules, a person may fill-up, complete, and submit the census schedule through the self-enumeration’.
So, according to this change, citizens of the country, if they wish, can do online self-enumeration in the upcoming census. This is because the government has revised the census schedule and rules to provide this facility to the citizens. However, the actual door-to-door registration will also continue. The housing list phase of the census and the process of updating the NPR were scheduled to be held across the country from April 1 to September 30, 2020, but were postponed due to the corona outbreak.
As per the earlier schedule, the reference date for the census was March 1, 2021, and in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand it was October 1, 2020. On 10th January 2020, the government of India had released the notification for the census 2021. It contained the details of the 31 questions that will be asked during the exercise. The census work is still pending. As the Directors of Census Operations are being appointed now, the government may soon announce the new schedule.